Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2010

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Fritts, Lawrence

First Committee Member

Gompper, David

Second Committee Member

Cook, Robert

Third Committee Member

Rapson, John

Fourth Committee Member

Winn, Bryon


Normal Mode is a composition for chamber ensemble and electronics that makes reference to the microtonality employed in Turkish music. In this composition I have made an attempt to expand the timbral palette of standard Western instruments by the use of electronic sounds, which were constructed through digital sound synthesis. The microtonal frequencies, which were used in this synthesis process, were derived from the Turkish tonal system. The ensemble material, on the other hand, was conceived within a Western-influenced serial pitch organization. These two distinct influences invite a dynamic discourse between the ensemble and the electronics. As a new instrument, which was developed specifically for this composition, the electronics initially attracts more attention. Over time a new equilibrium is established and the electronics part is integrated in the ensemble.

The electronics part of Normal Mode was created in the object-oriented programming environment Max/MSP. It is realized in a performance of the composition with the same software. Five of the chapters of this thesis discuss the compositional process of the electronic part and the system of organization that guided this process. These chapters describe how this system was incorporated in the programming of Max/MSP patchers which generated the composition's sound library and perform the electronics part in real time. They also describe the relationships between the ensemble and the electronics. The sixth chapter presents the composition Normal Mode. The Max/MSP patchers that perform the electronics part are included in the supplement of this thesis.


Chamber, Electronics, Max/MSP, Normal Mode, Sound Synthesis


2, vii, 244 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 242-244).


Copyright 2010 Israel Neuman

Additional Files

Normal Mode (111034 kB)
Normal Mode MaxMSP#0D84

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