Date of Degree
MA (Master of Arts)
Gompper, David K.
Cohen Elias, Sivan
First Committee Member
Just as a strand of thread is composed of many smaller threads, so too are there many factors in a single musical moment. Threads of the Moment explores three of these factors: the roles of composer, performer, and listener.
The first movement “Composer” seeks to reflect the often messy and disorganized compositional process. Contrary to popular belief, it is not as simple as putting notes on a page and calling that "music.” To compose one must explore and experiment with every sound, big or small, and find the beauty in each so that those sounds can be brought together. There are times where the sounds blend and complement one another, but at other times they create sharp contrasts and dissonance as the composer seeks to find music within the chaotic exploration.
The second movement “Performer” explores the idea of a performer being one who interprets and presents the music of the composer. However, while the performer does play based on the composer’s intentions and instructions, there is also room for interpretation. A performer brings new life to a piece by discovering new potential within it and adding his or her voice. To reflect this the cellist acts as the composer, at first leading and inspiring the bass clarinet as the performer, but later the bass clarinet starts to branch off and finds its own interpretation of the melody that it expands on.
The final movement looks at the role of listener not only in regards to the audience, but also to the performers themselves who listen to one another’s parts. No one hears the music the exact same way and there are times when a listener is fully engaged, but other times the listener begins to “drift” and lose themselves in the music. For this movement this is reflected in the clarity of certain sections in regards to melody that fractures and enters into hazier sections where the performers are in their own worlds, and it ends with one last thought from each of them.
iv, 49 pages
Copyright © 2019 Rebecca Pape
Pape, Rebecca Carolan. "Threads of the moment." MA (Master of Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2019.