Words , Movement and Timbre

Mclean, Alex and Wiggins, Geraint

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Phonetic symbols describe movements of the vocal tract,tongue and lips, and are combined into complex movementsforming the words of language. In music, vocables are wordsthat describe musical sounds, by relating vocal movementsto articulations of a musical instrument. We posit that vocable words allow the composers and listeners to engageclosely with dimensions of timbre, and that vocables couldsee greater use in electronic music interfaces. A preliminarysystem for controlling percussive physical modelling synthesis with textual words is introduced, with particular application in expressive specification of timbre during computer music performances.