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Melodic Structures through the Syncretic Method: Towards a Deeper Understanding of Musical Elaborations and Gestures
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies, Musicology.
2016 (English)In: 32nd World Conference On Music Education ISME Conference, Glasgow, UK, 24th-29th July 2016.: Music: for Identity, for Well-being, for Justice, 2016Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Melodic Structures through the Syncretic Method: Towards a Deeper Understanding of Musical Elaborations and Gestures

 

Teaching melody comes usually at best down to a necessary but basic phraseology, without any regard to melodic elaborations, intervallic functions, and musical gestures. However, the syncretic method gives renewed perspectives on melodic analysis, and on composition and performance. It critically gathers principles and tools mainly from the theories of Heinrich Schenker and Leonard B. Meyer, and from the pedagogical method of Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. Basically, the Schenkerian approach is central to the syncretic method because of its structure through synchronic levels; the Meyerian approach is important because of its melodic classification and terminology, which refer to gestural representations (such as axial melodies); and Dalcroze Eurhythmics comes within the mentioned theoretical framework by bringing a physical and cognitive dimension.

The syncretic method is concerned with the functions played by disjunct and conjunct intervals within melodic structures. It enables to represent these functions and the melodic elaborations through three levels (surface, intermediate, and deep). The mental approach and understanding of melodic processes are deepened through bodily training. Thus, the syncretic method clarifies the melodic unfolding, its main directed motion and its successive gestural ornamentations.

 

This paper aims to present how accessible and beneficial the syncretic method is for students at different levels. Thus, it requires two main comparisons. The first one regards the comparison between not trained and trained students within using the method. Questions to be answered are: what knowledge do students get quantitatively and qualitatively, when studying and applying this method? How efficient and useful is the method and its learning? Does the method influence the students’ intellectual approach of the music and their practical musicianship?

The second comparison concerns the students involved, all from Stockholm. The first group gathers students from a sixth-form music school, the second group studies at the university, and the third group follows the Eurhythmics program at the Royal College of Music. Is the method possibly as efficient for all these students or do their respective musical education play a role regarding the learning, and the response to the method?

The study will be done through a series of workshops, mainly based on music of the common practice area and the 20th century.

 

A systematic presentation at the conference will highlight the syncretic method and the results of this study. This paper will thus put forward what the method may imply for music education, especially regarding a renewed approach of the melodic phenomenon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
music analysis, melodic analysis
National Category
Musicology
Research subject
Musicology; Music Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141904OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141904DiVA: diva2:1089714
Conference
32nd World Conference On Music Education ISME Conference, Glasgow, UK, 24th-29th July 2016.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 1526301
Available from: 2017-04-20 Created: 2017-04-20 Last updated: 2017-04-22Bibliographically approved

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