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1. Music
a. the employment of characteristic patterns of notes, esp in variations on a theme
b. decoration or florid ornamentation in general
2. Art a figurative or emblematic representation




the ‘nexus of interdependencies between people’, the ‘chains of functions’ and ‘axes of tensions’ -both of cooperation and conflict – which can be identified in any social context (ELIAS, 1978). The concept is the central analytical concept of Norbert Elias 's FIGURATIONAL SOCIOLOGY. Elias rejects any model of Man as homo clausus – the closed or discrete individual. Equally, however, he also rejects purely structural forms of explanation. It is the model of the ‘dance’ or the ‘game’ which Elias suggests best illustrates the focus he seeks to achieve in social analysis. The ‘image of the mobile figurations of interdependent people on a dance floor (or playing a sport-game) which makes it easier to imagine states, cities, families and also entire social systems as figurations’ (ELIAS, 1939). See also CIVILIZING PROCESS, COURT SOCIETY.



in music, the enrichment of a musical texture through the addition of melodic or rhythmic elements. In harmonic figuration, a voice, usually the bass, moves along the notes of a chord, producing a broken chord or harmonic ornament. The Alberti bass is a type of harmonic figuration. Rhythmic figuration involves the repetition of a single note, several notes of a chord, or an entire chord. In melodic figuration, turns or decorative figures, uniform in rhythm and frequently in melodic contour with the primary melodic line, are inserted between melodic phrases; these figures are close to melodic ornaments.

Since the 16th century melodic figuration has been used primarily when a melody is repeated at another pitch or on another instrument, in variations on the basso ostinato, and, in classical and romantic music, in the variational or reprise sections of a work. Melodic figuration also includes various types of discordant notes—suspended, passing, auxiliary, and changing notes.

References in periodicals archive ?
The chapters move chronologically, from Plath to Howe, but they also can be grouped so as to highlight the three kinds of figuration that are central to Keniston's account.
This overt denial of figuration creates an absence, a transgression of normal linguistic implications/expectations which does not so much eliminate as call into being by erasing such expectations.
S'interesser a la figuration de facon anthropologique, ce n'est pas faire de l'anthropologie de l'art ; en effet, cette branche de la discipline s'occupe pour l'essentiel de restituer le contexte social et culturel de production et d'usage des artefacts non occidentaux qui ont ete investis par les Occidentaux d'une vertu esthetique, en sorte que, par exemple, leur signification puisse devenir accessible au public qui frequente les musees ethnographiques a partir des memes criteres que ceux qui sont acceptes pour l'appreciation esthetique des objets traditionnellement abrites dans les musees d'art--categorisation, periodisation, fonction, style, qualite d'execution, rarete, symbolisme, etc.
30 These transformations of nature into pattern, of narrative into schema, of figuration into device are what gives ornament its authentic character.
Figures et Figurations representa una mini revolucion cultural en esa muy respetada y austera editorial: es la primera vez que Le Mercure de France incluye una parte grafica en una de sus publicaciones.
The second concept is that human individuals are only able to be understood through their interdependencies with each other as part of broad networks of social relations, or what Elias referred to as figurations.
Here Williams discusses Mary, a figure I have not addressed, but whose chain of figurations also runs through feminist and womanist theological discourse, often as a corrective to the maleness-of-Jesus problem.
There was a time, even in New York, when the decision to adhere to the figure - or "the image"- required great moral courage, since abstraction was dogmatized as what painting must be, and figuration was denounced as contrary to the imperatives of history.
In this respect, the form of the lesson could be understood as analogous to a musical binary form in which two sections, A and A', center on a theme or particular figuration and unfold it in analogous ways.
The mechanisms that produce these symbolic figurations are not examined in any detail, so that the highly intricate relationship between Petrarchan discourse and Elizabethan court politics, for instance, is shrunk to a bald statement: the "Petrarchist" model was the "predominant structure" in which "courtly self-fashioning" could take place (39-40).
It doesn't take more than passing familiarity with Russian music to realize that the piece - full of high-pitched, playful woodwind figurations and fleet string ostinatos - sounds like the work of Sergei Prokofiev, the composer's great rival.
By contrast, "Dreaming," from her Opus 15 Sketches, is a work reminiscent of Liszt's "Liebestraume" with its lush harmonies and murmuring accompanimental figurations.