Principles for expressing emotional content in turntable scratching
2006 (English)In: Proc. 9th International Conference on Music Perception & Cognition / [ed] Baroni, M.; Addessi, A. R.; Caterina, R.; Costa, M., Bologna: Bonomia University Press , 2006, 532-533 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Background: Scratching is a novel musical style that introduces the turntable as a musical instrument. Sounds are generated by moving vinyl records with one or two hands on the turntable and controlling amplitude with the crossfader with one hand. With this instrument mapping, complex gestural combinations that produce unique 'tones' can be achieved. These combinations have established a repertoire of playing techniques, and musicians (or DJs) know how to perform most of them. Scratching is normally not a melodically based style of music. It is very hard to produce tones with discrete and constant pitch. The sound is always strongly dependent on the source material on the record, and its timbre is not controllable in any ordinary way. However, tones can be made to sound different by varying the speed of the gesture and thereby creating pitch modulations. Consequently timing and rhythm remain as important candidates for expressive playing when compared to conventional musical instruments, and with the additional possibility to modulate the pitch.Aims: The experiment presented aims to identify acoustical features that carry emotional content in turntable scratching performances, and to find relationships with how music is expressed with other instruments. An overall aim is to investigate why scratching is growing in popularity even if it a priori seems ineffective as an expressive interface.Method: A number of performances by experienced DJs were recorded. Speed of the record, mixer amplitude and the generated sounds were measured. The analysis focuses on finding the underlying principles for expressive playing by examining musician's gestures and the musical performance. The found principles are compared to corresponding methods for expressing emotional intentions used for other instruments.Results: The data analysis is not completed yet. The results will give an indication of which acoustical features DJs use to play expressively on their instrument with musically limited possibilities. Preliminary results show that the principles for expressive playing are in accordance with current research on expression.Conclusions: The results present some important features in turntable scratching that may help explain why it remains a popular instrument despite its rather unsatisfactory playability both melodically and rhythmically.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bologna: Bonomia University Press , 2006. 532-533 p.
Computer Science Human Computer Interaction Psychology Music
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-51898ISBN: 88-7395-155-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-51898DiVA: diva2:465192
Proc. 9th International Conference on Music Perception & Cognition
tmh_import_11_12_14. QC 20120111. QC 201601152011-12-142011-12-142016-01-15Bibliographically approved