Poetics of hypertimbralism in music

Published: December 22, 2022
Abstract Views: 82
PDF: 11
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


  • Livia Teodorescu-Ciocanea Composition Department, Faculty of Composition, Musicology and Musical Pedagogy, National University of Music, Bucharest, Romania.

My presentation is an attempt to introduce and clarify an original concept which I called Hypertimbralism, that refers to music based on Hypertimbre as the foundation for musical composition. It points to either orchestral, chamber or solo instruments music which relies on unusual timbre involving polyspectral energy. In contemporary music, two factors led to the arousal of Timbre-based aesthetics: sound mass (very dense textures) and extended instrumental techniques. Hypertimbralism embraces already written music and at the same time opens imagination for new insights in this matter. A poetics of hypertimbralism would provide a musicological background for composition based on an enhanced vocabulary of timbre and on a higher understanding of timbre perception.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


Aristotle. (c. 335 BC, 2000) Poetics. Dover.
Ariyoshi, Y., Shimojo, S, & Miyahara, H. (1995). Hyperscore: A design of a hypertext model for musical expression and structure. Journal of New Music Research 24:130–147. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09298219508570679
Blatter, A. (1980) Instrumentation/Orchestration. New York: Longman.
Dinescu, V. (2004) Program notes Herzriss – not published.
Dolan, E. I., Rehding, A. (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Timbre (2021; online edn, Oxford Academic).
Dubnov, S., Tishby, N., Cohen, D. (1995) Hearing Beyond the Spectrum. Journal of New Music Research 24:342-368. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09298219508570690
Grisey, G. (1987) Tempus et Machina: A composer's reflection on musical Time. Contemporary Music Review 2, pp. 241-77 Harwood Academic Publishers. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07494468708567060
Grisey, G. (1991) Structuration des timbres dans la musique instrumentale, in Le timbre, métaphore pour la composition, ed. Jean - Baptiste Barrière, Paris. Christian Bourgeois/IRCAM, pp. 385-85.
Guigue, D. (1997) Sonic Object: A Model for Twentieth - Century Music. Journal of new music research 26:346-373. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09298219708570734
Hasegawa, R. (2009) Gérard Grisey and The “Nature” of Harmony. Music Analysis 28:349–371. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2249.2011.00294.x
Hasegawa, R. (2019) Timbre as Harmony—Harmony as Timbre, in Emily I. Dolan, and Alexander Rehding (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Timbre (2021; online edn, Oxford Academic, 8 May 2018), chapter 21, pp. 525-551
Koay, Kheng K. (2018) Gubaidulina’s String Quartet No. 4: Recreation of Traditions in a New Musical Context. Per Musi. Belo Horizonte: UFMG. pp. 1-13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.35699/2317-6377.2018.5237
Kostka, S., and Santa, M. (2018) Materials and Techniques of Post-Tonal Music. Taylor & Francis Group. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315229485
Lachenmann, H. (1996) Klangtypen der Neuen Musik, in Musik als existentielle Erfahrung: Schriften 1966–1995 (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1996): 1.
Lindstedt, I. (2018, online 2019) Lutoslawski and Sonoristics. In L. Jakelski & N. Reyland (Eds.), Lutoslawski's Worlds (pp. 165-182). Boydell & Brewer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781787442214.008
Murail, T. (1984) Spectra and pixis. Contemporary Music Review 1:157-170. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07494468400640141
Murail, T. (2005) Scelsi, De-composer (transl. By Robert Hasegawa). Contemporary music Review, Routledge, Vol. 24, No. 2/3, April/June 2005, pp. 173-180. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07494460500154822
Niculescu, Șt. (1980) Reflecţii despre muzică. Ed. Muzicală, București.
Rahn, J. (1980). Basic atonal theory. Longman, New York.
Rappoport, L. (Gelfand) (1983, online 2008) Sonorism: Problems of style and form in modern Polish music. Journal of Musicological Research 4:399-415. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01411898308574538
Rosé, A. (2018) Kaija Saariaho. Before the sound fades away… Kaija Saariaho’s music at Sentralen Concert Hall in Oslo, 31st May 2018. https://www.academia.edu/36969553/Kaija_Saariaho.pdf (accessed 7 December 2022)
Rose, F. (1996) Introduction to the Pitch Organization of Spectral Music. Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 34, no. 2 - summer, pp. 6-37. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/833469
Rosen, C. (1997). The classical style : Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (Expanded ed.). New York: W. W. Norton.
Rosen, C. (1980). Sonata forms (1st ed.). New York: W. W. Norton.
Saariaho, K. (1987) Timbre and harmony: interpolations of timbral structures. Contemporary Music Review 2:93-133. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/07494468708567055
Sandell, G. J. (1995) Roles of Spectral Centroid and Other Factors in Determining Blended Instrument Pairings in Orchestration. Music Perception 13:209-246. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/40285694
Schneider, A. (2000) Inharmonic Sounds: Implications as to ’pitch’, ’timbre’ and ’Consonance. Journal of New Music Research 29:275–301. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09298210008565463
Sethares, W. A. (2005) Tuning, Timbre, Spectrum, Scale. 2nd ed., London: Springer-Verlag.
Smalley, D. (1986) Spectro-morphology and Structuring Process, in The Language of Electroacoustic Music, ed. S. Emmerson, pp. 61-93. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-18492-7_5
Tenney, J. (1988) History of ‘consonance’ and ‘dissonance’, New York: Excelsior Music Pub.
Terhardt, E. (1984) The concept of musical consonance: a link between music and psychoacoustics. Music perception 1:276–295. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/40285261
Teodorescu-Ciocanea, L., Crotty, J. (2015) Spectral examination of Byzantine Chant Archetype. Journal of the International Society for Orthodox Church Music 1:1-19.
Teodorescu-Ciocanea, L. (2003) Timbre versus Spectralism. Contemporary Music Review 22:87–104. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0749446032000134751
Teodorescu-Ciocanea, L. (2004) Timbrul muzical – Strategii de compoziție. Editura muzicală, București.
Tsao, M. (2014) Helmut Lachenmann’s “Sound Types”. Perspectives of New Music 52:217–238. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/pnm.2014.0004
Livia Teodorescu-Ciocanea, Composition Department, Faculty of Composition, Musicology and Musical Pedagogy, National University of Music, Bucharest

The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Victoria, Australia

How to Cite

Teodorescu-Ciocanea, L. (2022). Poetics of hypertimbralism in music. Proceedings of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/peasa.6