Note:This thesis is part of a research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the School of Music. The project also involved the preparation and performance of a recital of music related to the thesis topic.

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Title:Owning overtones: The impact of spectral approaches on my music
Author(s):Dennehy, Donnacha
Contributor(s):Associate Professor Stephen Taylor; Professor Erik Lund; Professor William Kinderman; Associate Professor Emeritus Zack Browning
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Abstract:This dissertation concerns itself with the impact that spectral music had on my musical thought. It begins by examining classic French spectral music of the 1970s and 1980s as developed by the group of composers known as l’Itinéraire. The works and explanations of two composers in particular from l’Itinéraire, Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail, are examined in detail. Spectral music is not simply limited to this group of stylistically similar composers. In the second chapter, I concentrate on two radically different and deeply individual composers who have made significant use of spectral approaches in their music. In the case of James Tenney, his “spectral” music in fact pre-dated that of the Itinéraire group, and he was not aware of the music of these composers until as late as the 1990s. Vivier, though influenced by Grisey, concentrated on a very small aspect of technique – the addition of sum tones – to create work of poetic originality. Although my interest in a spectral approach to composition was first stimulated by hearing the music of Grisey, in a practical sense Vivier and Tenney have had a stronger influence on my incorporation of these ideas in my music. In the final chapter I examine the way that I make use of my own idiosyncratic spectral approaches to pitch and timbre in my compositions.
Issue Date:2014
Publisher:University of Illinois
Citation Info:Dennehy, Donnacha. OWNING OVERTONES: THE IMPACT OF SPECTRAL APPROACHES ON MY MUSIC. Doctoral project thesis submitted at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Chamapaign School of Music, 2014
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-01-28

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