Professor Fales presents a way of understanding musical timbre, its special effects on listeners and its contribution to a musical gestalt. She proposes that the almost total absence of writing on timbre in scholarship of both traditional and western art music through the end of the last century is due largely to certain psychoacoustic qualities of timbre perception; and second, that the mechanics of translating acoustic into perceived timbre contribute to various notions about music ranging from the sense of music as "something other than what it is" to a more cosmic sense of music as a powerful, sometimes transforming medium. She will compare several timbre-related notions of music drawn from field research, with comparable ideas expressed in historical and current sources in western art music.
Cornelia Fales is a visiting professor of Music Technology in the Music Department at UCI. She received her Ph.D. in 1993 from Indiana University, with a specialty in music of Central/East Africa. She spent two years at l'Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique-Musique (IRCAM) in Paris doing postdoctoral research in timbre perception. She returned to Bloomington to direct the Sound and Video Analysis Lab and to teach workshops and courses in ethnomusicology and in music perception and analysis. Dr. Fales is in residence at UCI during the entire 1997-98 academic year, teaching courses in music technology and ethnomusicology.
For more information, phone (714) 824-7288.