An Examination of Karen Tanaka's Approach to Minimalism: Water Dance and Techno Etudes
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractJapanese composer and pianist Karen Tanaka (b.1961) gained international recognition for her compositions during the 1980s and has become a significant composer of the twenty-first century. Her works have been performed by distinguished international ensembles and encompass various genres including orchestral, chamber, solo instrumental, choral and electroacoustic music as well as sound design. Tanaka’s fourteen solo piano works comprise a variety of styles and levels of difficulty. Among her solo piano works, Water Dance (2008) and Techno Etudes (2000) exemplify her unique approach to minimalism. This document includes analyses of rhythmic and melodic content, harmonic layering, and other musical devices to demonstrate how Tanaka creates a distinctive compositional language within a minimalist style in these two works. Only few scholarly studies exist regarding her works in English or Japanese; the purpose of this study is to introduce and provide resources about Tanaka and her works.
Degree ProgramGraduate College