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The role of symbolism as a vehicle of identity in the music of Mesías Maiguashca

El Oro, Op.31, for flute, cello, narrator and magnetic tape, (1992).

Jorge Gregorio García Moncada

2013-07-18 / Revista Acontratiempo / N° 21

The role of symbolism as a vehicle of identity in the music of Mesías Maiguashca
El Oro, Op.31, for flute, cello, narrator and magnetic tape, (1992).

Jorge Gregorio García Moncada

...Estaban como un hombre desesperado, tonto, loco.
Perdido el juicio con la codicia de oro y plata. A veces no comía, con el pensamiento de oro y plata.
A veces tenía gran fiesta, pareciendo que todo era oro y plata
Felipe Guamán Pona de Ayala (1536-1616)1


Ever since music has been taken as a suitable subject for analysis and reflection throughout the history of mankind, theorists have always taken into account not only those technical factors that keep together the structure of the piece, but also the [eventual] social function and meaning this manifestation has had within its society. Several theoreticians throughout history have documented in their own contexts what we now have as the basis of our western musical culture and therefore heritage. The works developed by the most significant [Western] names such as Plato, Boethious, Rameau, or Bartók, for example, amply document this phenomenon.

Nevertheless, it was not until the first decades of twentieth century that music acquired a particular special emphasis by composers on the rationalization of structural processes within the composition exercise. The noticeable influence generated by this attitude triggered within a vast number of composers a  general change of stream which was  reflected in a detriment in the  relationship between  the  object of art (music  piece in the context)  and  the  public, transforming music composition  into an  independent  self-contained  object  regardless of  its connection to the community. This paper analyses, from this perspective, the relation between the inner language of the piece and its eventual link to the public, taking as point of reference a work by Ecuadorian composer Mesías Maiguashca. In saying this, an emphasis will be placed on the detection, analysis and further discussion of the types of symbols used as a reference point and the way they function as codes and agents for cultural transmission. The aesthetic characteristics of these symbols will be analyzed not only in terms of musical structural factors, but also the nature of the relationship between this object and its eventual transformation into a cultural vehicle will be addressed.

Music in Society

Functional analysis of musical structure cannot be detached from structural analysis of its social function: the function  of  tones  in  relation  to  each other cannot be explained adequately as part of a closed system without reference to the structures of the sociocultural system of which the musical system is a part, and to the biological system to which all music makers belong [...] If some music can be analyzed and understood as tonal expression of human experience in the context of different kinds of social and cultural organization, I see no reason why all music should not be analyzed in the
same way

Music, understood as one of the most important manifestations of human culture throughout history, has usually been considered by different cultures as emblematic portrayals of establishment communities sharing various kinds of extra-musical interests. To extend this idea, we propose here understanding music as portrayals of cultural signs, in this case artistic ones, although it has to be taken into account that this model/concept of art dramatically changes between societies. As Nattiez indicates, There is no limit to the number of the genre of variables that might intervene in a definition of the musical. [...] music is a total social fact [fait social total] whose definition varies according to era and culture3. Arguably, writing from a Western perspective about art can easily lead to the common mistake of assuming a [narrow] point of view of art as a universal language. In this sense it is normal to see specialists discussing about arts in general and its meanings in a given society, especially in Western culture. Their analysis usually do not take in consideration the fact that art as a concept is a Western conception and, although certain analogous figures can be found around the globe, its misconception constitutes one of the most common drawbacks in issue. As stated above  by  Blacking, depending on the function within its society assumed by the manifestation issuer[artist in our terms], this concept of work of artcan assume dramatically different shapes. Musicologist Timothy Rice, in his paper entitled Reflections on Music and Meaning, reminds the reader of the case of the Navajo community in the United States of America, which uses music not  as an entertainment apparatus, but as a medicine tool, a form of therapy4. Parallel to this can be perceived the concept of the Muslim communities where music is classified into musicaland non- musicalmanifestations. One has to remember that the Adhan(call to prayers) for example, does not function as entertainment.  Its  function  is  strictly  communicative;  the  codes  are  wholly unidirectional in  terms of  significance; there  is no place for  open  interpretation of  its meaning. With this in mind we are navigating the borders of art and communication, defined solely by the role undertaken by its community. It must be clear that the values that characterize and give validation to a piece of work are modeled and administered by its society.

