WILLIAMS, Michael Francis

PhD University of Melbourne 2014 Pages:

Composition Portfolio

Author Contactable via this Register? No

Link to Thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/11343/55423

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The research focus of this PhD thesis is the composition of two large-scale musical works. Central to this research is the exploration of how eclecticism, in terms of shifting methods of pitch-organisation, might be used as an expressive, aesthetic and philosophical response to the composition of an opera, and more broadly as the principal means of musical expression in the twenty-first century. To achieve concinnity within an eclectic framework, a limited number of styles or methods of pitch organisation have been used in both works. These are modes, pitch clusters, pitch sets and tonality. The major component of this PhD submission is a folio of two large-scale original works (with attached CD recordings). These are an opera in three acts, The Juniper Passion, and a triple concerto, Convergence for violin, cello, piano and orchestra. The purpose of the dissertation is to provide a background to eclecticism within the context of stylistic pluralism and postmodernism, to address the musical responses to the libretto in terms of character, time and place, and to show how philosophical and aesthetic perspectives have been interpreted and presented musically. The dissertation also provides technical analysis of key extracts from both works. Although there is no philosophical underpinning in the concerto per se, the analysis highlights a consistency in composition methods, especially in the use of the use of pitch clusters and modality.

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