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Seven towers: an orchestral cycle focused on different musical temporalities

Marti, Cécile (2017). Seven towers: an orchestral cycle focused on different musical temporalities. (Unpublished Post-Doctoral thesis, Guildhall School of Music and Drama)


This dissertation examines formal aspects of a seven work orchestral cycle. The composition is structured as a series of distinct pieces which can be played either independently or as one uninterrupted musical performance lasting 78 minutes. The temporal dimension of music is a determining factor in both the composition of music and its perception by the listener. This issue is particularly acute in the case of such a substantial, uninterrupted musical statement; therefore I have had to examine questions of temporality in some detail whilst composing this cycle. In the following research I try to distinguish different temporal structures from each other and show how they can shape music differently. Temporality will be first discussed in a wider context within the field of music generally. This is followed by a discussion of the seven different types of time exemplified in the seven pieces of the orchestral cycle. To achieve coherence throughout a cycle of 78 minutes’ duration, one needs some linking elements. Some of these elements will be illustrated in the musical analysis of the cycle itself. This research aspires towards a deeper understanding of musical development in time. It is possible that the typologies might have a wider applicability and assist other composers to shape music over longer durations such as those I have employed in this cycle. This research can possibly also give some further indications as to how the listener might follow music over large spans of time.

Publication Type: Thesis (Post-Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
Doctoral Theses
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
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