Contemporary art music in Latin America

It has never been considered a taboo in modern Latin American society to recognize that our perception of self-identity has been dramatically conditioned by the process of civilization imposed by the European colonization. More than five centuries have passed since the New World felt the marauding arrival of the ambassadors of greed on the coasts of Guanahani, an island belonging to what nowadays is recognized as the sovereign country of El Salvador. After several decades of affliction and struggle, there are just small portions of land currently occupied by these nations. Two major foreign powers still have their flags flying above this terrain. Others, once their imperialist needs were fulfilled, have returned home with their coffers full not only of natural resources, but also with the stolen memory of the conquered civilizations.

Following a generic panoramic view of the current aesthetic proposals of a certain group of Latin American academic composers, it is easy to perceive the impact that those memories have had on their musical output. Timbres, melodic fragments, the use of indigenous languages, and so on, are intermingled in the common necessity of searching for a different voice. In his influential text

Conversaciones sobre música, cultura e identidad5, Coriún Aharonían (b. 1940, Montevideo), one of the most prolific composers and researchers of Latin American new music, reflects on the situation of the theatre and its relation to Latin America, when he addresses the concept of universality in the arts by stating that, from his point of view, …cultural universality was invented in order to impose the control of the bourgeoise Western Europe over the rest of the world6. His position is settled in the idea that it is precisely through the imposition of  its cultural models that imperialism unifies its control over the marginal communities.

It is surprising to  realize to what extent we are accustomed to imperialism by taking as main cultural bastions models like classical music, rock, classical theatre, christianity, and so on, which are actually entirely constructed from European codes and behavior.7 Therefore, the sympathetic reaction of some musical communities like those cited above, should not be interpreted then as simple appliances of externally imposed structures per se, but rather as solid attempts from the humanities community to develop its own aesthetic and technical approaches to artistic expression.

Bolivian composer Cergio Prudencio (b. 1955, La Paz), addresses this issue by stating that there is a common lack of sensibility and awareness of local cultural heritage by the general South American composition community, which is demonstrated by their tendency to unsuccessfully replicate first
world standards in music creation8.

Within this context we must first deal with the artistic positions developed by a group of composers interested in the development of a nationalist/regionalist creative position within a given group of composers categorized by its eclectic creative spirit. In the modern Latin American context, focal points of this activity can be traced to countries such as in México, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Argentina, amongst others. It is important to consider that although there are tangential points of agreement within their musical and extra-musical positions, such as political, cultural or regional issues (amongst others) a real common movement covering these art forms cannot be identified. The reason for adopting this type of behavior could be found within the roots of the reactionary  qualities  of  their  positions,  binding  them  together  in  what  could  be,  given  their rhetorical  interests,  understood  as  an  auto-segregated  community  of  composers  and theoreticians, not  only  taking  into  account  the  characteristics  of  their  musical  output  but  also their analytical/ critical writings as well.

Outstanding names in the field like Coriún Aharonián, Graciela Paraskevaídis (b. 1940, Buenos Aires),  Cergio  Prudencio  (b.  1955,  La  Paz),  Javier  Álvarez  (b.  1956,  Mexico  City), Alejandro Iglesias Rossi (b. 1960, Buenos Aires) or Jesús Pinzón Urrea (b. 1928, Bucaramanga), isolated but significant cases nonetheless, share a common ground in this regard. Special attention is placed on the case of Ecuadorian born composer Mesías Maiguashca (b. 1938, Quito) one of the current most internationally recognized figures of academic new music.

His role as one of the leading composers of his generation cannot be underestimated given his constant appearances in the most important scenarios around the world, which count international festivals such as the Sommernachtmusik in Oeldorf, the CERM Festival in Metz, The Darmstadt New Music Courses, at the IRCAM in Paris, France and at he ZKM in Karlsruhe, between others. The composer has been one of the most influential composition professors for new generations, teaching in important centres such as the Musikhochschule of Freiburg, Germany, Universidad de los Andes at Bogotá, Colombia, or IRCAM in Paris,  France,  and  other  significant  centres  in  cities  like  Metz,  Stuttgart,  Basel,  Sofía,  Quito, Cuenca, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Barcelona and Seoul9. Given his artistic relevance, as well as taking into account his musical characteristics involving cultural issues, a piece of his authorship has been chosen as a referential point for this analysis.

