Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Music

First Advisor

David K. Gompper

Abstract

Through spectral analysis, synthesis, and manipulation, I incorporate the transient and resonant sounds of tap dance into an acoustic piece, Aperture Assonance, for chamber orchestra. By means of abstraction, I explore the idioms of tap dance through distortions, common to practices of spectral composition. The title, metaphorically, refers to the small opening through which light travels (an aperture) and the manipulation of that light to create a resemblance of like-sounds (assonance). Instead of light, however, I treat sound as the source that travels through the, metaphorical, aperture.

The pitch and rhythmic material were derived from the analysis of me dancing. The frequencies discovered were approximated to the nearest quarter-tone (24-tone equal temperament). These approximations served as a reservoir of pitch material to be explored throughout Aperture Assonance.

Formally, the piece unfolds through explorations of the transient (the attack that instigates a sound) and resonant (the sustain that occurs after the instigation) properties of my tap dance recordings. By separating the transience from the resonance, I am able to isolate or rearrange each element to create new, musical gestures. For example, the transience and resonance may be reversed where the resonance instigates the gesture and the transient ends it.

In a fractal manner, many gestures from the motivic, cellular level were rhythmically augmented to serve on the phrasal, mid-level form or become part of a larger texture. The macro level of the piece is divided into three sections: Transience, Resonance, and Transience Through Resonance.

The abstraction of this material allows for differing, sonic interpretations. Because of the unique sounds created through tap dance, Aperture Assonance serves as a model for further transient and resonant exploration through the investigation of non-musical sounds.

Public Abstract

Through spectral analysis, synthesis, and manipulation, I incorporate the transient and resonant sounds of tap dance into an acoustic piece, Aperture Assonance, for chamber orchestra. By means of abstraction, I explore the idioms of tap dance through distortions, common to practices of spectral composition.

The pitch and rhythmic material were derived from the analysis of me dancing. The frequencies discovered were approximated to the nearest quarter-tone (24-tone equal temperament). These approximations served as a reservoir of pitch material to be explored throughout Aperture Assonance.

Formally, the piece unfolds through explorations of the transient (the attack that instigates a sound) and resonant (the sustain that occurs after the instigation) properties of my tap dance recordings. By separating the transience from the resonance, I am able to isolate or rearrange each element to create new, musical gestures. For example, the transience and resonance may be reversed where the resonance instigates the gesture and the transient ends it.

In a fractal manner, many gestures from the motivic, cellular level were rhythmically augmented to serve on the phrasal, mid-level form or become part of a larger texture. The macro level of the piece is divided into three sections: Transience, Resonance, and Transience Through Resonance.

The abstraction of this material allows for differing, sonic interpretations. Because of the unique sounds created through tap dance, Aperture Assonance serves as a model for further transient and resonant exploration through the investigation of nonmusical sounds.

Keywords

publicabstract, Composition, Spectral, Tap Dance

Pages

vii, 108 pages

Copyright

Copyright 2016 Joshua Tyler Marquez

Included in

Music Commons

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