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Title: A commentary on a portfolio of nine scores submitted for the degree of PhD in music composition
Author: McGregor, Gemma
ISNI:       0000 0004 6056 8976
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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During postgraduate research, my compositions have increasingly come to focus on the following elements: • Use of a background narrative to create a structure of continual transformation rather than recurrent themes and development or exact repetition. • Evocation of time and place. • Writing in an eclectic style and embracing musical elements from different styles, genres, traditions, tonalities, and time periods. • Allowing contradictory views to co-exist and leaving interpretation open–ended and the prerogative of the listener. The compositions in my portfolio use collections of sounds, gestures, phrases and chords to build a different language for each piece and sometimes to become part of the symbolism in a piece. For example, I use bell sounds to represent hope, or forgiveness. I often build a collage-style structure that allows for disparate systems and mixed material to encourage the hearing of music in a new context. My music allows tonal sounds to be re-encountered in a contemporary setting. Recent compositions tend to have a narrative style, are based on melodic fragments rather than existing scales, and often employ continual transformation as a structure. I enjoy working with text and extra-musical sources and have allowed the narrative of the text to influence the music and evoke gestures that help to tell the story. This new 'storytelling' style of composition has encouraged me to write longer pieces and helped with structural clarification. The key results of my research can be identified as the following: I have developed an harmonic language based on stacked units of intervals that can employ chromaticism but are not twelve-tone or tonal and I have been working with a three-part form that allows for repetition or transformation of material.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Composition