Gesture and Vocalization
The curves traced by a drummer’s sticks, the various characteristic hand shapes adapted for various note clusters on a piano, the various ways that elbow and shoulder joints can support strokes on a violin all have sonic consequences. Indeed, if the previous chapters have taught us anything, it is that musicking is inherently (rather than incidentally) gestural. But there may yet be a lingering suspicion in some readers’ minds (particularly those who are accustomed only to playing from notation) that the graceful arc of a pianist’s hand is less like a dancer twirling across the stage and more like a blacksmith hammering a piece of metal into a horseshoe. The skeptical claim would be that gesture is a necessary practical step in the production of a finished, pre-figured sonic product, and no more.
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