Breaking Through: A Composition for Symphony Orchestra

Breaking Through: A Composition for Symphony Orchestra

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Date: August 2002
Creator: Dribus, John Alexander
Description: Breaking Through is a single-movement composition for symphony orchestra based on a fourteen-note melody. Every harmonic and melodic figure except the bass line is derived from this source melody. The structure of the work is based on a number of musical dichotomies that work on both local and large-scale levels. The local dichotomies contrast consonance with dissonance and ambiguity with clarity (in respect to texture and rhythm). The dichotomy of two-part form versus three-part form and the dichotomy of simplicity versus complexity operate on the large scale. The unity lended by the single source melody coupled with the contrasts furnished by the aforementioned dichotomies allow Breaking Through to be both coherent and interesting.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Characterizing Noise and Harmonicity: The Structural Function of Contrasting Sonic Components in Electronic Composition

Characterizing Noise and Harmonicity: The Structural Function of Contrasting Sonic Components in Electronic Composition

Date: May 2010
Creator: Dribus, John Alexander
Description: This dissertation examines the role of noise in shaping the form of several recent musical compositions. This study demonstrates how the contrast of noisy sounds and harmonic sounds can impact the structure of compositions. Depending on context, however, the specific use and function of noise can vary substantially from one work to the next. The first portion of this paper describes methods for quantifying noise content using FFT analysis procedures. A number of tests on instrumental and synthetic sound sources are described in order to demonstrate how the analysis system may react to certain sounds. The second part of this document consists of several analyses of whole musical works. Works for acoustic instruments are examined first, followed by works for electronic media. During these analyses, it becomes clear that while the use of noise in each work is based largely upon context, some common patterns do exist across different works. The final portion of the paper examines an original work which was written with the function of noise specifically in mind. The original work is put through the same analysis procedures as works seen earlier in the paper, and some conclusions are drawn regarding both the possibilities and limitations of ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries