Une ontologie du quatuor à cordes : philosophie de la musique pour quatre instrumentistes

Abstract : The aim of this thesis is to build an ontology of the string quartet. The designation ‘string quartet’ can refer to three different meanings: a group of four musical instruments (formation), a genre, or a group of four musicians who play together. In musicology, a string quartet is distinguished by the homogeneity of the timbres, the individuality of voices, the quaternity and the specific dialogism of the voices. This work proposes to describe these three semantic levels and their essential characteristics, hence a wide selected corpus: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Reicha, Bartók, Schönberg, Feldman, F.Baschet amongst others. The first part consists of an ontology of the instrument formation and shows that a quartet is a “structure of performing means” which became autonomous with regard to the “pure structure” as defined by Jerrold Levinson. From that point of view, the string quartet is a reliable paradigm to think of the birth of other formations and their historical developments. The second part consists in constructing an ontology of the genre and demonstrates that the historical evolution of the string quartet is not paradigmatic but exemplary; and that its development is determined by a balance between plasticity and crystallisation. The final part examines the ontological limits of the string quartet: on the one hand, the timbre, and on the other, the musicians’ bodies through specific physical gestures. This thesis, therefore, aims to develop an ontological system that is characterised by its different essential elements, its specific rules (plasticity versus crystallisation), and its limits. These philosophical analyses not only relate to existing musicological research, but also involve a consideration of dance performance, film and various other artistic works.
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Camille Prost. Une ontologie du quatuor à cordes : philosophie de la musique pour quatre instrumentistes. Musique, musicologie et arts de la scène. Université Charles de Gaulle - Lille III, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014LIL30058⟩. ⟨tel-01176384⟩

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