Organic Development in the Interval Etudes of Maurice Ohana's Etudes d'interpretation
AuthorHoughton, Ian Daniel
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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 study and contemplation of the natural world was a significant impetus for the stylistic development of Maurice Ohana's (1913-1992) music. More than any other source, it was the sounds, textures, and patterns of the natural world that served as his compositional model, inspiring a unique approach to form and sound. Using the metaphor of a coral reef, Ohana sought to imbue his compositions with a process of development that organically generated musical form. His mature musical style is defined by an organic development of traits inherent within the motivic beginning of a work to produce unique musical structures that are intrinsically connected with their musical substance. Ohana's final work for piano solo, the Études d'interprétation (1983/6), demonstrate the process of organic development. Complementing Claude Debussy's (1862-1918) Études, Ohana's interval etudes 'Secondes,' 'Quintes,' 'Septiemes,' and 'Neuvièmes' illustrate the stylistic variety generated by his unique, sound-driven approach to form. The following analyses address the thematic development of each work, connecting melodic, harmonic, and textural material to the opening, and developmentally central, `germ' each composition begins with. By examining the comprehensive process of organic development within Ohana's four interval etudes it may be possible to gain a greater understanding of his unique musical language
Degree ProgramGraduate College