Musical Gesture as a Means of Composition: Some Observations


As far as Luciano Berio proposed a notion of “musical gesture”, key contemporary composers incorporate it in their compositions. Musical gesture takes its origin in performative practices but stems from different perception of musicians’ senses: while Boulez mostly uses his conductor’s practice, Lachenmann, Feldman and Ferneyhough tend to incorporate the feeling of an instrument, be it piano, cello or flute. Russian composers had their own means of treating “musical gesture”: while Prokofiev and Stravinsky used “choreogesture”, Schnittke and Gubaidulina tended to use conceptualist practices. The composer’s gesture motivated by performer’s energy and movement becomes a sort of new “building material” for music composition.