Pantonal | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Pantonal (Institut de recherche Pantonal Inc).


Pantonal (Institut de recherche Pantonal Inc). The Institut de recherche Pantonal Inc is the name adopted in 1987 by Pantonal Inc, which had replaced the Institut de sciences musicales Conrad Letendre, founded in Montreal in 1970 by some of the latter's pupils and disciples, among whom are Michel Perrault and Jean Chatillon. The name Pantonal denotes the sum total of data and principles established by Letendre and his successors.

As early as the 1930s Letendre had worked at the definition and establishment of his own findings on harmony, counterpoint, and fugue, in order to infuse, in the words of Chatillon, 'a new spirit into musical research.' Chatillon also stated that 'the Letendre system proposes a rational study of questions of musical knowledge, being founded on simple and clear data such as, for example, the dominant-tonic linkage.' Chatillon continues: 'It carefully weighs each phenomenon that occurs and seeks to reduce it to absolute essentials. Letendre managed to construct a perfectly coherent system which will serve to evaluate the output of composers and to extract useful examples. Thus it builds a musical language - unique and essential - encompassing all valid idioms encountered in the history of music.'

At its foundation, the Institut undertook research in the field of pure music technology or of technology deriving from the generative grammar of musical language. Even though its work was challenged in certain quarters, Pantonal managed to spread its theories and materials in Quebec. In 1978 it published Pantonal - Présentation I, an introduction to the views and findings of the institute.

In 1990 about tenor researchers worked at the Institut, which also disseminated instruction based on its findings to about a hundred students. It offered an introductory music course, and also courses in arranging, choral singing, composition, improvisation, and various instruments. Among the teachers at the Institut have been Michel Perrault, Gisèle Lecours, and Edward Siegner. Workshops devoted to various music disciplines are given by Perrault, Julie Beaulieu, Christine Harel, and Réjean Levasseur.

With a view to spreading its musical concepts among music specialists, the Institut gave information sessions and conferences in various schools in Quebec, Ontario, and the USA. It also carried out joint projects with Guy-Drummond School in Outremont and with the city of Outremont. It is a member of the Regroupement des écoles de musique privées du Québec and of FAMEQ.

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