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Title: Microtonality and the recorder 1961-2013 : repertoire, tone colour, and performance
Author: Bowman, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 109X
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis investigates the development of the recorder's microtonal repertoire from 1961 through to 2013. The artistic impulses for the use of microtones are discussed and selected pieces studied and performed. An investigation is also undertaken into the relationship between pitch, dynamic, and tone colour. This leads to the development of a method for objectively identifying the changes in tone colour that result from using various microtonal fingerings. Very little substantial research has been undertaken into the recorder's contemporary repertoire, and even less so with regard to its engagement with microtones. The skills for producing the expressive effects of dynamic and tone colour, and thus microtones, were known in the early 16th century, lost, and then revived during the period of musical experimentation in post-war Europe. The application of this knowledge, however, has remained limited. This thesis addresses these shortcomings. Following consideration of intonation and interpretation in Chapter 2 a survey of writings analyzing changes in tone colour and dynamic, and the relationship between them, is undertaken in Chapter 3. These include a number of foreign language texts, whilst others appear in American journals, or conference papers not generally available to the British reader. They highlight the tendency for writers to discuss tone colour and dynamic in vague and subjective terms, and in relation to the performance of early music but rarely in the context of contemporary music. This strand of my inquiry is brought to fruition in Chapter 5, where research leading to the development of a method for identifying and quantifying changes in tone colour, through the application of different fingerings, is applied for the first time. The results of an investigation into the evolution of microtonal repertoire composed since the 1960s are recorded in Chapter 4. Different compositional approaches to both instrument and microtonality are reflected in my choice of seven pieces, plus my own composition, that are the subject of detailed study in Chapter 6. The analyses of the pieces discussed in this thesis, and the contexts in which they were composed, represent a significant step forward in the understanding of the instrument and the use of microtones in compositions of the period. My thesis concludes with a live performance in which a selection of microtonal pieces is presented. This serves as a demonstration and confirmation of the principles discussed in this thesis, drawing together the threads of my research, and applying the insights gained in the course of this study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: ML0459 Instruments and instrumental music ; MT0339 Wind instruments