ISSN 2605-2318


Entrevista con Till Knipper que impartirá el Seminario Microtonalidad: conceptos, interpretación y percepción


Entrevista con el musicólogo. Los próximos días 23 y 24 de Abril del 2016 el musicólogo Till Knipper, impartirá un seminario sobre música contemporánea en el Centro Superior KATARINA GURSKA, titulado Microtonalidad: conceptos, interpretación y percepción. Una gran oportunidad para trabajar con uno de las mejores especialistas en la materia. Es uno de los diez seminarios que forman parte del Máster de Composición Instrumental Contemporánea. Abierto el plazo de inscripción.

1. Ruth Prieto: On April 23 and 24, you will be giving one of the 10 seminars organised in Madrid by the Katarina Gurska Centre on the subject of contemporary instrumental composition. What can you tell us about this initiative?

Till Knipper: Last year this initiative took place for the first time and I was invited to teach there. It seems to me that it worked very well, taking place on long week-ends with different international tutors. The students told me that they appreciated the input from the seminars each with very divers focus. I appreciated the very open minded and sometimes controversial discussions, continuing over lunch and at the bar at night. Still, more than half a year later, it is nice to stay in touch with some of the former students and receive their most recent scores.

2. R.P.: As a musicologist taking part in this seminars you will be introduced to the matter of microtonality. What can you tell us about that? 

Till Knipper: Microtonality is a technical term invented in the 1950s to describe music not using the standard “piano” tuning. Today tuning systems have become part of the (academic) composition world-wide. This subject applies to questions on instruments, notation, abilities to learn, perform and perceive uncommon interval relationships etc. Typical esthetical starting-points are references to traditional non-European scales, acoustical approaches (e. g. spectralism), mathematical approaches, timbre effects etc. Tuning systems are as fundamental to the sensation of music as rhythm, melody, and harmony.
3. R.P.: What new perspectives do you hope that participants in the course will learn?

Till Knipper: Musical appearance is complex. This means that using uncommon tuning systems implies influences on all other aspects of music, especially regarding the instrument, timbre, timing/tempo, harmony, cognitive and physiological aspects. Students will learn about different modern composers, the beauty of just intervals and their limits. Students can learn about the many aspects and potential beauties different tunings offer and at the same time be sceptical towards a naïve approach: it is so easy to write microtons in a score – but can we expect a performer to realize them precisely? How is the result perceived? The presented state of research on musical intonation provides some answers. These questions are relevant to composers, to a string quartet performing Beethoven as well as to a choir singing music by Gesualdo.   
4. R.P.: What can a musicologist/researcher bring to a composer?

Till Knipper: Good question! It is the composer who cooks all those delicious meals for us. Generally speaking, we all think about music: musicologists, music theorists, and composers have a considerable common ground, however, with different focuses. Since the 1950s scientific models and acoustical research have widely inspired composers to new, often microtonal pathways. As a musicologist I can use tools such as software to visualize and analyse intonation patterns that helps perceiving the micro-cosmos of sound. As I already said: pitch matters are very complex. Getting to know the current state of research can help to learn the limits what we can expect from a performer. What does it mean when we perceive the pitches as “in tune” or “out of tune”? Other questions raised also matter practically to musicians: How should a microtonal scordatura-tuning be realized on a string instrument? How does bowing influence the pitch of open strings? The scientist with his/her method (falsification) can promote a sceptical attitude preventing from very speculative theories. And this is important not only for musical matters. 
5. R.P.: How do you see the contemporary music scene today?

Till Knipper: After the early 20th century and the 1960s, Spain has been present on the international stage of contemporary music for several years again. Certain initiatives in the large centres of Spain are the state of the art, such as this program at Katharina Gurska in Madrid that has a much bigger impact than a week-ends seminar. The scene is growing, contemporary music is part of the repertoire of all internationally relevant orchestras from Venezuela to Japan. In Germany contemporary music has become present in many small cities and even villages, getting into close contact with curious people in all parts of the country, being part of musical programs for children; quarter-tonal clusters are found in film-scores to popular criminal films (e. g. “Tatort”) on public TV etc. Even in the very conservative area of opera we hardly find  houses in Germany that doesn’t put newly composed works onstage. The phenomena is taking its enduring place in the European, American and many Asian societies. Despite all optimism it is a shame to see how many composers, musicians and other actors of the contemporary music live under precarious conditions.
Microtonalidad: conceptos, interpretación y percepción
por Till Knipper
23 y 24 de Abril del 2016 en el Centro Superior KATARINA GURSKA

