Committee ChairAsia, Daniel
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractComposers of the 20th century express through intimate and personal language the conditions of the present, utilizing compositional techniques, forms, pitch and rhythmic language, and characteristics of Western composers, as well as looking towards non- Western music for the same. Each musical language, be it tonal, twelve-tone, modal, pitch-class, or derived from folk and non-Western material, is contained in a structural framework which is audibly recognizable, and controls the musical tapestry, processes, and results. Frequently composers use distinctive musical languages to portray different atmospheres, and thus allow each musical language to dominate the texture in order to create the desired contrast. But, jumping directly from one pitch language to another can create a sense of cacophony and loss of cohesion to the composition as a whole. In my composition I intend to show that by superimposing the structural parameters of one musical language onto another, it is possible to attain consistency and coherence, despite the underlying diversity. The composition is based on the story Heimferðin (The Journey Home) by Sigurður Rúnar Þrastarson (1961-1998). The composition is in five movements: I. Dawn; II. Dance and Devotion; III. Frolic; IV. Fury, V. Farwell. Each movement describes particular settings and events of the story. Internal events have been slightly reordered, but otherwise the composition follows the storyline from beginning to end. The final two minutes and twenty seconds of the composition are an original arrangement of a song, written in 1820, by the Danish composer P. C. Krossing (1793-1838).