Musikens rum: metaforer, ritualer, institutioner: en kulturanalytisk studie av arkitektur i och omkring musik
Doktorsavhandling, 1995

At the intersection of architecture and musicology, with perspectives mainly of phenomenology and cultural studies, the dissertation explores relationships between music and architecture in reference to form and to the concert situation. Since the 18th Century, accelerating with the introduction of mass media, music has developed its own spatial qualities, independent of physical space. This process concurs with a strong ritualization of the musical performance, emphasizing the concert hall. The polarity between these two spatial expressions opens unto three main themes: 1. Analogies of form between music and architecture are studied in a historical overview and in three analyzed cases. Direct homologies are found between the Concert House of Gothenburg and W. A. Mozart's Symphony no. 35. Elements of city space are applied to F. Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. 66, thus exploring the explicit and implicit spatialization of the music. Traces of musical inspiration in architecture is investigated through Steven Holl's Texas Stretto House and B. Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta, where many formal analogies and corresponding time-space structures can be found. 2. Altes and Neues Gewandhaus in Leipzig are analyzed as examples of the development of a bourgeoise ritual. The Concert House of Gothenburg is analyzed as ritual space, and compared to two rock arenas - Scandinavium in Gothenburg, and Globen in Stockholm. The analysis shows different spatial sequences for the transformation from everyday life to the ritual state of performance, different relationships between performers and audience, and between architectural space, scenography, and musical space. 3. The influence of architecture in the manifestation, preservation and change of a music culture is discussed in relation to the institutionalization process. Seven examples of contemporary "concert institutions" are analyzed: an anarchistic punk house, a record shop, and avant garde stage, a concert- and conference centre, a rock club and two schools of music. The issue of institutionalization leads to examples of unorthodox concert situations, which raises questions of architecture as scenography, of musical connotations to architectural space, of the dissolution of the boundaries between physical and virtual space, and back to the questions of homologies between music and architecture.

architecture and music

musical space

institutionalization of music


concert hall

concert ritual


Catharina Dyrssen

Institutionen för arkitektur





Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 1127

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