Overtone Music Network

a common space & database for harmonic overtones

There has been few contemporary works for overtone singing that I know of.


The works of David Hykes's Harmonic Choir,


and Stockhausen Stimmung,


and Prima Materia - Tail of the Tiger,


and Kirana Gharana North Indian Classical Music,


also perhaps, but not strict overtones, Brian Ferneyhough's Time and Motion Study No. 3


I am interested in any other specific applications of Form (of the classical tradition)

in overtone singing?



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Whereas the majority of popular styles lend themselves to the song form, classical music can also take on the form of the concerto, symphony, sonata, opera, dance music, suite, étude, symphonic poem, and others.

Classical composers often aspire to imbue their music with a very complex relationship between its affective (emotional) content and the intellectual means by which it is achieved. Many of the most esteemed works of classical music make use of musical development, the process by which a musical idea or motif is repeated in different contexts or in altered form. The sonata form and fugue employ rigorous forms of musical development.

Middleton (p. 145) also describes form, presumably after Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (1968, translated 1994), through repetition and difference. Difference is the distance moved from a repeat, a repeat being the smallest difference. Difference is quantitative and qualitative — how far different and what type of difference.

Musical form may be contrasted with content (the parts) or with surface (the detail), but there is no clear line dividing them. "Form covers the shape or structure of the work, content its substance, meaning, ideas, or expressive effects" (Middleton 1999). In many cases form depends on statement and restatement, unity and variety, contrast and connection.

Especially recently, more segmented approaches have been taken through the use of stratification, superimposition, juxtaposition, interpolation, and other interruptions and simultaneities. Examples include the postmodern "block" technique used by composers such as John Zorn, where rather than organic development one follows separate units in various combinations. These techniques may be used to create contrast to the point of disjointed chaotic textures, or, through repetition and return and transitional procedures such as dissolution, amalgamation, and gradation, may create connectedness and unity. Composers have also made more use of open forms such as produced by aleatoric devices and other chance procedures, improvisation, and some processes. (ibid)

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