Analyzing Edgard Varese's Ionisation Using Digital Spectral Analysis
AuthorYouatt, Andrew Pierce
AdvisorTraut, Donald G.
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.
AbstractAlthough Robert Cogan's New Images of Musical Sound won the Society of Music Theory's Outstanding Publication Award in 1987, his musical application of spectral analysis has seen little use over the past 25 years. Spectral images are most effective at illustrating the timbre of sound, and harmony, not timbre, is the key structural component of most Western music. There are, however, some compositions in which timbre plays a critical role. Chief among these is Edgard Varèse's Ionisation, an epic percussion ensemble piece built around 40 instruments and 13 musicians. Previous analyses by Jean-Charles François and Varèse protege Chou Wen-Chung have emphasized the importance of timbre to Ionisation's construction, but are limited in their exploration of timbral qualities. Modern digital spectral analysis allows for a more accurate picture of the individual timbres that make up Ionisation and define the broader textures and structures that give the piece meaning.
Degree ProgramGraduate College