Exploration MSS3 Fall 2021

Kristin Oretorp

Music & Architecture

We are surrounded by matter. We create architecture by deconstrucing and re-synthesizing matter, organising it in ways that create meaning to us. Originally to find appropriate shelter, but eventually also as an important means of expression.

We are surrounded by sound. Similar to architecture, we create music by synthesising and organising sounds in ways that create meaning. Storytelling, worshipping, political opposition, emotional processing – music as well is a powerful medium of expression.

There are similarities in the vocabulary used in both architecture and music. Concepts like rythm and harmony are central in both fields, but also words like volume, repetition, movement, ornamentation and sequences etc.

In both architecture and music, layers are used through the creative design process. From early sketches to technical drawings – or from early notations to finished musical scores.

Stan Allen elaborates on the similarities between the function of notation between architecture and allographic arts like music and poetry. Notations in both fields – drawings and note sheets – are abstract, and does not resemble the product of the notation. Nor can it control unpredictable and intangible factors that inevitably effects the product, like weather, shifting atmospheres, the skill of the producer or the character of the spectator/listener (2009, pp. 32-33).

Though the notation is essential to the production of a given musical performance or built architecture, it is not visible in the product itself. It is, rather, a means of creating a new reality, not formerly available (Allen, 2009, p. 34).

Shared vocabulary; layers; notation.