Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses
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ItemPhenomenological mechanics — an intercultural musical perspective: an inquiry into the experience of directional movement in intercultural music, applying time and motion concepts from physicsWard, Michael Francis ( 2022)This study is an inquiry into the experience of “vectorial” (i.e., directional) motion in music. It proposes a conceptual model for the experience of directional motion. It then applies the model interculturally, examining the relationship between Western and Eastern linear and cyclic cultural representations of time and corresponding compositional organisation. In its conclusion, it proposes geometrical models of Western and Eastern musical forms as helix and vortex, respectively, presenting musical works that exemplify these concepts. The major research question of the dissertation is “What is the nature of the experience of directional movement in music, and how can this experience be conceptually represented?”. It examines this question via the principal methodological process of a thought experiment. There are four research areas — music as phenomenological mechanics, composition as intercultural metaphor, applications to musical performance and analysis, and newly imagined instruments and novel compositional processes — and 12 research propositions — three primary, three secondary (two exegetical), two tertiary, and four artefactual. The primary research propositions examine the experience of vectorial motion in music, proposing a phenomenologically determined, hierarchically organised, multi-parameter, form-void vector field model. Referencing this model, the dissertation proposes that the experience of directional motion in music can be compared to principles from mechanics, albeit at a purely phenomenological level — a proposition that gives rise to the concept of phenomenological mechanics. In the application of the concept of phenomenological mechanics to composition, the dissertation proposes a novel characterisation of musical development as a phenomenological representation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics — as the phenomenological “organisation of sound” from low to high potential energy states, and from chaos to order. The secondary research propositions present the idea that the experience of musical motion differs in Western and Eastern cultural contexts in accordance with contrasting Western linear and Eastern cyclic cultural representations of time — metaphorically apparent in their respective musical forms — and in accordance with the dualism and monism that characterise form-void representations and their paradigms more broadly. These secondary research propositions thus apply the concept of music as phenomenological mechanics to the concept of composition as intercultural metaphor. The dissertation proposes that, whereas Western music develops vectorially and teleologically to achieve an overall linear form, Eastern music develops non-vectorially and non-teleologically to achieve an overall cyclic form — a process consistent with the concept of intensification, as coined by UK ethnomusicologist Martin Clayton to describe “non-teleological large-scale processes" proceeding by "a process of expansion”. As an application of the research to the performance and analysis of music, the dissertation’s tertiary research propositions thus propose the concept of Western and Eastern musical forms as helix and vortex. Referencing the musical time concepts of Zuckerkandl, Clayton, Kramer, Cage and Fraser, and the musical improvisation concepts of Feisst, the exegesis research propositions and discussion analyse the major and minor artefacts — respectively, a composition and an improvisation, for a 12-drum harmonic tabla set and two variations of modified guitar — as exemplifications of the concepts contained in the written work.
ItemFolio of worksLyon, May Catherine ( 2019)Master of Music Composition - Folio of Compositions Six original compositions, written from 2016 to 2019, comprising of: - 'On the Inside' for flute, clarinet, cello, and piano. Recording duration of 9 minutes 34 seconds - 'Ode to Damascus' for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. Recording duration of 9 minutes 15 seconds - 'The Fate of Phaethon' for soprano, horn, and string quartet. Recording duration of 15 minutes 51 seconds - 'Echo' for soprano and horn. Video recording duration of 4 minutes three seconds - 'Phosphorus' for solo percussion. Video recording duration of 10 minutes 26 seconds - 'Ignition' for orchestra. Recording duration of 9 minutes 47 seconds
ItemThe pursuit of originality: aspects of unity and individuality through compositional synthesisAlvaro, Lorenzo ( 2018)This thesis forms case studies using compositions by its author Lorenzo Alvaro as a catalyst for understanding how originality is manifested in the consistent re-enactment of borrowing and self-borrowing. Understanding how compositions ‘come together’ through ‘Synthesis’ oppose long-debated theories of originality being an innate power giving rise to the notion of ‘genius’. More recent scholarship acknowledge borrowing and collaboration as a means for originality, and based on this, the thesis argues that true originality is nothing more than an ideal.
ItemThe remains of decay: composing auditory afterimagesChisholm, David ( 2018)This autoethnographic critical exploration reflects on an accompanying folio of music compositions created between early 2013 and late 2016: Suite from The Bloody Chamber for three harps, Rung for electric guitar, contrabass recorder, violin, double bass and sensor-triggered bells, extracts from The Experiment: a musical monodrama; bound south for string quartet and Harp Guitar Double Concerto for two soloists and chamber orchestra. A post-structuralist reading reveals an emergent philosophical and practice preoccupation with the sonic phenomenon of the auditory afterimage.
ItemFolio of CompositionsBakrnchev, Michael Arthur ( 2016)Folio of compositions comprising of two orchestral works and three chamber works, composed by Michael Bakrnchev.