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Role-taking in free improvisation and collaborative composition

Walduck, J.S. (1997). Role-taking in free improvisation and collaborative composition. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


Role-taking, the adoption of solo, accompanying or punctuating roles by a given part or parts may exist in any form of music.

In Part 1, I have argued that the structure of free improvised pieces can be articulated in terms of player-functional or material-generative roles taken by ensemble members, and that these roles may, in turn, reflect the interpersonal dynamics of the group. The first four chapters uncover possible roles, and propose a methodology for mapping the structure of improvised pieces.

Part 2 is a portfolio of backbone compositions - compositions written for one or two instruments with the intention of adding further parts in collaboration with other musicians. The compositions, including the process of their realisation, make use of the roles uncovered in Part 1, leading to musical structures suggestive of long-term or large-scale human interaction. The technique is expanded to encompass interaction with another art form - film.

The final piece in the portfolio demonstrates how the two media interrelate by means of an awareness of role-taking within and between them.

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
PDF (Vol1) - Accepted Version
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PDF (Vol2) - Accepted Version
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PDF (Vol3) - Accepted Version
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