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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractSymphony No.1 “Sea of Understanding” is an original musical composition written for full symphony orchestra and is a continuous one-movement work with nine sections of approximately twenty minutes in length. It does not follow a set classical form. It combines Romantic, Sacred Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, Neo-Romantic and folkloric influences. The titles of these sections, along with the subtitle, and their specific order in the symphony, are the only tools used to convey the program that the work possesses to the listener. This symphony, invites the listener to affirm the value of understanding elements of life as human beings. Each section in the symphony has a title attributed to a certain phenomenon. The nine sections evoke the meanings of these phenomena, the reasons for their existence, and their interrelations. Titles of these sections in order of appearance are as follows: Nature, Animals, Human, Ethnicity, Family, Religion, Mind, Interwoven Souls, and Eternal Being. The work has a main motif or a theme to symbolize ""the understanding"" itself, and I call this main motif the “Understanding” motif/theme. Also, this main motif or theme connects each section to each other. I use the technique of thematic transformation to transform and use the main motif at specific points in the symphony. Thus, the main motif helps the philosophical idea of understanding to interconnect the nine phenomena in the symphony to each other, as it musically connects the nine sections to each other as well. This main motif is used only once at the beginning of each section, as if saying “this phenomenon is what we will try to understand now”. The symphony starts from very rich voicing (many pitches, either in blocks of clusters, or linearly presented, as well as many lines simultaneously sounding) to less voicing as we continue through each section. The music will drop down to one voice in section ""Religion"" in a monophonic style, but sounds almost atonal and disturbing in terms of pitch material. The work starts from one voice to the section ""Mind"" and build more voicing but with fully atonal material. This section is relatively longer than previous sections while building extreme ugliness and disturbance (as in Arvo Pärt’s Symphony No.1 & 2.) until the end of the section. The work rises very high in dynamics (until ff) to the densest texture to this point. Then it makes a complete sudden stop (a grand pause) at the end of section ""Mind"". After this short grand pause, the work enters the section ""Interwoven Souls"" with a huge tutti climactic music in ff dynamic and a very dense texture. There is again an increase in voicing, however, this time with pure tonality, in a minor key or multiple minor keys. It is very embracing, neo-romantic, highly expressive, building in dynamic up to fff, as it enters the section ""Eternal Being."" There the music gets longer in duration of notes, representing increased elevations. Later, almost all voices are held in a very dense texture, still purely tonal, but this time, the music is in major keys from the beginning of the final section until it builds up to ffff and ends in a celestial realm. This symphony aims to remind its listener the philosophical message of “we are all brothers and sisters in spite of our differences” by allowing them to contemplate on each phenomena it deals with.
Degree ProgramGraduate College