This paper analyses the interactional dynamics of a specific music setting, that is the rehearsals of the Chorus of a French Opera. In the very last years, some studies, issued of a pragmatic and interactional perspective, have focused on musical contexts as a perspicuous setting for observing the fine-grained verbal, bodily and musical coordination established by participants when ‘doing’ music together. Taking into consideration the multimodal dimension of human conduct, these studies have looked, for instance, at the way musicians ‘improvise’ together (for example in jazz classes, cf. Duranti & Burrell, 2004; Ashley, 2005; Veronesi, 2009) or at how conductor’s gestures (that is body orientation, gaze and gestures, cf. Poggi, 2002; Streeck & Oshima, 2005; Haviland, 2007; Parton & Edwards, 2009, i.e. in classic ensembles) are systematically and responsively oriented to by musicians and integrated in theirs actions. Following this line of research, and inspired by a Conversation Analytic perspective, this paper focuses on the context of choral music: here an extended group of musicians, using a specific instrument, their voice, make music together following the notation’s ‘established’ course of action and the conductor’s moment-by-moment ‘instructions’. In the case being studied, a specific participatory constellation is established, as far as the ‘ordinary’ conductor (that is the official conductor of the French Chorus) is accompanied by the ‘official’ (and external, British) music conductor of the Opera being rehearsed: as a matter of fact, as often happens for international and popular Opera representations by permanent Chorus, musicians can daily rehearse with their conductor and then occasionally – just before the official representation – meet with the Opera general conductor. The analysis will focus on the way this peculiar (at least) triangular ‘framework’ (represented by the two directors and the group of musicians) is handled and on how participants, through multiple resources, organize their musical action(s), orienting towards a common activity or manifold activities and structuring dynamic and evolving participation frameworks (Goodwin, 1981; 2000; Goodwin & Goodwin, 2004). During the rehearsals, different types of sequences can in fact emerge and accompany the musical production (for ex. instructions or evaluation sequences, addressed to some or all the musicians; clarifications sequences exchanged between the conductors themselves) making relevant different – and often simultaneous – courses of action as well as local dynamic constellations. The research will take into account both the audible and visible resources exploited by participants, focusing in particular on specific verbal conduct (with two languages being used – French and English) and on the manipulation of objects (especially with the ‘notation’ constantly handled by participants and evoked by the director as an interactive resource to structure the activity itself). The data analysed are represented by three hours of audio and video-recordings and their related transcriptions.

Merlino, S. (2011). Constructing different participation frameworks through multiple resources when ‘doing’ music together: the embodied organization of Choral rehearsals. In International Pragmatics Association (IPRA).

Constructing different participation frameworks through multiple resources when ‘doing’ music together: the embodied organization of Choral rehearsals

Merlino Sara
2011-01-01

Abstract

This paper analyses the interactional dynamics of a specific music setting, that is the rehearsals of the Chorus of a French Opera. In the very last years, some studies, issued of a pragmatic and interactional perspective, have focused on musical contexts as a perspicuous setting for observing the fine-grained verbal, bodily and musical coordination established by participants when ‘doing’ music together. Taking into consideration the multimodal dimension of human conduct, these studies have looked, for instance, at the way musicians ‘improvise’ together (for example in jazz classes, cf. Duranti & Burrell, 2004; Ashley, 2005; Veronesi, 2009) or at how conductor’s gestures (that is body orientation, gaze and gestures, cf. Poggi, 2002; Streeck & Oshima, 2005; Haviland, 2007; Parton & Edwards, 2009, i.e. in classic ensembles) are systematically and responsively oriented to by musicians and integrated in theirs actions. Following this line of research, and inspired by a Conversation Analytic perspective, this paper focuses on the context of choral music: here an extended group of musicians, using a specific instrument, their voice, make music together following the notation’s ‘established’ course of action and the conductor’s moment-by-moment ‘instructions’. In the case being studied, a specific participatory constellation is established, as far as the ‘ordinary’ conductor (that is the official conductor of the French Chorus) is accompanied by the ‘official’ (and external, British) music conductor of the Opera being rehearsed: as a matter of fact, as often happens for international and popular Opera representations by permanent Chorus, musicians can daily rehearse with their conductor and then occasionally – just before the official representation – meet with the Opera general conductor. The analysis will focus on the way this peculiar (at least) triangular ‘framework’ (represented by the two directors and the group of musicians) is handled and on how participants, through multiple resources, organize their musical action(s), orienting towards a common activity or manifold activities and structuring dynamic and evolving participation frameworks (Goodwin, 1981; 2000; Goodwin & Goodwin, 2004). During the rehearsals, different types of sequences can in fact emerge and accompany the musical production (for ex. instructions or evaluation sequences, addressed to some or all the musicians; clarifications sequences exchanged between the conductors themselves) making relevant different – and often simultaneous – courses of action as well as local dynamic constellations. The research will take into account both the audible and visible resources exploited by participants, focusing in particular on specific verbal conduct (with two languages being used – French and English) and on the manipulation of objects (especially with the ‘notation’ constantly handled by participants and evoked by the director as an interactive resource to structure the activity itself). The data analysed are represented by three hours of audio and video-recordings and their related transcriptions.
Merlino, S. (2011). Constructing different participation frameworks through multiple resources when ‘doing’ music together: the embodied organization of Choral rehearsals. In International Pragmatics Association (IPRA).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/388338
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