Informaciones Prácticas:
Microtonalidad: conceptos, interpretación y percepción
El seminario tendrá 12 horas de duración.
23 y 24 de abril del 2016
Precio por seminario para alumnos, ex-alumnos y profesores CSKG: 80€
Precio para público general: 120€ 
El seminario girará en torno a la Microtonalidad: conceptos, interpretación y percepción.
Tendrá lugar en la sede del CSKG de la Calle Sta. Engracia, 181.


Till Knipper

He studied in Hamburg and Salamanca history of music, systematic musicology, and philosophy, including one year (2001/02) at the Public University of Salamanca with a project on "Gerardo Gombau y las composiciones serialistas y electroacústicas de las años 1960 y 70 en Madrid“. 2007-2009 he was scientific assistent in the department of applied music theory at the University of Oldenburg. 2014 he finalized his PhD project started there about „Composition and Interpretation in the case of Klaus Huber: Case studies and experiments“, University of Oldenburg (Prof. Dr. Gunter Kreutz / Prof. Dr. Jörn Peter Hiekel). 2012-13 he was manager of the department „Atelier neue Musik“ at the University of arts Bremen, 2013-15, Promotion Manager of the publisher Ricordi Berlin/Universal Music Publishing Classical. Since September he is product manager and redactor of the journal „Neue Zeitschrift für Musik“ at Schott Music in Mainz. Further professional experiences include seminars at different universities and the Goethe-Institut Hamburg. Apart from free lance journalism he was 2004-2014 part of the production team at the festival of Donaueschingen.


El Centro Superior KATARINA GURSKA (CSKG) está llevando a cabo una serie de diez seminarios, junto a su actividad del Máster de Composición Instrumental Contemporánea (MCIC), que dieron comienzo la primera semana de febrero de este curso 2015-16. Estarán impartidos por profesores invitados de reconocido prestigio internacional en la escena musical y, aunque están dirigidos a compositores, intérpretes o cualquier persona interesada en la música de creación actual, son seminarios abiertos a todo aquel que quiera tomar parte en ellos. Estos seminarios estarán impartidos por 4 compositores, 3 intérpretes y 3 musicólogos. Los impartidos por compositores e intérpretes serán de 8 horas de duración, mientras que los impartidos por musicólogos serán de 12 horas. 

Precio por seminario para alumnos, ex-alumnos y profesores CSKG: 80€

Precio para público general: 120€ 

Por un lado, el impartido por compositores contará con la presencia de Beat Furrer, Pierluigi Billone, Chaya CzernowinyVoro García, quienes trabajarán en la introducción a su lenguaje y técnica musical. El de intérpretes estará impartido por el violista Christophe Desjardins, la fagotista Lorelei Dowling y el percusionista Christian Dierstein quienes incidirán en los recursos técnico-sonoros en la música contemporánea. Por último, el seminario impartido por musicólogos contará con Till Knipper que hablará sobre microtonalidad, José Luis Besada sobre formalización y modelización musical y Paulo de Assis sobre Arte Comprometido y Arte Puro.

Todos tendrán lugar en la sede del CSKG de la Calle Sta. Engracia, 181, de Madrid durante los fines de semana de 11 a 15h y 16:30 a 20:30 los sábados, y de 10 a 14h los domingos, siendo el calendario lectivo el siguiente:

6 de febrero: Chaya Czernowin

20 de febrero: Pierluigi Billone

12 y 13 de marzo: Paulo de Assis

2 y 3 de abril: José Luis Besada

23 y 24 de abril: Till Knipper

7 de mayo: Christian Dierstein

28 de mayo: Beat Furrer

11 de junio: Christophe Desjardins

2 de julio: Lorelei Dowling

9 y 10 de julio: Voro García

Destacamos ...

Este trabajo tiene la licencia CC BY-NC-SA 4.0