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Title: Composition portfolio commentary
Author: Pearson, Matthew J. H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 043X
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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This portfolio and accompanying commentary document my compositional research through the length of my course, 2007-2013. The portfolio is made up of five compositions taken from my total output of sixteen pieces. The portfolio pieces demonstrate writing for a wide range of forces and lengths: Mortality, a song cycle for tenor and piano Five Organ Miniatures Up the Spiral Staircase, for string quartet Sanctuary, a chamber opera Tenchikaibyaku, for symphony orchestra with expanded percussion The five chosen pieces that contribute to this portfolio are representative of my writing at the time of the course. They chart my trajectory towards a greater understanding of compositional technique,and a more true representation of my compositional self, through the research and exploration of various compositional challenges. These challenges include: Tackling musical characterisation, and how to allow an extramusical narrative to effect various aspects of music, including melody, harmony, and structure. The extramusical sources adopted in the portfolio are broad, ranging from an opera libretto to a faintly recalled recurring nightmare I had as a child. Prescribing myself a more rigorous approach to melodic development, which allows me to get more compositional'value' out of a raw melodic idea, and permits me to expend less original creative ideas in a single composition. A more rigorous approach to harmony, and permitting various processes/influences, including extra musical narrative, to inform harmonic decisions. Naturally, these challenges overlap and intertwine in both my writing and in the commentary, as one can easily influence the others. This commentary serves as a guide to my various approaches to these and other challenges, with reference to important and influential works and events that have shaped my writing and development as a composer.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available