Uni, irrallisuus ja huimaus: Couperinin musiikin eleet uudessa esityskontekstissa


  • Assi Karttunen


This article describes the ways musical gestures that are related to sleep, detachment and dizziness are transformed into a new sociocultural context.

According to the definition by Rolf Inge Godøy and Marc Leman (eds. 2010,13), musical gesture refers to musically related movement implying both the physical displacement of an object in a place and the mental activation of an experience. Gestures exist in the musical notation and in its live performance, and therefore they communicate the shared, pre-conceptual layers of experience.

The fundamental questions in my research project were: What material qualities the Chapel of Silence (the particular place of performance) provided to a context for a piece of (so-called) early music? What kind of musical gestures did I inevitably embody by playing Les Pavots, a harpsichord piece composed by François Couperin? Furthermore, in what ways did these bodily gestures communicate in the chosen contemporary performance context?

In order to achieve understanding of the new performing context and its performativity, I applied the theory of orientational metaphors to musical gestures. In line with Mark Johnson and George Lakoff (1980), the orientational metaphors speak to our mind-body by "organizing the whole systems of concepts in respect to one another" exactly like the musical gestures of sleep, detachment and dizziness.

My research included three readings. In the first reading I searched for musical-rhetorical sources relevant for the particular piece of music by asking, what kind of horizons of expectations Les Pavots created at the time it was composed. My second reading referred to the actual rehearsal period and related findings. In the third reading I examined the new performing context of the Chapel of Silence at the centre of Helsinki.






Karttunen, A. (2020). Uni, irrallisuus ja huimaus: Couperinin musiikin eleet uudessa esityskontekstissa. Musiikki, 46(4), 33–54. Noudettu osoitteesta https://musiikki.journal.fi/article/view/97153