The work

El Oro is a piece calling to be performed by an ensemble conformed by a flute, a violoncello, a narrator and tape (pre-recorded electroacoustic sounds). [The work] is a funeral chant written in 1992 by Maiguashca on behalf of the official fifth centenary of the discovery of America, an elegy for the cultural loss10. The piece forms part of the cycle called Reading Castañeda, a group of works composed in the decade of the 1980„s and later published by the label Wergo in CD audio format. These pieces, although sharing an inspirational common ground, the first five books written by Carlos Castañeda (1925 - 1998), a Peruvian anthropologist who wrote several texts about the shamanism performed by the Yaqui Indians in México, are not musicalizations of the text as it is in the case of programmatic music. They are compositions sharing both technical and aesthetic characteristics as a group. It is important to point out the variety of the instrumental setups of the pieces within this cycle, which vary from pieces written for solo instrument, to pieces composed by what can be described as the acoustic sound object or Klangobjekt 11; other pieces are composed for mixed media ensembles (like El Oro) as well as totally acousmatic works. Nowadays commonly known as Electroacoustic Music, [acousmatic music] is a genre … in which electronic technology, now primarily computer-based, is used to access, generate, explore and configure sound materials, and in which loudspeakers are the prime medium of transmission12.

The base of the composition are four texts. The first one, in quechua language, is a fertility traditional prayer directed to Viracocha, the God of the Incas. The other three fragments are testimonies by Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala (1536 - 1616), a Peruvian mestizo who decades after the conquest wrote a report about these apocalyptic events (Nueva Crónica y Buen Gobierno). In this report, written in ancient spanish, Poma describes the conquer wars from the perspective of the indigenous people. After Poma, the [native] indians were totally astonished for the avidity for Gold and Silver of the Spaniards: for the indians, gold and silver had a ritual function without material value. These fragments describe the voracity of the outlanders, so fatal for the indians13.

The formal planning of the piece is directly related to the iterations of the text. Taking this subject as a primary factor, which is very clear given the unity of discourse and texture of the whole ensemble towards the live voice line, it can be stated that the piece is to be divided into a total of four different sections. The piece, in terms of its macro-form, tends to have the following shape14:

Imagen 1

The iterations of the text have a sound development in a linear way: every time the text is repeated, it is transformed by means of applying a sound filter. Maiguashca decides to use as a voice filter not highly sophisticated informatics algorithms [the composer is already well known for his mastery in this regard] but to implement rather quite a rudimentary element as a sound transformation filter: an Andinian Rondador.

Imagen 2

Fig. 1: Rondador.jpg, Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rondador.jpg Retrieved 30 Aug. 2010. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/08695.

A traditional [aerophone] panpipe of Ecuador, the instrument is made of cane, condor or vulture feathers. Highland Ecuadorian rodadors may have from eight to 43 tubes, and it is notable for its staggered tube-arrangement (not staircase-fashion) and for prayer’s propensity to sound two adjacent tubes simultaneously, at the ends of phrases15. The rondador can be understood as the Ecuadorian version of the Peruvian antara or Bolivian kena, with noticeable differences in its tuning as well as its limited but factual polyphonic performance possibilities.

The second reflexion on this developmental technique concerns the eventual extra-musical meanings in terms of audio-visual relation with the public. French musical semiotician Jean-Jaques Nattiez addresses Schaeffer‟s16 position regarding the subject by recalling the fact that Schaeffer, one of the fathers of the genre, never conceived electro-acoustic works as anything other than studies upon objects17.

This last statement highlights one of the main divergences between Maiguashca‟s position and the mainstream of current electroacoustic musical thought, in the sense that the composer certainly believes in the dramatic implications of source recognition as a principal means of expression. Having taken into account not only geographical but also important socio- historical implications, this might be one of the most important aspects of El Oro‟s musical discourse: it can be thought of as a „conditional piece‟ in the sense that it will only completely flourish if the receptor has an understanding of its unique codes by having been previously exposed within the cultural environment described by the author in timbral terms. In this sense, the sound object, by betraying the most important aspects of electroacoustic music - the irrelevant/secondary importance about the sound source in itself but concerning in exploiting its timbral and textural characteristics in different technical and aesthetic ways - constructs an entirely cultural discourse in itself when it enters in a discursive correlation between the work and the receptor. This is the most important aspect of the piece: this connection needed to bring out cultural significance to the sound object.

