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An analysis of graphic notation and its impact on conducting gesture in selected works of R. Murray Schafer

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Title: An analysis of graphic notation and its impact on conducting gesture in selected works of R. Murray Schafer
Author(s): Sawatzky, David
Director of Research: Alwes, Chester L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Alwes, Chester L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Ward, Thomas R.; Siena, Jerold; Blume, Philipp
Department / Program: Music
Discipline: Music
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: A.Mus.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): conducting R. Murray Schafer choral music 20th century choral music graphic notation
Abstract: R. Murray Schafer has deliberately used a number of different compositional styles in his career, including both standard and graphic notation for both vocal and instrumental ensembles. It can be assumed that both styles of composition accurately represent his musical and aesthetic ideas. However, works written in graphical notation require new methods of interpretation by performers and conductors. The first of Schafer’s compositions to utilize graphic notation was Statement in Blue (1964), written for a class of eighth-grade students. Compositions such as In Search of Zoroaster, Apocalypsis I & II, Gita, et al. followed. This dissertation will address three questions. First, how does the graphic notation reflect Schafer’s artistic concerns? Second, what musical parameters does Schafer incorporate into his graphical notation? Third, what are the implications of these works on conductors and performers? The hypothesis proffered here is that the nature of Schafer’s graphical notation necessitates the development of new conducting gestures for the effective rehearsal and performance of these works. The first chapter of this dissertation will outline Schafer’s relationship with graphical notation. The second and third chapters give a basic analysis of these works with reference to sound and formal structures. Chapter Four compares and contrasts common compositional elements, while the fifth chapter discusses the implications of graphical works in performance and on conducting technique.
Issue Date: 2012-09-18
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/34356
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 David Sawatzky
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-09-18
Date Deposited: 2012-08
 

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