AuthorGrogan, Charles Benjamin
Committee ChairAsia, Daniel
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.
AbstractAfter the Fire for Piano and Orchestra is musical composition of approximately 14 minutes in length. Many compositions of the 20th century feature experimentation with new patterns in musical language, the serial pitch structures of Schoenberg being particularly influential on later composers. As pitch language has become increasingly chromatic, composers are faced with the problem of organizing their compositions in a way that is intelligible to the listener. After the Fire for Piano and Orchestra is constructed using simple organizational elements to maintain continuity but still provide sufficient diversity in order to avoid the dense chromatic sameness found in many serialist and post-serialist works. Attention to every level of structure is necessary to create a well-designed composition. At the smallest level of the composition, motives are constructed out of the basic materials of the interval of a seventh and the octatonic scale and then those motives are transformed to create a variety of materials. At the middle level of structure phrases and phrase groups are constructed from the material created from the motives. However, the nature of the material at places sometimes makes it more suitable for a continuous type of construction such as fugal development or cadenza-like passages. At the largest level of structure further techniques of contrast are used to form the overall shape of the work. This contrast is made possible through the transformation of the motives into a variety of forms, yet the roots of the materials are the two basic elements of the interval of a seventh and the octatonic scale. The variety within the composition provides continual interest while the continuity ensures that the composition works together as a whole rather than as a sequence of loosely-connected episodes.