In very broad [and quite allegorical but technical] terms, the piece presents a constant type of sonority throughout its entire duration. It could represent what centuries ago Plato, considered throughout history as one of the most relevant antique sources in the filed, could have described as an ethos18 mode19 making allusion to sorrow and fear, symbolized by the whisper tone and the low dynamics used as main sonority throughout the whole piece. The whisper, icon representing [colonial] fear and extinction over the natives in this context, states as a remembrance for what once fulfilled the role of semantic spoken language getting transformed into music throughout timbral means. An individual reading of this metaphor could be interpreted as one of the symptoms of acculturation suffered by the natives [or the few of them who survived the brutal slaughter of colonialism]; in this sense, the indigenous, by loosing their voice, loose their language, and therefore, finished by loosing their memory. The composition is an elegy: at the same time that the reciter declaims a traditional fertility prayer, he is taking back death from the conqueror20.

This is the role not only of the rondador as a sound filter technique but also the special articulation in the other two instruments. As can be seen throughout the score, they do not carry out the traditional function of accompaniment; the composer clearly chooses that material in order to provide a common ground sonority for the whole ensemble by intermingle similar aural material in order to achieve a unitarian timbral texture. The flute‟s material at the beginning of the piece is placed over the base-middle register of the instrument, presenting a significant limitation over the number of events within the section. The sound events are articulated and developed with special lip technique treatments. Simultaneously, a special color is achieved by applying a particular articulation and movement over the bow of the cello. This is obtained by moving the bow lengthwise the string from a sul ponticello21 position upwards or downwards applying soft dynamics as specified in the score. Twenty seconds later the voice of the narrator is presented for the first time stating the pre-columbian Kichua language texts unmodified (another unmistakable cultural discursive factor). Furthermore, it is not but until the third system (sec. 41) that an actual pitched note in heard in the flute, emphasized by its high position within the tessitura22 of the instrument. From this point on, it can be stated that the closer an event gets to be generated as a tempered pitch in the flute, the higher in its tessitura will be positioned. At the end of this first page there is the introduction of another main characteristic of the piece: the utilization of recurrent microtonal material as well as very subtle changes of color within a note by change of fingering. Another important material relevant to point out given its recurrence, found in the second page of the score, is the realization of a single melodic line build upon a multiphonic23 fingering structure in the flute. At this stage of the analysis it is easy to appreciate the special emphasis placed by the composer in the timbral and textural elements, giving clear evidence about the electroacoustic compositional nature of thought of the composer‟s discourse.

Later on, in system number six (min 1:50), an important event can be found that will have noticeable micro-formal implications in terms of segmentation in this first section: the entrance of the tape part. It is important to point out that although this is clear in the paper, the relevant perception will be in aural terms, given the fact that this is the first time that all the electronic sound sources are active, giving the sensation of sound immersion to the audience who is cited in the middle of this peripheral acoustic framework specially designed for the piece24.

It should be of special attention the fact that the text used in the tape part is not Kichua but ancient Spanish (the texts by Poma de Ayala previously claimed by Solare‟s paper Reading Maiguashca). The interesting fact here lies not only in the active counterpoint structure generated by the simultaneity of the voices but, the superimposed polyglot structure generated, which may recall to certain extent those types of structures found in late European Middle Ages - early Renaissance in the genre known as bilingual double motet, where a combination of text in both, Latin and French are to be found in simultaneous voices within a piece25. These similarities may represent a conscious instance of another iconic element presented by the composer symbolizing, in this case, the European presence. Nevertheless, if this were true, an icon representing Spain would have been more accurate, for what should be thought is that this relationship may not be a conscious part of the discursive design.

The economy policy in quantitative terms over the material that constitutes this first section can be confirmed by performing a simple calculation not only about the total of gestures but also by tracking its instances of reappearance for development. Marked as g.x26 in the score, there can be located eight different sound objects in the first section along their correspondent developmental reiterations. The following table presents a summary of the events and its developmental iterations in the first section:

Imagen 3

Given the relative expanded time lapse of duration of this section (3:33), it can be can confirmed the economy of resources chosen by the composer. Thirty seven events in 3:33 mins. averages 5.7 secs per object, representing a significant long developmental time length per event. This fact, adding the close relationship of the constituent characteristics in holistic terms of the components assures an aural perception of the strong structural sense of the piece.

