Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2017

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Fritts, Lawrence

First Committee Member

Gompper, David K

Second Committee Member

Charles, Jean-François

Third Committee Member

Cohen, Mary L

Fourth Committee Member

Arndt, Matthew


This dissertation is divided into two parts. Part 1 consists of the composition Ghosts Before Breakfast for chamber ensemble and fixed electronics. In this work I was interested in the creation of unity in the horizontal, vertical, and structural dimensions of a composition between the ensemble and the electronics and using electronic music techniques to gradually unify the ensemble and tape parts.

Part 2 consists of an investigation into the development of the Electronic Music Studios of the University of Iowa when James Cessna from the Department of Physics and Astronomy came up with a Master’s Thesis project to design an Arbitrary Waveform Generator. An initial discussion with James Van Allen, James Cessna, Himie Voxman, and Philip Bezanson in 1964 led to the initiation of the program with the loan of equipment from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Collins Radio Company, and homemade devices. The outcome of this interdisciplinary project between the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the School of Music led to a transformation of the Composition Program, and the studios evolved into a nationally recognized center for the study of electronic music. Its legacy lives on through its students who have reaped the benefits of the program and made successful careers throughout the country from the development of studios at other colleges and universities to work for film industries in Hollywood and New York. A history of the Electronic Music Studios shall be discussed, through the professors who have directed this program, its facilities, its assistants who maintained the facilities, its students, its guests, and its performances.


Electronic Music Studios, Ghosts Before Breakfast, Jonathan Wilson, Kenneth Gaburo, Lawrence Fritts, Peter Tod Lewis


ix, 368 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 334-368).


Copyright © 2017 Jonathan James Wilson

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