Portfolio of musical composition: my approach to composing: the development, selection and application of techniques and systems in my music

Morgan-Williams, Ian (2013) Portfolio of musical composition: my approach to composing: the development, selection and application of techniques and systems in my music. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

I use a range of techniques to put together my musical ideas, techniques that are
rooted in the incidental and intentional listening that identifies who I am, as a person
as well as a composer. Reflecting on the intentional is relatively easy. Reflecting on the
incidental requires objective analysis of one’s own music. Inevitably, such analysis
identifies preoccupations and preferences, as well as technical weaknesses and
obsessions, all of which may or may not be unhealthy.

Like many composers, I develop various systems to help me generate the sketch
material which eventually becomes the completed piece. These are important to me
and can occupy the mind long after the job of selecting – and therefore discarding –
and organising has been started. This is the work that in essence produces the version
of the music to be heard – the only version that matters. While others may be
interested, even intrigued, by the process of composing, it is difficult to accept the
importance of the process to the listener. Once systems have served their purpose,
they hold little relevance for me; they may be compromised, altered, even ignored to
serve the needs of the music as it develops in its own right.

The preoccupations that occupy me presently are:
omophonic heterophon Non octave-repeating modes and derivative chord group Rhythmic devices in melodic constructio Temporal ambiguit The application of sets of rules or systems

This commentary describes my methods and some of the intentional and incidental
influences on my music, and reflects on my thoughts about how my music might be
perceived by others. It also reflects on others’ and my thoughts on the relationship
between composer and listener. This is something I have come to appreciate the
greater significance of during the post-compositional analytical process – my starting
point for the commentary – and something which seems increasingly more complex
than I had once imagined.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
Subjects: M Music. Literature on music. Musical instruction and study > M Music > M0001.A5 Collections > M0003 Collected works of individual composers
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2013 14:21
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2015 14:33
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43879

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