Integrating space, composition and performance: an investigation into the musical relationship between the instrument and the space
AuthorWiesner, Benjamin James
AffiliationSchool of Contemporary Music
School of Performing Arts
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusThis item is currently not available from this repository
© 2015 Benjamin James Wiesner
Integrating Space, Composition and Performance: An investigation into the musical relationship between the instrument and the space, is a discussion of the processes and outcomes of this project, as is required for the Master of Sound Design by Research. Room acoustics are proven to have significant impact on musical performance outcomes in different environments. However, aural recognition of acoustic qualities in music education is largely sidelined. This research investigates the relationship between the musical performer (drummer) and the space in which they perform in order to develop a method to identify and incorporate acoustic qualities of different environments into music composition and performance. It first outlines an historical context of the relationship between acoustics and musical composition and performance, identifies gaps in pedagogy and argues the need to broaden listening. It then examines the process used to investigate this project, and discusses the validity of alternative processes and provides a detailed analysis and results of testing undertaken. First an overview of each performance space is presented, including dimensions, auditory and visual observations. Next, the results of an acoustic analysis of each space is presented and discussed. Finally, it examines how the individual parts of the drum kit respond in each space, and what affect this may have on performances. Integrating Space, Composition and Performance: An investigation into the musical relationship between the instrument and the space then discusses how the results were used to develop three studies, and presents and discusses three finished studies as performed and recorded in each space. The investigation resulted in the development of three different approaches presented as studies that were undertaken and recorded in four different spaces. By undertaking these studies I developed a new awareness of the space influenced my approach to performing in a specific environment; it caused me to make choices based on a more critical focus on the sound of the instrument as a part of the performance. This resulted in changing tempos, modifying dynamics and modifying timbre choices through performance techniques.
Keywordsmusic; composition; performance; acoustics; space; room; drummer; aural awareness; critical listening; music performance; aural recognition; aural training; aural perception; room acoustics
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