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Title: Spectralism today : a survey of the consequences for contemporary composition of the French Spectral School of the 1970s and 1980s
Author: Singleton, Philip D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5923 5138
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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There are a number of composers, active in the early twenty-first century, whose theoretical and practical backgrounds are rooted in the techniques and philosophies of the French Spectral School of composition. Whilst there exist a number of publications treating the work of L’École Spectrale, there are few theorists who have yet attempted to assess the impact of their discoveries on subsequent generations. The present portfolio therefore seeks to address this absence of what might be called ‘post-spectral’ scholarship, firstly through practice-led research in the form of a number of compositions, which employ a range of spectrally-based techniques and principles, but which represent a variety of potential outcomes based on these ideas. In essence, these works represent one set of answers to the question: How might one combine a spectrally-influenced approach to composition with other techniques to create an individual style? Furthermore, the supporting thesis undertakes three case studies of works by Marc-André Dalbavie, Kaija Saariaho and Bruno Mantovani, all significant contemporary composers whose work rests, to some degree, on what may be described as a spectral basis, and yet whose music is rarely examined by musicologists at the time of writing (2015). Finally, the thesis demonstrates the significance of spectral techniques and philosophy on contemporary composers as diverse as Magnus Lindberg, Pierre Boulez and György Ligeti. In this manner the thesis will offer a response to the question of how the techniques and approaches pioneered by the French Spectral School of composition (L’École Spectrale) have influenced composers of succeeding generations. The portfolio in its entirety will therefore throw new light on ‘post-spectral’ composition, aiming thereby to summarise the present situation and offer a fresh impetus for subsequent composition and research, and to address the question of the future prospects of spectrally-influenced composition.
Supervisor: Armstrong, T. ; Moore, A. ; Volioti, G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available