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Two violin concerti: A study in non-duality

Roustom, K. (2022). Two violin concerti: A study in non-duality. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


This dissertation examines two works that I composed within a three-year period (2018 - 2021) through the lens of non-duality. The two works, Violin Concerto No. 1 and Violin Concerto No. 2: with might and main, are sizeable at approximately twenty-seven and twenty-five minutes in duration, respectively, and both were composed during a very productive period. Non-dualistic thinking is a core precept of Buddhist philosophy which offers a path towards seeing the interconnectivity and interdependence of all phenomena. Examining these two concerti from a non-dualistic perspective offers insight into issues of culture and identity, as well as the creative processes that are shaped by them.

A central aim of this dissertation is to study how lived experiences and knowledge, steeped in two seemingly disparate musical cultures, those of the Arab Near East and Western concert music, arise from a series of causes and conditions, and influence the creation of these two concerti. The emphasis is not on hybridity, which tends to cast both sides in a light of ‘otherness’, but on recognizing a holistic view of these two musical traditions and the resultant two concerti. In pursuing this study, the central topic that emerged was that a nondualistic way of experiencing these two traditions reveals a connectivity between them that allows for a musical expression that sees and hears them as one. Though an analysis of each work will be provided, the analytical focus will be on ideas and practices that connect directly to non-dualistic thinking, and not a ‘bar-by-bar’ analysis of each concerto.

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