An important aspect that characterizes [and confirms] the entrance of the second section is the progressive mutation of the material already presented into the new material through very subtle means. By this way it can be appreciated how, for example in page five, second system in the violoncello part, by addition of the saltando27 articulation over the string in what previously could have been perceived as the g.5 object, it creates such a distinctive rhythmical pattern that it allows the sonority to assume its mutation into the what here has been called the g.11 sound object. The embodiments of the new objects are confirmed by developmental iteration throughout the duration of the section. The mutations correspond as follows:

  • g.5 transformed into g.8 by adding the double string gesture (pg. 3 & 4, 3rd and 1st system, cello part).
  • g.2 transformed into g.9 by the addition of the multiphonic technique (p. 4, flute part, 3rd system).
  • g.2 transformed into g.10 by addition of harmonic (p. 5, violoncello part, 1st system).
  • g.2 transformed into g.11 by addition of flatterzunge28 (flutter-tonging), (p. 5, flute part, 2nd system).
  • g.5 transformed into g.12 (explained above), (p. 5, cello part, 2nd system).

These gestures intermingle with the precedent ones maintaining by this way the consistency of the general sonority of the piece. This table summarizes the material in this second section:

Imagen 4

From the information of the chart above it can be inferred a similar musical behavior in the case only the total of events are taken into account. Nevertheless, there are two major factor that refute this:

  • The quantities of the developmental iterations substantially vary.
  • As as can be appreciated in the score, the distribution of the objects in the time lapse of this section is uneven compared with the preceding one; as a consequence, there is a considerable number of silences between objects which were absent in the previous section.

The following table displays the information regarding the third section:

Imagen 5

The behavior of this section, as exposed by the figure, centers its activity towards the development of the g.4 object type, emphasizing in g.2 and g.12 as well. The comportment of the material in the time lapse is uneven as well. As can be seen in the score, this section is seen as being divided into two internal sections: from system 21 to 27, showing a compressed, dense main texture while, from system 28 to 30 (p. 10), the texture tends to show a dissemination of its contents resulting in a crystal-like transparent texture. Tape material is absent here.

Imagen 6

The table above summarizes the last section of the piece. The numbers in red (g.13-15) make reference to three major and contrasting objects which take an unusual extended time length to get developed given their discursive importance (p. 11, systems 2 & 3 and p. 12, 1st system). The contrast goes far beyond the durational issue. As seen in the score, all the instrumental lines acquire strict rhythmic notation for the first time. This rhythm seems to be totally influenced by the text the instrumentalists are to be singing. It can easily be assumed that these rhythmic patterns are the actual rendering notation of the diction of the texts, but this can only be confirmed with the proper knowledge about this particular ancient language.

The following chart summarizes all the information given above in a convenient way:

Imagen 7

It can be appreciated from the chart the constant rise in the processing of the live recited voice, while the other factors tend to present a stable behavior throughout the duration of the piece. The other significant variant is the presentation of new material (yellow data line) within each section, which, as discussed above, is very limited given the consistency nature of the compositional concept itself.


Maiguashca‟s artistic position should be taken into special consideration, since it represents an exceptional valid attempt to [re]construct that bridge broken long ago between the artistic work and the listener. Recently, the position of structuralist composers like Boulez (b. 1925), Varèse (1883 - 1965) or even the multifaceted Stravinsky (1882 - 1971) arrived at a common conclusion about the powerless expressive nature of music. A famous statement by the latter proclaims music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all... expression has never been an inherent property of music29. Nevertheless, contemporary theorists, especially from the area of ethnic studies, tend to have converse attitudes. Ethnomusicologist Timothy Rice, for example, points out in this regard that there can indeed be meaning in music in different ways, one of which concerns the correlation between sign and signifier in terms of building sound icons, defining by this means actual extra-musical relationships when the codes are available30.

Although it cannot be expressed as a generalization, given the increasing cases of these type of interests within Latin American composers since some decades ago, it can be inferred that there is no coincidence in assuming a general establishment of a division between the European post- serialism position and Latin American approximation to music thinking from the perspective of the composer. Aharonián contemplates the way in which music has been transmitted to us in terms of education within our local conservatoires and music schools in Latin America. An important point is the fact that there has always been a tendency from our educators to make us believe that music is not related to anything but music itself31. This, of course, transcends the limits of music composition influencing the whole system of what our micro-musical society tends to fashionably call nowadays „academic music‟. This will include, of course performers as well as theoreticians. Is the musician in contemporary life so blindly centered in his inner world that he no longer belongs to real society? Does the current traditional European music model still have a realistic future in our contemporary local society? Furthermore, does the type of artistic proposals like the one previously analyzed genuinely respond to the autochthonous question? As a matter of fact, the question can be extended in order to incorporate the problematic of its eventual pertinence within the globalization type of scenario in which art [as well as life in general] relies in present times.

