This thesis studies the question of idiomaticity in the musical practice of free improvisation. Our enquiry begins with a discussion on the difficulties of delineating this activity and of defining it in positive terms. The production of improvised performances indeed emerges at the moment of its delivery and is immediately fleeting. This has led many musicians and writers to classify the practice as "non-idiomatic" (and thus resistant to semiotic analysis), a designation popularized by Derek Bailey in his pioneering book Improvisation. Yet despite its apparent elusiveness, the genre has been able to endure for several decades and keeps spreading to new music scenes throughout the world, supported by relatively consistent ideological and aesthetic preoccupations that unify and enable its practitioners and fans. By using a triadic semiotic model in the tradition of C.S. Peirce and by considering the different aspects of free improvisation in the light of his theory of categories, we are able to give a semiotic account of both the emergent/evanescent and the enduring/idiomatic aspects of free improvisation. Free improvisation is not at all, as some would hope, free from all conventions. One of the accomplishments of this thesis is to deconstruct the myth of free improvisation's non-idiomaticity and demonstrate that the practice's particular idiomatic commitments have merely been shifted away from formal idioms (such as generically codified and recognizable approaches to tonality and rhythm) and onto codes of conduct that keep the activity coherent and significant for its participants. Musician testimonies reveal that the practices of free improvisers are indeed motivated by similar underlying concerns and principles. As for agreements on the momentary value of any of the improvised performance's formal aspects, they find mutual (if contingent) recognition through short-lived localized formal conventions that we call "entente". Improvisers, however, typically playfully deconstruct these emergent formal conventions rather expeditiously; they are intent on not letting any formal commitments solidify beyond a desired liminal capacity. In the end, any gauge for the success of an improvised performance must refer either to the underlying unifying principles that make up the core of its idiomaticity or to the momentary exigencies of entente.
|Titolo:||Unifying Concerns and Entente. Locating and Pursuing the Idiomaticity of Free Improvisation|
|Tutti gli autori:||Bourgeois, André Louis|
|Data di pubblicazione:||19-gen-2017|
|Anno accademico:||2014 (29. ciclo)|
|Ciclo di dottorato:||29. ciclo|
|Corso/Scuola di dottorato in:||EMJD - Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones (fino al 30. ciclo)|
|Nelle collezioni:||DTs in EMJD Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones|