Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Composed performers: the music-performing body from a compositional perspective

Based on recent scientific insights and both historical and recent music examples, the author develops a concept of 'intercorporeality' that sheds new light on the relationship between music performers, composers and music consumers.

Frans de Ruiter

The music-performing body fulfills an essential role in the creation of new instrumental compositions. However, its presence is rarely the primary concern of compositional thinking. With most musical experimentation, the music-making body keeps a self-evident function as a transparent medium for musical ideas, but also as a limitation on the potential for musical exploitation.

Recent artistic and theoretical developments invite a rethink of the compositional potential of the music-performing body. Focus on the music-making body and the physicality of the music experience has intensified in recent decades. A body paradigm is becoming audible and visible in the work of a generation of young composers, as well as in musicological research. The micro-temporality of physical gesture and instrumental timbre have become key points of interest. In the micro-temporal space, physical presence is unveiled as a very direct interactive ability of the performer or improviser but also as a 'bodily thinking' of the composing body.

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