Dark sound : being and timbre in Gothic

van Elferen, Isabella (2017) Dark sound : being and timbre in Gothic. In: IGA Mexico 2017 : Gothic Traditions and Departures : 13th Biennial Conference of the International Gothic Association; 18-21 Jul 2017, Cholula, Mexico. (Unpublished)


In a music-aesthetic approach to Gothic based on Hans Gumbrecht’s notion of atmosphere and Jean-François Lyotard’s negotiation of the timbral sublime, my paper argues that timbre’s veiled vibrations are at the heart of Gothic darkness. Because the musicological and philosophical understanding of timbre remains largely mysterious, it does not just represent darkness: it also affords the shadows through which Gothic is defined and in which it hides.

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