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Title: The musical language of Edgard Varese
Author: Stephenson, Tim
ISNI:       0000 0001 2464 5055
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1988
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This thesis examines the musical language of Edgard Varese: how it was constructed, and how it evolved throughout his life. Varese composed with sound. The "sound masses" which form his music are developed from a complex mixture of the basic elements of pitch, timbre, rhythm, texture, dynamics and articulation. This study analyses the relationship of these elements within the sound masses, and the way the sound masses interact to create the form of the works. The first section of the thesis presents material to help contextualise the later analyses. The second section details the methodological approach with reference to a number of works taken from all periods of his life. This helps to explain the various analytical techniques, why they were considered suitable for Varese's music, and how they can be combined to provide an over-view of the musical structures within a work. In addition, evidence is provided of a number of changes in Varese's approach to composition. In the third section a comprehensive analysis of Deserts is undertaken. This work occupies a vital place in Varese's musical output marking the end of a prolonged period of apparent musical silence and allowing Varese to work with electronics for the first time. Deserts is considered to epitomise Varese's musical language, and thus it provides the basis for a wide ranging discussion on the evolution of his musical language from Am£riques to Nocturnal.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature