Presentation Title

Bringing Polychoral Composition into the Virtual Era

Location

Room 2908

Session Format

Performing Arts or Visual Arts

Research Area Topic:

Humanities & Social Sciences - Performing & Visual Arts

Co-Presenters, Co- Authors, Co-Researchers, Mentors, or Faculty Advisors

Dr John Thompson,

Dr Shannon Jeffreys,

Georgia Southern Chorale

Abstract

Antiphony, a type of composition based on two sections playing together yet separated in space, has a long and storied history. Composers in the mid 1500’s used antiphony to great effect in their compositions, as a vehicle to accentuate text, to shape narrative through call and response, and to incorporate the architecture of a space as a relevant parameter of the music composition. The paper accompanying this presentation will focus almost exclusively on antiphony in choral music and the subsequent development of polychoral composition.

Through the 17th – 20th centuries, polychoral techniques expand from simple call and response to more elaborate schemes that distribute polyphonic voices in space. From the mid-20th century until current, music technologies for spatialising sound provide a new trajectory for polychoral composition augmented by electronic means.

Although previously, a composer had been limited by the performers he/she possesses, the dawn of Music Technology, releases the constraints by the forces available, as we can now fill that void with technology. I propose that compositions for double choirs, no longer be necessarily performed by two separate choirs, instead, we can use music technology to emulate the sensation of multiple ensembles as if in a larger architectural space.

This presentation will first give a background of antiphony and its uses in the 16th Century. It will then attempt to determine the development of the fundamental ‘call and response’ of antiphony to the more sophisticated polychoral techniques. To present this ‘evolution’, the presentation will attempt to analyse and compare double choir writing from the 16th Century and more recent compositions of the 20th Century. Finally, the paper poses the questions: are multiple choirs necessary to perform polychoral music? How can virtual space be used to break free from the architectural structures in which polychoral music is performed? These questions are answered in the composition described following the background. The 'virtual antiphony' will then be displayed live, to show its effect on a listener.

Keywords

Antiphony, Polychoral, Choir, Composition, Architecture, Technology

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-24-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 2:30 PM

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Apr 24th, 1:30 PM Apr 24th, 2:30 PM

Bringing Polychoral Composition into the Virtual Era

Room 2908

Antiphony, a type of composition based on two sections playing together yet separated in space, has a long and storied history. Composers in the mid 1500’s used antiphony to great effect in their compositions, as a vehicle to accentuate text, to shape narrative through call and response, and to incorporate the architecture of a space as a relevant parameter of the music composition. The paper accompanying this presentation will focus almost exclusively on antiphony in choral music and the subsequent development of polychoral composition.

Through the 17th – 20th centuries, polychoral techniques expand from simple call and response to more elaborate schemes that distribute polyphonic voices in space. From the mid-20th century until current, music technologies for spatialising sound provide a new trajectory for polychoral composition augmented by electronic means.

Although previously, a composer had been limited by the performers he/she possesses, the dawn of Music Technology, releases the constraints by the forces available, as we can now fill that void with technology. I propose that compositions for double choirs, no longer be necessarily performed by two separate choirs, instead, we can use music technology to emulate the sensation of multiple ensembles as if in a larger architectural space.

This presentation will first give a background of antiphony and its uses in the 16th Century. It will then attempt to determine the development of the fundamental ‘call and response’ of antiphony to the more sophisticated polychoral techniques. To present this ‘evolution’, the presentation will attempt to analyse and compare double choir writing from the 16th Century and more recent compositions of the 20th Century. Finally, the paper poses the questions: are multiple choirs necessary to perform polychoral music? How can virtual space be used to break free from the architectural structures in which polychoral music is performed? These questions are answered in the composition described following the background. The 'virtual antiphony' will then be displayed live, to show its effect on a listener.