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The sound that is verb, the verb that is sound: expressiveness and contrast between text and voice in the vocal music of the XXth century

Grant number: 19/25714-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Effective date (End): July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Music
Principal Investigator:Wladimir Farto Contesini de Mattos
Grantee:Felipe Rodrigues Ferreira Perez
Host Institution: Instituto de Artes (IA). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In this project, we intend to make a reflection about the text-music relationship on the second half of the twentieth century. Specifically, we aim to understand how the question of the intelligibility of the text (when it exists) is transformed and what are the musical and expressive implications of that change. The understanding of the problems arising from said question demands the analysis of the ideas of composers (such as Berio, Boulez and Xenakis), performers (such as Martha Herr, Cathy Berberian, Sara Belo and Meredith Monk) and theoreticians (such as Stacey, Cavarero, Zumthor and Barthes) that worked with the subjects of voice and vocal music, as well as some of the artistic transformations of the period. We search, furthermore, a general comprehension of the historical discussion about the relationship between text and music, looking to understand how text was musically treated on the works of the period and how that relationship was theorized. Although a solid bibliography about vocal music on this period exists, this project - if it succeeds - would be valuable to performers, composers and musicologists to the performance and study of contemporary vocal pieces, while also contributing to the broader - and always present - debate about the text-music relation and its implications. Thus, it's our hypothesis that, following the changes on the way to use the voice (electronics, composition with phonemes, vocal noises, among others), there is also a transformation when there is a "linear" text: the intelligibility or non-intelligibility of the text itself becomes an expressive resource to the musical discourse.

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