Flower World - Mundo Florido, vol. 3

Music Archaeology of the Americas - Arqueomusicología de las Américas

Arqueomusicología de las trompetas de caracol andinas de concha y cerámica: Distribución, organología y acústica

Alexander Herrera, Juan Pablo Espitia Hurtado, Jorge Gregorio García Moncada y Alejandro Morris

Desde los inicios de la arquitectura pública en los Andes los sonidos de las trompetas de caracol acompañaron ritos que reprodujeron el orden social. Este trabajo resume el estudio de más de 200 de estos potentes aerófonos, unos elaborados a partir de caracolas marinas, otros modelados en cerámica. El estudio incluye experimentos en la producción, ejecución y caracterización acústica de trompetas de especies de gasterópodos del Caribe (Strombus gigas y Turbinella angulata) y el Pacífico (Strombus galeatus, Strombus peruvianus, Malea ringens y Triplofusus princeps). A partir de grabaciones en cámara semianecoica se logró caracterizar los sonidos de cada especie utilizando los coeficientes espectrales de frecuencia Mel (MFCC). Durante su ejecución en ensambles se detectaron combinaciones de tonos que producen batidos; además se percibieron tonos de combinación en frecuencias bajas. La diversidad de timbres distintivos dentro de un rango tonal compartido sugieren que el desarrollo rganológico de instrumentos de cerámica no estuvo necesariamente ligado a la disponibilidad de caracolas naturales, sino guiado por escogencias acústicas.

Since the dawn of public architecture in the Andes, the sounds of shell trumpets accompanied rites through which social order was reproduced. This paper summarises research on over two hundred such aerophones, some fashioned from marine conches others modelled in pottery; bringing together results from experiments in the production, performance techniques and acoustic characterization of Caribbean (Strombus gigas andTurbinella angulata) and Pacific (Strombus galeatus,Strombus peruvianus,Malea ringens, andTriplofusus princeps) gastropod species. Application of Mel spectral coefficients (MFCC) to semianechoic chamber recordings allowed a characterization of the sound of each species. During ensemble performances specific tone combinations required for the production of beats were detected and low frequency Tartini tones were perceived. The diversity of distinct timbres within a specific tonal range suggests that the production of ceramic aerophones was not necessarily linked to the availability of natural conch shells but guided by acoustic choices.

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