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date: 16 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In general, musical forms iterate from axioms of pitches and intervals organized by a set of principles, yet when describing music as ‘desirable’ or ‘effective’, we are pointing not to its form, but to our experience of it. In successful music, the composer moves the listener through a series of emotive states in some sense predetermined by the composer, but that are not reducible to the patterns and principles. The argument in this chapter concerns what makes some music capable of eliciting ‘exaltation’ rather than a routine response. Designing chaos into the musical patterns themselves is proposed as one such route. The author uses the evolution of the stochastic processes underlying her ‘aesthetic sonification’ of natural systems and the vocal variabilities of Emma Kirkby and Amy Winehouse to elucidate her thoughts on how chaos can interact with musical forms. Growth in natural systems, while still engaging with ‘choreographed chaos’ has particularly motivated the author.

Keywords: chaos, growth, natural systems, sonification

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