Sound Scale

Sound Aesthetics

Using the Octadic Model for the cultural exchanges of Mandoki (2006), two coordinates are identified; rhetoric and its records; and that of the dramatic and its modalities. In the first, the registers are lexicon, acoustic, somatic, and scopic. In the second the modalities are proxemic, kinetic, emphatic, and fluxion. Processes of substitution or conversion, equivalence, and continuity in the relationships that the subject establishes with himself, with others, and with his environment through statements that put individual and group identities into play in terms of valorization (Mandoki, 2006). It speaks of experience and in fact, the most important, in the sense of a social interaction intrinsically associated with sensitivity. The records of Mandoki’s rhetoric are based on the Ciceronian categories, inventio (what is chosen to say), dispositio (the way in which the statement is made), elocutio (how it is presented), memory (what is linked to), and pronuntiatio or actio (the tone and bearing of the body), from this starting point the first group is composed to analyze the prosaic established by the registers: lexicon, somatic, acoustic and scopic.


The channels of exchange of aesthetic statements evident in cinematography are correlated starting with the scopic record that refers to the visual, in this case to the set design, costumes, props, and so on. In this sense, in the film image, the interaction can be associated in the way that the message is broadcast and captured by the audience. However, behind this framework operates an articulation and configuration that lead to the connotation and denotation of the message where a semiotic is linked to the aesthetic value through the cinematographic sequences. The somatic register prevails through the corporal display of the actants, their movements, and even their gestures, like a smile that can constitute a facial expression that denotes kindness. The cinematographic image is accompanied by acoustic records such as some narration, the dialogues, the soundtrack, the voice-over.

On the other hand, the dramatic and its modalities are: proxemic, kinetic, emphatic, and fluxion. Mandoki explains that the proxemics comes from the Latin proximitas, which means closeness. The term is proposed by Edward Hall to designate the use of space between individuals determined by cultural conventions. In cinematography, proxemics originates in different ways. One of these is through the different planes and frames, in which the camera movements are approaching the actants and other elements that make up the photography of the scenes.

Another way is through the main medium, the screen, this is where a window of allegorical, metaphorical, and polysemic possibilities that establish proxemics opens up. Intrinsically, the dramatic modality called kinetics is presented, it refers to the dynamism, stability, and solidity of the syntagmas in each record — the camera movements constituted by different planes that look for the contemplative act of the hearing. Likewise, it refers to the dynamism in how the different rhetorical figures generated by alliteration are presented, saturated phrases that run through the screen and that strengthen the message emitted by the scenes. Additionally, the emphatic is noted at the beginning of each plane where the musicalization supports the emphatic register and gives intensity and emphasis to the images.


In a general way, the dramatic modality of opening or closing through syntagma’s originates with fluxion. The flow of the scenes or planes about the musical sequence marks the entrance and exit of the audiovisual discourses. For in cinematography the images flow in such a way that they cross the screen in search of social exchange, an aesthetic exchange. In this sense, we can understand that soundscapes through cinema are a medium with aesthetic approaches where a rhetorical situation is established with the possibility of unleashing a series of meanings, based on the experience of the viewer.