Furthermore, it should not be to be forgotten that cultural expressions usually have a feedback function within society, in the sense that a work of art takes from its surroundings meaningful cultural elements transforming their reality into abstract significance and by this means permeating the structure of the piece with actual meaning which eventually enters in dialog with its community by sharing common codes; there is a number of composers that determine their own creative work in terms of searching within their societies cultural aspects in order to codify them within their compositional structures32. The compositional virtuosity then changes in scope; it is not longer anymore about mechanic technical skill or craftsmanship, but about communication. Nevertheless, a dangerous path opens in front of the composer when this premise is so prominent that it eclipses the fact that there is a necessity of a solid technical compositional development inherited in the process of creation. In order to cross this torrential river successfully, a proper strong vessel has to be build in such a technical manner that not only a country flag will be devised in the horizon. The creation of a new language [either personal or as an emergent common regional practice] has to be supported over firm structural artistic constructions. This is what Maiguasha‟s El Oro might represent in this regard: an artistic work well supported in its technical approach not only in terms of its structure but also in the way the composition reflects a historical / cultural position based on previous knowledge and research in the inherited cultural field.


Primary sources

MAIGUASHCA, MESIAS Reading Castañeda; El Oro. [Wergo, 2053-2, 1998].

MAIGUASHCA, MESIAS. El Oro, 1992. [Manuscript, unpublished to present date, composer catalog number TM3040E].

MAIGUASHCA, MESIAS. Bio. Retrieved 28 Aug. 2010 http://www.maiguashca.de/index.html

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AHARONIÁN, CORIÚN. Conversaciones sobre música, cultura e identidad. Tacuabé, Montevideo. 2005.

BÉHAGUE, GERARD. AND SCHECHTER, JOHN M. "Ecuador." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 30 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/08534 .

BLACKING, JOHN. How Musical is the Man? University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1973. CAMPBELL, MURRAY. „Multiphonics.‟ Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 30 Aug. 2010 .

EMMERSON, SIMON. AND SMALLEY, DENNIS. „Electro-acoustic music‟. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 28 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/08695 .

JANDER, OWEN. „Tessitura.‟ Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 29 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/27741 .

KENNEDY, MICHAEL (Ed.) „Sul Ponticello‟. The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. rev. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 30 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t237/e9946 .

MILSOM, DAVID. „sautillé.‟ The Oxford Companion to Music. Ed. Alison Latham. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 29 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t114/e5908 .

NATTIEZ, JEAN-JACQUES. Music and Discourse, Toward a Semiology of Music. Princeton Univesity Press, New Jersey, 1990.

NATTIEZ, JEAN-JAQUES AND ELLIS, KATHERINE. Reflections on the development of Semiology in Music. In: Music Analysis, Vol. 8, No. 1/2, Blackwell publishing (1989), pp. 21-25.

PRUDENCIO, CERGIO. Parrot in the Garden: The situation of the composer in Latin America. Retrieved 30 Aug. 2010 http://www.latinoamerica-musica.net/ , 1993. [Published under: The situation of the composer in Latin America, in: World New Music Magazine, No.4, Köln, x-1994].

RICE, TIMOTHY. Reflections on Music and Meaning: Metaphor, Signification and Control in the Bulgarian Case. In: British Journal of Ethnomusicology, Vol. 10, No. 1, Music and Meaning, 2001, pp. 19-38.

SANDERS, ERNEST et al. „Motet.‟ Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 30 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/40086 .

SOLARE, JUAN MARÍA. Reading Maiguashca. Program notes to the concert “Auditorio 500” held at the Nuevo Auditorio Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Retrieved 20 March 2006. Centro para la difusión de la música contemporánea, Madrid, Spain. http://www.maiguashca.de/t- solare.pdf .

1 …They were like desperate men, fool, crazy. Lost [is] all reason with the greed for gold and silver. Sometimes they did not eat, with the thought of gold and silver. Sometimes [they] had great festivity, as if everything was gold and silver. Transcription by Jorge García. Translator note: This text corresponds to the original first body of text on which the work was based.

2 J. Blacking, How Musical is the Man? University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1973, pp. 30-31

3 J.J. Nattiez, Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music. Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1990, p. 42.

