Date of Award

8-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music

Major

Music

Major Professor

Andrew L. Sigler

Committee Members

Barbara Murphy, Jorge Variego

Abstract

Manifestations is a composition in three movements, scored for an octet comprising the following instruments: flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet in B♭ (doubling bass clarinet), trumpet in C, tenor trombone, piano, marimba, violin, and cello. This piece serves as a vehicle for demonstrating the use of pitch adjustment software to incorporate microtonal aspects into a fixed-media piece. By utilizing this software, acoustic instruments may accurately provide pitches outside of the traditional twelve-tone chromatic scale in ways that impart expressiveness and/or provide structural significance without any physical alteration or extended techniques.

The microtonal elements of this piece are incorporated via three primary techniques, which I call controlled beating, linear inflection, and centstonic modulation. In my paper, I describe what each of these techniques entails and how they relate to and inform the piece. I also outline the workflow I used for producing a recording of this piece so that this process may be applied to works with similar concepts in the future.

The aim of Manifestations is to invite acoustic instruments into the novel pitch territory of microtonal music. However, despite the relatively new pitch elements, this piece is not entirely reliant on the novelty of these elements for its musical substance. Rather, it was my intention to build upon the contemporary repertoire by applying the techniques described herein to conventional compositional principles. For a majority of the piece there are other forces at work that are the primary focus, such as the durational pattern in the first movement and the “diamond” motive in the second, which are articulated and clarified by the microtonal elements. It is this careful synthesis that I believe will strengthen my mission of advocacy.

SkyevanDuurenManifestationsFullScore.pdf (1256 kB)
Manifestations - Full Score

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