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Title: A portfolio of original compositions
Author: Hudson, John Frederick
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 2605
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis, A Portfolio of Original Compositions, contains four musical compositions and an accompanying commentary for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Music Composition at the University of Aberdeen 2017. The purpose of this commentary is to detail the compositional research methods used in the creation of a portfolio of original compositions during my studies. Though my compositional work encompasses a varied spectrum, the focus of my portfolio is in the operatic genre with the composition of Demimondaine, a forty-minute chamber opera in one act for four singers and chamber orchestra. The other three works, Madrigals Reimagined, O My Soul Supreme and Ave verum corpus, are important supplemental research projects contributing to the larger aspects of Demimondaine. The individual chapters of the accompanying commentary discuss the different aspects of research-based composition in the portfolio with special emphasis on Demimondaine. The first discussion of this document relates to collaboration with the librettist in the second chapter. In the third chapter, I present an analysis of my approach to the libretto in creating dramatic form of Demimondaine. The fourth chapter explores harmonic idiom, beginning with three aspects of experimentation during my early years of doctoral work to the realisation of how I approached harmony in my opera. The fifth chapter discusses musical development in drama with forms of opera especially in relation to the lament ground bass inspired by Purcell's 'When I am laid in earth'. The sixth chapter is dedicated to my approach to orchestration, including the timbre of instruments chosen and how they relate to the dramatic intention of the Demimondaine. Lastly in chapter seven, I include a reflective chapter comparing my process in composition and the completed result of the opera. I candidly discuss the strengths and weaknesses found after the performance, reevaluating the success of my process and study. This commentary is intended to convey my theoretical and analytical understanding of my own compositional process. Thus the chapters contained should be considered complementary and their organisation should not be considered as implying any kind of linear narrative.
Supervisor: Mitchell, James Kenon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Composition (Music)