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The memory of music and music of memory: A portfolio of original compositions

Howell, Julia 2017. The memory of music and music of memory: A portfolio of original compositions. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The thesis explores through composition the processes of listening, remembering, storing, and recalling music and the ephemeral nature of these same actions, recognising that musical experiences can never truly be preserved. To explore preservation and entropy in memory and music, the portfolio of works is guided by three research areas: multi-level systemisation in compositional methods; reflection on the experience of music itself; and integration of acoustic and electronic techniques. The research concepts draw from the fields of ecological psychoacoustics, music cognition, memory studies, history of music technology, and philosophy and aesthetics.The thesis consists of three volumes with accompanying supplemental materials. The first two volumes present a portfolio of original compositions, comprising sixteen works ranging from three to twenty minutes and from soloist to large string ensemble, including six electroacoustic pieces, with a combined duration of circa 100 minutes. Appendix One contains one piece, Artefacts for symphony orchestra, the composition of which provided the foundation for this project. The third volume is a commentary on the portfolio (c. 27,000 words), providing context for the works and their compositional processes in terms of conceptual and theoretical bases, academic context, musical techniques and analysis, employment of electronic technology, the influence of other composers and artists, and placement of my work within the field of composition. The commentary is divided into five parts. Part One covers research concepts and context; Part Two examines structural use of systemisation and collage; Part Three outlines approaches to harmony; Part Four describes the use of electronics in the portfolio, connecting these techniques to the research concepts; Part Five presents a detailed description and analysis of three pieces that illustrate a synthesis of the methods explored over the course of composing the portfolio. The supplementary materials include recordings of the works and Max/MSP patches accompanying the electroacoustic works.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 February 2019
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2019 09:48

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