A proposal of analysis for music-theatre works with electroacoustic: The case of Double by Constança Capdeville.

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The coexistence of two sound universes, acoustic and electronic sounds, is a very complex issue. Yet when composers add to both universes other elements from different artistic expressions, resulting in a new “language” in which concert, theatre and dance are combined through the confluence and exploration of sound, music, word, light, gesture and movement, this makes the methodological approach and the analysis of music-theatre works that use electroacoustic sound even more difficult. The composer Constança Capdeville, an outstanding figure in Contemporary Portuguese Music, left us a great number of works of this genre, including acoustic and electroacoustic sounds and other elements such as those mentioned above. However, most of the documentation from Capdeville's music-theatre works is still dispersed, or is not in good condition (as for example the tape collection), and moreover there is no articulation and systematization of the existing information in order to reconstruct the performance, which can render any analysis of her works difficult.
Works within the music-theatre genre with electroacoustic sound may include audio recordings, images, scores, scripts, or additional notes, which, despite being occasionally disparate, explain aspects of lighting, sound recording (especially giving indications of on-stage inputs) and positioning on stage; nevertheless the information is still imprecise. In Capdeville's case, although there might have been original recordings (on magnetic tape) used during the performance, these might not exist any more, with the result that only a recording of the whole performance is available, but this does not help in distinguishing the acoustic sounds from electroacoustic sounds. This means that the analyst of mixed-music works is being constantly challenged, since is dealing with not accurate set of data, this makes it difficult to establish a model that can be applied to all these types of works. Today we deal with a multiplicity of technological paradigms and issues related to the rapid obsolescence of the technical means involved, alongside often collective forms of creation, being these the main problems for the establishment of an appropriate methodology. However, the problem is magnified if there is no medium, or if the medium is not in the best physical condition, since this issue can make an analysis of such works unfeasible.
In "Analyse de la musique mixte: logiciels, procédures, workflows", Pierre Couprie writes an extensive article exposing, from a critical point of view, the latest tools and methods in the field of the analysis of electroacoustic music.
Hence, in the present paper, we intend to analyse Double (1982), composed by Capdeville, and written in the context of the music-theatre genre resorting to iAnalyse. Through the possibilities offered by the iAnalyse software, mainly the creation of a timeline and, consequently, the synchronization of all the elements involved in Double, we hope that an analysis will not only help in re-staging the work, but also make a contribution to the musicological study of works like Capdeville’s.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
EventElectroacoustic Music Studies Network Conference - Villa Final, Florence, Italy
Duration: 20 Jun 201823 Jun 2018


ConferenceElectroacoustic Music Studies Network Conference
Abbreviated titleEMS18
Internet address


  • Constança Capdeville
  • Contemporary Portuguese Music
  • Documentation
  • Music-Theatre
  • Electroacoustic Sound


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