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The simplification of complex notation presented in aleatoric forms

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McIntyre, SE (2013) The simplification of complex notation presented in aleatoric forms. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The simplification of complex notation presented in aleatoric forms
This project seeks to find solutions to questions of complex musical notation and whether
they can be simplified by using techniques of limited-aleatory. A folio of compositions has
been written, constituting eighty percent of this project. These compositions demonstrate that
by using limited-aleatoric notation developed by Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994), that I can
achieve a complex outcome than if I had used a more complicated rhythmic language. The
exegesis constitutes twenty percent of the thesis with the remaining technique. As the musical
language of composition grew more complex during the 20th century there also developed
the need for ever more complex notational systems. The performers’ often-improvisatory
input was abandoned in favour of a strict control from the composer in a hyper-detailed
notation. As notation of melody, harmony and rhythm became more complex, the
performance outcome often sounded as a ‘notated improvisation’ wherein all sense of metre
and melody seemed to be lost. This led inevitably to aleatoric practices in the 1960s of
notating more simple ideas but arranging them to create more complex outcomes. In my own
composition the need for hyper-notated scores has given way to simpler forms where an
element of chance has been introduced at the point of performance of the score. The
compositions I write do not strictly fall into total forms of chance or indeterminacy as I still
exercise a level of control in the organisation of structure, pitch and time. By allowing a
degree of aleatory or randomness into the score there is a room for a simpler notation
working to achieve a blurring of melody, harmony and rhythm that occurred in many of my
earlier complex scores. In this exegesis I will show how examples of extreme notational
complexity and simpler notation through aleatoric techniques (although at times graphically
experimental) achieve the same ends in compositional and sonic complexity to the performer
and listener.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Opera, aleatory, Lutoslawski, composition, music, Scott McIntyre
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2013 the Author

Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2014 23:04
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 00:59
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