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Music of Sustained Tones

By Richard Glover


This thesis accompanies the portfolio of compositions written between 2006 and 2010 and\ud discusses both the overall theoretical concepts, and the specific musical tools, that lie behind their construction. Chapter 1 presents theories of perceptual grouping mechanisms and temporality in reductive music, and applies these to the transformational surface layer from the sustained tones in my music. The use of repetition and gradual process in my music is explored, leading to the application of a decentralised approach towards my structural models. The notion of a 'closure spectrum' contextualises my own music with others, and facilitates a discussion of the teleological nature of my music. Chapter 2 describes the tools which are used in the application of these concepts; in particular, the\ud use of harmony, glissando, duration, use of instruments and notation are reviewed. The\ud individual portfolio pieces are discussed in chapter 3, detailing the various employments of\ud the these tools in different instrumental contexts. This chapter also demonstrates the\ud overall refinement in my compositional approach which took place throughout the doctoral course: my gradual shift towards simpler processes, indeterminacy in notation, and extended note-duration. Less successful aspects of these pieces are also considered in the context of this evolution, along with those aspects which were retained and employed in future pieces. The conclusion evaluates the overall progression, and discusses areas for future development which have arisen from my own research through composition

Topics: M1, MT
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