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Title:Striking Implement and Surface Area Specification in Unaccompanied Multiple Percussion Solos: Its Compositional Significance
Author(s):Adams, Daniel Clifford
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This thesis is an examination of how the composer's written specifications with regard to striking implements and surface areas contribute to the structure of selected multiple percussion solos. Striking implements are defined as objects or parts of the human hand which make percussive contact with an instrumental surface. Surface areas are regions of topographies, enclosed by boundaries or edges, and designated to be struck by an implement. The center of a snare drum head, for example, is a region within the topography known as the drum head, or membrane. A snare drum stick is an implement used to strike it.
The thesis topic is approached from both an historical and an analytical perspective. Western and non-Western percussion music is discussed from the standpoint of performer-originated practices which have been assimilated into the musical vocabulary of the modern composer. Acoustical aspects of the most often played percussion instruments are also discussed historically and analytically. Metaphorical, onamonapoetic, and scientific systems of describing acoustical contrasts resulting from striking implement and surface area changes are examined. Multiple percussion solos with explicit references to acoustical transformations are cited.
Selected multiple percussion solos are subsequently analyzed with an emphasis on the relationships between specified changes of striking implements and surface areas, and other compositional criteria such as changing successions of pitch, rhythmic patterns, tempi, dynamics, and articulation. The first analytical chapter consists of brief references to, and comparisons between seventeeen percussion solos of varied instrumentation, style, and level of difficulty. The subsequent analytical chapter consists of comprehensive analyses of, and comparisons between three virtuosic multiple percussion solos: They are: (1) Moto Perpetuo (Elliott Carter); (2) Janissary Music (Charles Wuorinen); (3) Touch and Go (Herbert Brun).
The findings of the analyses are summarized in a concluding chapter. Differing methods of notation, graphic and verbal, are compared. The relationship between history, acoustics, and contemporary percussion composition is evaluated. Suggestions for the pedagogical application of the analytical findings are provided and comparisons between timbral exploration within the percussion and electronic music mediums are made.
Issue Date:1985
Description:131 p.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600111
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1985

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