Evolution Meets Revolution: The Contributions of Computers to Word- and Tone-Painting in Choral-Electroacoustic Works
AuthorThompson, Douglas Earl
computers and music
Committee ChairChamberlain, Bruce B.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study is to reveal the evolutionary and revolutionary aspects of using computers to word- and tone-paint in choral-electroacoustic (CEA) works. An extended account is made of word- and tone-painting's history in selected works from the Renaissance through the Twentieth Century to establish their use as a choral music tradition, followed by an examination of three recent CEA works: Scott Wyatt's A Time of Being, Scott Miller's Dies Sanctificatus, and Reginald Bain's When I Consider the Heavens. In all instances, word- and tone-painting are identified and assigned meaning utilizing Irving Godt's "Systematic Classification of Semantic Text Influences." A chapter outlining the challenges of programming CEA works is included, along with suggestions for how conductors can meet those challenges. In addition to Godt's "Classification," a brief history of the development of computers as a musical resource and information regarding Reginald Bain's work appear in the appendices.Among the results of this study are: a confirmation of word- and tone-painting as a vital, continuing tradition in choral music; a clarification of the distinctions and overlap between word-painting, tone-painting, and rhetoric; an affirmation of Irving Godt's classification system's usefulness; and an identification of the computer's capabilities that make the machine's use evolutionary and revolutionary. The computer's most revolutionary capability is its virtually limitless ability to create, shape, and manipulate sound. As the examination of the three CEA works in this study illustrates, the computer's revolutionary potential has only begun to be utilized, and the possibilities of creating compositionally mature CEA works only begun to be realized.