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Title: Commentary on the Portfolio of Compositions submitted for the degree of PhD in Music Composition, University of Durham, by Mariam Rezaei, 2016
Author: Rezaei, Mariam
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 6218
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
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The compositional practices in turntable writing as a solo and ensemble instrument in the works of this portfolio are research based, exploring a variety of methods to notate work in response to experiments. The challenges and opportunities that have arisen throughout this development of composition have directed the research along different routes, promoting the turntable as a musical instrument in different instrumental ensembles. Devising a repertoire that did not previously exist has in part developed the turntable as an instrument where there are gaps in its history and also helped firmly established its place within contemporary music instrumental ensembles. Within this commentary, the defined techniques employed in the turntable works are not simply derived either from hip hop turntablism or New Art turntablism, but instead establish a synthetic practice. Skills from both traditions are mixed together with fluidity in order to establish a new repertoire for turntable through taught skills by developing a new ensemble of turntablists, NOISESTRA. This approach, combined with experiments in graphic notation, brings together performers in a new way, where established and highly skilled musicians work with young performers in a community music setting, willing to experiment and fail in search of successfully creating new sounds with turntables. The research includes a working methodology of compositional process that relates to popular teaching theories of Roger Hart, David Holb, John Stevens and Neil Fleming. Observations from conventionally notated and graphic scores, analysed writings of Katz, Smith alongside Brewster and Broughton broaden the search for the appropriate means for which to notate for turntables both with and without instrumental ensembles. Concluding that there is no one correct way to notate for turntable, I demonstrate several notational methods including an adaptation of the 5-line system in some compositions, and experiment with 2D, and 3D video graphic scores in others, proving that there are advantages and disadvantages in each individual context. I evaluate my compositional practice and assess the success of strategies in writing for turntable ensemble by comparing my initial theoretical ideas with the practical experiments and results. It is recommended that performers and readers of this work read the glossary and notes in A Guide to Turntablism and Turntable Notations for Performers1 found in the appendices before reading this commentary.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available