City Research Online

Recurrence in acousmatic music

Seddon, Ambrose (2013). Recurrence in acousmatic music. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This doctoral research concerns recurrent phenomena in acousmatic works, investigating aspects of correspondence among the constituent sound materials, illuminating the temporal relationships existing among them, and providing concepts to help rationalise compositional structuring processes. While the main focus is on acousmatic music, many of the ideas developed in the research have broader scope and are relevant to other areas of music composition.

The concept of recurrence is initially defined and considered, followed by the investigation of different aspects of sound identity. Significant factors that contribute to sound identities are proposed, and existing analytical approaches to identity classification are surveyed. A taxonomy of recurrent phenomena is then elaborated, presenting various aspects of sound identity correspondence and temporal relationships, illustrated with examples from acousmatic repertoire. Concepts described in the taxonomy are practically verified and explored in the accompanying portfolio of five acousmatic compositions, and the integration of the theory within practice is documented in the commentaries.

The study identifies principles of recurrence that are unique to acousmatic music, providing concepts for creative exploration within and beyond this area of composition, but which are equally pertinent to analytical endeavours. This research is useful to both analysts and composers because it encourages a sensitivity to specific aspects of sound organisation, whilst providing terminology to describe the different relationships at play.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Ambrose,Seddon.pdf]
Download (16MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login