From Small Signs to Great Forms

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In my PhD dissertation at NMH (The Norwegian Academy of Music), I have studied how musical form emerges in an improvisational interaction, such as how the musicians communicate through the music and the listening. I have attempted to investigate these complex issues from several angles. First and foremost, by playing improvised music together with the BMX quartet, which I then investigatively evaluate using aural sonology analysis (a method developed over the course of 30 years by Lasse Thoresen et al. at NMH), through conversations with the musicians who created these musical forms, as well as examination of other approaches from research literature and other literature.

My research resulted in a dissertation that, due to its theme, was submitted as an interactive PDF and as an e-book. This was to ensure that all the music would be included in all analyses and discussions: if I claim that there is a break in the music, readers must be able to hear and judge for themselves whether this is correct. The dissertation, “From Small Symbols to Large Forms - Analyses of improvised interaction using aural sonology”, can be downloaded free of charge from brage.bibsys.no . I contend that this study has a universal value. It could provide better insight into an improvisation practice, which in many ways is wordless, albeit not soundless.

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What happens when an improvising band shapes musical forms in real time? Njål Ølnes uses aural sonology analysis in his investigations. Text by Njål Ølnes In my PhD dissertation at NMH (The Norwegian Academy of Music), I have studied how musical form emerges in an improvisational interaction,…