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Title: Morton Feldman : dimensions of graph music
Author: Cline, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 7483
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is the first substantial overview of the group of indeterminate musical works by Morton Feldman that he referred to as ‘graphs’. Despite the ever-expanding body of scholarly research on Feldman’s music, the seventeen published and three surviving, unpublished graphs that he produced over a period of seventeen years (1950- 67) have been largely ignored. This is the first substantial overview of the series and most of the graphs that he produced are discussed in detail for the first time in these pages. I argue that these works have been unjustly neglected, and that they are, in fact, of considerable interest from several musicological perspectives. To illuminate various ‘dimensions’ of these works, I explore their history, influence, evolution, conceptual foundations, compositional structure and, also, some of the ways in which they have been interpreted by performers. Key topics discussed include: Feldman’s original and distinctive notation, which he regarded as a transparent window onto sounds; his belief in the directness of his own relationship to sounds and the priority sounds should enjoy in a composition; his ‘all over’ method of working, which he actively developed as a way of minimising continuities; his concept of ‘weight’ and his interest in producing a holistic balance between weights; his use of collage-like methods, elastic forms and superimposition in the compositional process; his tendency, in some scores, to include numerical patterns, which he subsequently sought to expel; and the influence of abstract expressionist painting on his ideology and graph music.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available