When is music not music?
Presented by Professor Kevin Donnelly (University of Southampton)
When is music not music? This might be the start of a joke. An antecedent but with uncertain consequent. Film and other media music was regularly decried as something ‘less than music’ and perhaps still is in some quarters. I partially agree with the old reactionaries who declared it was ‘not music’. However, I would suggest to the contrary. That it is in fact ‘more than music’, indeed a different animal entirely.
This paper will engage with the notion of ‘Audiovision’ as something that transforms music and has its other components transformed by music. While Michel Chion (who coined the term, 1994) acknowledges this he still retains something of an ‘additive’ understanding of the two channels. Yet, rather than an additive process I would argue that this is a more profound process of genetic fusion, as attested to by ‘the McGurk Effect’ (2022).
Chion, Michel, Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen, translated by Claudia Gorbman (Columbia University Press, 1994).
Donnelly, K.J., The McGurk Universe: The Physiological and the Psychological in Audiovisual Culture (Palgrave, 2022).