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[Reflection] Inside and outside shape

posted on 2023-06-08, 18:55 authored by Alice EldridgeAlice Eldridge
Music is a very human means of creating, exploring and communicating abstract ideas and emotions. This is made possible through the capacity of organised sound to recruit and coordinate dynamic patterns of interaction across a network of diverse objects and processes distributed across the brains, bodies and worldly objects of musicians and listeners. Reflecting my personal practice as an improvising cellist and my academic interest in digital music, I offer a particular account of some of the roles shape plays in framing and supporting these processes in both acoustic and digital music making. My own experiences are accompanied by those of other improvisers to illustrate the idea that shape provides a lingua franca to conceptualise and talk about relations between the otherwise divergent array of objects and activities tied up in musical creation, performance and listening. In particular, I consider how the role of shape differs during what I am calling ‘offline’ (learning, practicing, coding, listening) versus ‘online’ musicking (performance and improvisation in particular).


Publication status

  • Published


Oxford University Press

Page range


Book title

Music and shape

Place of publication

New York




Studies in musical performance as creative practice

Department affiliated with

  • Informatics Publications

Research groups affiliated with

  • Sussex Humanities Lab Publications

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