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Post-Pitch World: Timbre as the Primary Element of Form

  • Author(s): Majd, Arash
  • Advisor(s): Lefkowitz, David S
  • Krouse, Ian
  • et al.
Abstract

While pitch has been the primary element of form for many centuries, this dissertation considers the possibility of using timbre as the primary element of form in a musical composition. It explores the different mindsets, structural procedures, and techniques which contribute to the construction of form in the absence of pitch. As its primary case study, this dissertation analyzes Crama by Panayiotis Kokoras (b.1974) to discover the practical applications of a piece formally organized by timbre, including over one hundred figures that analyze Crama in smaller sections. These figures express the timbre of each instrument, and then compare the timbre of each instrument to all other instruments before discussing the results. Most of the figures include a short conclusion that explains how timbre supports the form in this piece. The conclusion chapter draws from the case study chapters and suggests even more options to create

a sound-based composition.

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