Date of Degree

10-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Music

Advisor

David Olan

Advisor

Tania Leon

Subject Categories

Music

Keywords

contour, noise, Saariaho, tension, timbre, vibrato

Abstract

This dissertation is a study of Kaija Saariaho's 1988 vocal work From the Grammar of Dreams, with a focus on timbre. It begins with background on Saariaho, and research on timbre in music theory and psychoacoustics (Chapters 1 and 2). Chapter 3 shows how Saariaho manipulates timbre to expressive and formal ends in From the Grammar of Dreams, including creating timbral tension and release, applying Robert Morris' Contour Theory in its analyses. Chapter 4 then explores how the timbral transformations interact with non-timbral musical elements. The conclusion (Chapter 5) puts the compositional techniques of this work in the context of Saariaho's evolving style, and explores possibilities for future research.

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Music Commons

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