4 T. Rice, „Reflections on Music and Meaning: Metaphor, Signification and Control in the Bulgarian Case‟, British Journal of Ethnomusicology, Vol. 10, no. 1, 2001, pp. 19-38.

5 C. Aharonián, Conversaciones sobre música, cultura e identidad. Tacuabé, Montevideo. 2005, p. 21. Transcription by J. García.

6 C. Aharonián, ibid. Trans. J. García.

7 C. Aharonián, ibid. Trans. J. García.

8 C. Prudencio, Parrot in the Garden: The situation of the composer in Latin America. Retrieved 30 Aug. 2010 http://www.latinoamerica-musica.net/ 1993.

9 M. Maiguashca, Bio. Retrieved 29 August 2010. http://www.maiguashca.de/index.html

10 J. M. Solare, „Reading Maiguashca. Program notes to the concert “Auditorio 500” held at the Nuevo Auditorio Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 20 March 2006. Centro para la difusión de la música contemporánea, Madrid, España‟, p. 11. Retrieved 29 August 2010 . Trans. J. García.

11 Klangobjekt: an experimental acoustic sound installation developed by the composer which serves not only as a liveinstrument but also as source of sounds to be processed electronically both, in real time as well as in the studio.

12 S. Emmerson and D. Smalley, "Electro-acoustic music." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 28 Aug.

13 Solare, op.cit, p.10.

14 See section markings in score (appendix)

15 G. Béhague and J.M. Schechter. "Ecuador." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 30 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/08534.

16 Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995), French composer and sound engineer, developed the genre known as musique concrète, which settles its basis in the process of recording and further manipulation of the sound material in order to reproduce it through loudspeakers (see „acousmatique musique‟ in p. 5).

17 Nattiez. op. cit., p. 100.

18 Ethos: „In the theory of the ancient Greek music, ethos reefer to the character conveyed by an entire piece of music or by one of its component parts [...]‟. Mathiesen, Thomas. "ethos." The Oxford Companion to Music. Ed. Alison Latham. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 2 Sep. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t114/e2348.

19 A [musical] mode, in general terms, may be understood as a codified hierarchical system, usually within a pre-stablished musical community, ruling the behavior of the elements normally in terms of tension-relaxation within the musical discourse.

20 M. Maiguashca, interview cited in Solare, op. cit., p. 11.

21 Sul ponticello: „On the bridge. Instruction to the player of the violin, viola, violoncello and double bass that he is to take the bow as near as possible to the bridge to produce a rather metallic but mysterious sound-effect‟. "Sul Ponticello." The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. rev. Ed. Michael Kennedy. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 29 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t237/e9946.

22 Tessitura: „A term used to describe the part of a vocal (or less often instrumental) compass in which a piece of music lies whether high or low, etc. [...]‟. Jander, Owen. "Tessitura." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 29 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/ music/27741.

23 Mutiphonic: Sounds generated by a normally monophonic instrument in which two or more pitches can be heard simultaneously. CAMPBELL, MURRAY. „Multiphonics.‟ Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 30 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/43536.

24 Refer to appendix, score, glossary, stage set up, page 1.

25 Ernest H. Sanders, et al. "Motet." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieve 30 Aug. 2010 http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/40086.

26 “g.x” states as gesture x. Note: The numeric classification system proposed here follows a chronological order of appearance. It does not imply any other characteristics but the order of disposition of presentation of the sound objects within the musical discourse

27 Saltando: A short bowstroke played wit the middle of the bow so that it bounces slightly. It is generated by a separate wrist movement for each note - unlike the jetè or ricochet strokes, in which the bow, once set in motion, bounces naturally. Milsom, David. „sautillé.‟ The Oxford Companion to Music. Ed. Alison Latham. Oxford Music

28 Flatterzunge (ger.) Flutter-tonguing: A type of tonguing demanded by some 20th-century composers in which the instrumentalist rolls the letter ‘r’ on the tip of his tongue while playing. The technique is particularly effective on the flute, but it is also applied to various other wind instruments. "Flutter-tonguing." In Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/mu7sic/09904 (accessed August 27, 2010).

29 I. Stravinsky, An Autobiography. Norton, New York, 1936 cited on J. J. Nattiez and K. Ellis, Reflexions on the development of Semiology of Music, Music Analysis, Vol. 8, no 1/2 March-July 1989, p. 26.

30 Rice, op. cit., p. 30.

31 Aharonián, op. cit., pp. 31-32.

32 For examples please refer to the composers previously mentioned in p. 3 of this paper.


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