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Title: The duality of the composer-performer
Author: Pasieczny, Marek
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 902X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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The main focus of this submission is the composition portfolio which consists of four pieces, each composed several times over for different combinations of instruments. The purpose of this PhD composition portfolio is threefold. Firstly, it is to contribute to the expansion of the classical guitar repertoire. Secondly, it is to defy the limits imposed by the technical facilities of the physical instrument and bring novelty to its playability. Third and most importantly, it is to overcome the challenges of being a guitarist-composer. Due to a high degree of familiarity with the traditional guitar repertoire, and possessing intimate knowledge of the instrument, it is often difficult for me as a guitarist-composer to depart from habitual tendencies to compose truly innovative works for the instrument. I have thus created a compositional approach whereby I separated my role as a composer from my role as a guitarist in an attempt to overcome this challenge. I called it the ‘dual-role’ approach, comprising four key strategies that I devised which involves (1) borrowing ‘New Music’ practices to defy traditionalist guitar tendencies which are often conservative and insular; (2) adapting compositional materials to different instrumentations; and expanding on (3) the guitar technique as well as; (4) the guitar’s inventory of extended techniques. A detailed account of these strategies and how I utilised them to construct my portfolio have been relayed in the critical commentary. The supplementary dissertation, on the other hand, displays empirical research of a non-musical nature, offering personal interviews with thirteen accomplished living composers – both guitarists and non-guitarists – who have made significant contributions to the classical guitar repertoire. An introductory chapter precedes a full display of the interviews whereby each composer is introduced in turn, highlighting their relationship with, and significant contributions to the guitar. An overview of the topics that were covered in the interviews, as well as an outline of the themes that emerged from the analysis have also been supplied. A discussion of how the findings contribute to a better understanding of how to write successfully for the guitar and furthering the guitar repertoire concludes the chapter. Several of the themes coincide with my own devised approach that could help guitarist-composers avoid conventional and predictable styles of writing. This therefore forms the most important contribution that this PhD portfolio can offer: providing recommendations that combine tried and tested strategies with the collective knowledge of significant guitar composers to assist future guitarist-composers avoid the habitual pitfalls when writing for the guitar.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: FAHS
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available