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Portfolio of Original Compositions with Written Commentary

Sanders, Arne (2018) Portfolio of Original Compositions with Written Commentary. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Heterophony, one of the fundamental forms of multilinear music, has hardly played a role in Western art music. Even after heterophonic music practices became known and were given their own term in the early twentieth century, the potential of heterophony as a way of multipart composing was seldom recognised, with some prominent exceptions including, Pierre Boulez, George Enescu, Ştefan Niculescu and William Sweeney. The present thesis is an examination of heterophony with the intention of making the phenomenon fruitful for my own composing. For this purpose, it was initially necessary to sharpen the term, which is often used vaguely and inconsistently in musicological literature. Through the evaluation of the various concepts of heterophony — from the introduction of the term into the musicological discourse (in 1901, by Carl Stumpf) up to the current state of research (Pärtlas 2016)—as well as through my own transcriptions and analyses of non-European and traditional heterophonic music, I arrived at a preliminary definition of heterophony which currently serves as the basis for my compositional work. The study identifies two types of heterophony: variant heterophony and ornamental heterophony. Both categories are based on ‘labelled’ or ‘skeletal’ melodies; ornamental heterophony, however, is sometimes also based on ‘melodic patterns’. The main difference between the two types is that in variant heterophony some pitches of the basic melody are replaced by others in some of the parts involved, while in ornamental heterophony various forms of simultaneous ornamentation ‘actualise’ the otherwise unchanged skeletal melody. Paradoxically, the great difficulty in defining the boundaries between heterophony and related forms of multilinear music turns out to be a source of inspiration for my work as a composer. For this reason and because my concept of heterophony only gradually emerged in the course of my studies, not all of the compositions submitted are based on the definition mentioned above. Rather, as discussed more in depth in the second section of this thesis, the composition portfolio shows my path to a better understanding of heterophony.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Composition, Polyphony, Heterophony, New Music
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Music (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.766464
Depositing User: Arne Sanders
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2019 12:16
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22830

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