research / TSUs

Lucie Prod’homme

Temporal Semiotic Units (TSUs)

From 1996 to 2008, Lucie Prod’home was a member of the research team at the MIM (Music and Technology research lab) in Marseille, working to create a new tool of musical analysis (temporal semiotic units / TSUs) under research team leader, F. Delalande.

This research program was undertaken in order to address issues raised by composers and teachers regarding reactions to contemporary music in the wider, non-specialized public, as well as difficulties experienced when analysing music for which the standard and traditional criteria of pitch, note length and instrumental timbre have little or no relevance – in particular electroacoustic music.

The starting point chosen by the research team was that of temporality – their premise being that musical segments actually acquire meaning through their temporal organisation.

After several years of research, the team compiled a body of 19 prototype units (TSUs).

TSU related activities

Music analysis and collective listening sessions – 1996 to 2008

Head of the « department of pedagogy » at the MIM, organisation of educational and training courses on TSUs – 1998 to 2008

Supervisor of courses for various training organisations, presenting TSUs for teachers and musicians.

Research and trials of different educational applications of TSUs amongst children and adults studying music theory and electroacoustic music at all levels.

Fabrication of several hundred TSUs for a research program carried out by the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at the CNRS (National Centre of Scientific Research), department of language and music, led by Mireille Besson -  2007

Head of TSU games creation (on Cédérom – MIM / National education / Cosa mentale) – 2002

Examples of TSU teaching 

Music theory teacher training conference – “Presentation of TSUs and analysis of the contemporary and electroacoustic repertoire” - Saint Maur, 26-27 October, 2008

School teacher training conference: “Analysing in TSUs” for music teachers in schools in the educational authority of Montpellier – in collaboration with Francois Delalande, DEFPEN / MIM, 11-12 January 2007

CNFPT (local civil service) of La Garde: “Analysis of contemporary scores” – December 2005

DIFOR (teacher training) Aix-Marseille board of education / MIM: “ TSUs an an analytical tool ” – January 2005

CESMD (higher musical education establishment) Charente Poitou: “TSUs as a new key to listening” – Poitiers, 2004

Cité de la Musique, Marseille / MIM - Teacher training conferences:

“Educational applications of TSUs” – September 1999 and 2000

“TSUs; a new tool for musical analysis” – September 1998