A brief essay on development

Subject: A brief essay on development
From: Eliot Handelman (eliot@generation.net)
Date: Wed Aug 25 2004 - 04:44:37 EDT

This appears to have been the only thing I did today. I'm posting
this so that I don't trash it. I hope someone gets something out of it.

What is development?

Development is that which creates the sense that the music is mutating
and progressing towards a felt goal, which may itself change: it
implies the idea of moving somewhere new by transforming something

One basic transformation is "heightening," often described as the
building of "tension." A prototypical development is that which builds
towards a climax. In film music, we often hear accelerating motives
progressing upwards through a scale with sudden increases in the
density of the music as it lurches towards the climactic event. This
joins various ways of creatinmg a sense of "going up," by raising the
pitch, increasing the tempo, creating greater rhythmic momentum or
density, getting louder, increasing harmonic density and dissonance
level, splintering into nultiple voices, etc.

"Going up" could probably be generalized as "creating process."
Process is created when we sense patterns of transformation.
Heightening is one such pattern.

The sense of process is one that might translate
into a feeling of growing tension: but perhaps the word "tension"
merely stands for a sense of high-level affective or perceptive

Modifying my original statement, development might be described as "an
elaboration of existing music in the creation of new process that
increases a sense of directional movement.


-- eliot

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