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Narrative musical structures: a composer’s perspective on form, process and product

Menichino, Gillian (2015) Narrative musical structures: a composer’s perspective on form, process and product. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.


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My composition portfolio, developed over a three-and-a-half year period, is concerned with the development of expressive narrative musical structures. This is achieved through the creation of distinctive sound-worlds within two specific areas of compositional activity, these being original compositions and re-compositions. The portfolio of compositions itself stands alone as evidence of research inquiry; the following commentary, meanwhile, consists of a personal reflection on my compositional processes. Here, I explore the motivating impulses of both these processes and of the completed works. This portfolio consists of ten original compositions and two re-compositions of an original: Original Compositions: 1. Alone (baritone and cello) 2. Light Upon Darkness (5 players) 3. Sonorization for Solo Clarinet 4. (…through the clouds towards the rising sun) (piano) 5. Glaciers (strings, piano and percussion) 6. Adrift (amplified ensemble of 7 players) 7. Embrace (clarinet and cello) 8. From Darkness (string orchestra) 9. Ambition: the Fury of the Blind Driver (violin and piano) 10. …to a beginning from no end (original of a set of three including two re-compositions) (oboe and piano) Re-compositions of an Original Work: 11. Thebes and the Burden of Rulership (re-composition one of a set of three) (flute/alto flute, oboe and English horn) 12. …to a beginning from no end (re-composition two of a set of three) (baroque trio: baroque flute, bass viola da gamba and harpsichord)

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