In this paper, we present a study of tonal practises in Electronic Dance Music, an umbrella term referring to a variety of electronic music sub-genres intended for dancing at nightclubs and raves. In particular, we look at how commonplace digital production techniques, mostly revolving around the Digital Audio Workstation, might have an impact in the development of tonal language. Such techniques, seem certainly closer to cinematographic montage (based on splicing, layering and processing sound files) than to traditional musical operations on symbolic data (i.e. musical notation). Electronic Dance Music presents an optimal choice for such study, for it completely embraces digital production techniques and, given its strong orientation towards the dance floor, it is rather open-ended regarding its harmonic language. Furthermore, its cyclical structure based on loops, seems to have implications in the ways listeners integrate tonal units together, which are unlikely in other tonal dialects. For example, we found that simultaneous layering of several audio files often leads to poly-modal or atonal excerpts; in other cases, fragments with sparse pitch content (a simple bass line or a tuned bass-drum) should be seen as amodal (i.e. with a clear tonic but no sense of modality). We often observed modal variants other than the traditional major and minor, and confirmed that its structural organisation based on loops neutralises the tonal dialectics present in other types of music.
3.G.1Session - Sounds of Popular Music (I)
Ángel Faraldo (Spain, 1980) is a musician concerned with the creation, dissemination and teaching of experimental music. Active as a composer and improviser, his work extends into sound installations, site-specific performances and sound design for dance and opera. He has studied Classical Guitar at the Royal Conservatoire in Madrid (ES), holds a Master in Sonology from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (NL) and has received music composition lessons from a variety of composers (Carlos Bermejo, J. M. López López, J. M. Sánchez Verdú, etc.). He is currently a PhD candidate at the Music Technology Group, Universtitat Pompeu Fabra, where he studies tonality in Electronic Popular Music.
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Prof. Sergi Jordà holds a BS in Fundamental Physics and a PhD in Computer Science and Digital Communication. He is an Associate Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, where he directs the Music and Multimodal Interaction Lab. His main research interests are in the confluence of HCI, tangible, musical and physiological interaction, and is specially interested in bringing MIR knowledge for helping music creation and for creating empowering musical tools. He has led several EC founded projects, and authored more than 120 publications counting peer-reviewed conference papers, journal articles and book chapters. He has received many awards such as the Swets & Zeitlinger best paper award ICMC (2001), a Ciutat de Barcelona award in Multimedia category (2007) or Ars Electronica’s Golden Nica (2008). https://scholar.google.es/citations?user=jKDwPyUAAAAJ&hl=ca
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Prof. Perfecto Herrera holds a BS in Psychology, and works at the Music Technology Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, since 1997. As researcher and project manager, he contributed to the MPEG-7 standardization initiative from 1999 to 2001 and to the EU-IST-funded projects CUIDADO (2000-2002), SIMAC (2003-2005), EMCAP (2006-2008) and GiantSteps (2013-2016). He was (2005-2011) the Director of the Department of Sonology, Superior Music School of Catalonia (ESMUC), where he teaches Music Technology, Acoustics, Psychoacoustics, Critical Listening Skills, and Technologies for Music Research. His main research interests are audio and music content processing, classification in humans and machines, and music perception, cognition and emotion, areas in which he has co-authored more than 150 research papers and articles in peer-reviewed international conferences and journals. https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=x4X0Ia8AAAAJ
Pompeu Fabra University Spainperfecto.firstname.lastname@example.org