2.5. Why S.O.A.P.?

Although it may at first seem odd to think that compositional practice can be narrowed down to four elements, there is reason for this. I regard objects as being separate from agency, place, and space. For the purpose of the diagrams, it needs to be clear where a sound is originating from – this is the main purpose of including objects in my framework. However, as my framework places equal importance on how a piece sounds as well as how it is performed, the other elements included need to apply to both sound and not sound. Place, for example, can be conveyed with sound (a soundscape) but can also be conveyed without sound (images or videos) – so, too, can agency and space. Additionally, their presence in a piece can be explored and played with; in this way they are not simply there or not there, rather these elements can be approached in different ways to give different effects. Agency is a particularly good example of how the composer can approach an element in various ways – as was discussed in section 2.2, there are various types of agency including but not limited to: human, non-human, non-living, collective, and implied. Agency, place, and space function similarly to parameters of sound, however, most parameters (such as frequency, timbre, volume, etc.) do not translate to our other senses and, as such, they do not have a place in the S.O.A.P. framework. 


Could there be more elements than just these four? It would be foolish to be close minded and reject the possibility that there could be more elements contributing to compositional practice than just space, objects, agency, and place. While I have endeavoured to receive feedback from other composers, this framework was developed and based off of my own compositional practice. For my needs, I find that S.O.A.P. allows me to discuss everything that I would like to about my pieces. I feel as though I am not restricted by it and, in the supporting text, there is never anything left unsaid or out of place. This is not to say that other composers will have this experience. Should a composer wish to use S.O.A.P. and find that it does not encompass their approach, I encourage them to adapt this framework to suit their practice.