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Jack and the blue flower : an aural myth

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Title: Jack and the blue flower : an aural myth
Author: Pridy, Colin Bradley
Degree Doctor of Musical Arts - DMA
Program Music
Copyright Date: 2012
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2012-08-01
Abstract: This Dissertation, entitled Jack and the Blue Flower: An Aural Myth, establishes a new approach to formal design, referred to henceforth as a Musical Personograph. This 17-minute work presents a highly developed musical portrait of an individual, in this case British writer and philosopher-theologian C. S. (“Jack”) Lewis. The conceptual and compositional designs are a synthesis of (1) the core principles of Personography, a psychological discipline that seeks to empirically determine the ways in which an individual establishes self-identity via an internalized and evolving life-story; (2) leitmotif and thematic transformation techniques, extended and expanded to include not only melody but harmony; rhythm; polyrhythm and polymeter; pitch centers; orchestration; tonality, polytonality, and atonality; (3) stratified textures consisting of perceptually distinct layers of musical material that contribute fundamentally to the overall shape and form of the work. Novel compositional principles applied include (1) an exploration of the expressive possibilities of an updated approach to programmatic music (musical materials with relationships to extra-musical symbols); (2) the use of intrinsically musical narrative and/or dramatic structures—that is, the establishment of a compositional design that imparts a narrative and/or dramatic structure to a work that functions independently of any imposed extra-musical associations. This work’s intrinsically musical narrative is accomplished via forward- and backward-pointing references (in time) to audibly recognizable musical material of primary importance, called Musical Aspects and Narrative Agents; changes to the musical context framing said Aspects and Agents as the work progresses; the use of multiple musical languages and rhetorical devices which, through shared cultural associations, enable the listener to assign dramatic and/or emotional values to the musical narrative as it unfolds.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/42850
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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