Notes, sounds, outsides and insides: Perspectives on pitch in acousmatic music | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1752-7066
  • E-ISSN: 1752-7074



Acousmatic music has facilitated some of the most radical extensions of musical materials and methods available to the composer, moving beyond the traditional instrumental paradigm centred on melodic and harmonic forms derived from focal pitch that can be conveniently notated in the abstract form of a score. Two perspectives on the role and perception of pitch in acousmatic music are considered. First, in works of complex textural and spectral construction in which, as an inherently salient dimension of listening, perception of pitch can function as an important element of structural focus and definition. Second, it is viewed from a spectralist approach to sound materials, where components of the partial structure of a physical object’s sound can be made available as individual and timbrally related pitch identities but which retain an organic connection to a source sound. Analytical examples are drawn from widely available works from the acousmatic repertoire. Sound examples (in 44.1kHz 24 bit format) can be found at:


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error