Spectral music  

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Spectral music (or spectralism) is a compositional technique developed in the 1970s, using computer analysis of the quality of timbre in acoustic music or artificial timbres derived from synthesis.

Defined in technical language, spectral music is an acoustic musical practice where compositional decisions are often informed by sonographic representations and mathematical analysis of sound spectra, or by mathematically generated spectra. The spectral approach focuses on manipulating the spectral features, interconnecting them, and transforming them. In this formulation, computer-based sound analysis and representations of audio signals are treated as being analogous to a timbral representation of sound.

The (acoustic-composition) spectral approach originated in France in the early 1970s, and techniques were developed, and later refined, primarily at IRCAM, Paris, with the Ensemble l'Itinéraire, by composers such as Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail. Murail has described spectral music as an aesthetic rather than a style, not so much a set of techniques as an attitude; as Joshua Fineberg puts it, a recognition that "music is ultimately sound evolving in time".



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Spectral music" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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