In Sound and Society’s third meeting of the spring quarter, we welcome a double-feature, Barbara Dietlinger (third-year, music history and theory) and Rebecca Flore (third year, music history and theory), who will share some of the research from their upcoming dissertation proposals:

“Music and Commemoration in Early Modern North Europe–Visual and Sonic Intersections of Remembrance”

Barbara Dietlinger



“The Recorded Voice as Postmodern Compositional Object: Conflicts and Intersections between Speech and Music as Communicative Media”

Rebecca Flore

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Logan 802

4:30 – 6:00 PM

Rebecca’s Abstract:

The goal of this dissertation is to analyze the interaction between speech and music in compositions that use the recorded voice as a compositional object. In the resulting works the voice is a potential site of conflict between communicative media—that is, between natural language and music. This phenomenon is not limited to one style, school, or genre; it proliferates throughout the late twentieth and early twenty-first century Western musical world, and can be found in minimalist, spectral, electronic, jazz, and hip hop works. Although both speech and music have syntax, pitch, and temporal components, they do not map directly onto one another and are often at odds with one another. The recorded voice brings with it its own pitch, rhythmic, formal, and syntactic content, and I am interested in how composers integrate or adapt this predetermined material into their musical compositions. I argue that these works are a kind of postmodern virtual collaboration between the speaker and the composer.

The excerpt contains main two parts. In the first, introductory section in which I lay out this main argument and categorize selected musical works according to how they use speech in the compositional process. In the second section, a case study, I explore the intersection of speech and music in electroacoustic composer and vocalist Pamela Z’s “Pop Titles ‘You’” (composed 1986, recorded 2004) and its recontextualization in experimental hip hop producer DJ Spooky’s “Perpetual/Pop Titles ‘You’” and “Perpetual Next/Pop Titles ‘You’” (2008). For Z’s “Pop Titles ‘You’,” I will focus on the piece’s temporal component, how spoken phrases are assimilated into or push against the metrical framework of a musical work. In DJ Spooky’s tracks, I consider how the pitch and rhythmic structure of Z’s piece is recontextualized when placed into new tonal and metrical frameworks.

Click to view the papers here. (Please do not cite or circulate)

Persons who believe they may require accommodations to participate fully in this event should contact the coordinator, Bradley Spiers at or Amy Skjerseth at in advance.

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