Anubis: an orchestral triptych: analytical commentary

Cannon, Susan (2015) Anubis: an orchestral triptych: analytical commentary. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.


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The aim of my research is to develop a compositional style of orchestral writing that is rich in polarities. This will be achieved through practice-based research using a range of compositional techniques as springboards to create a highly-charged symphonic language, contextualised by a discussion of the influence of stimuli on the compositional process. This thesis comprises a portfolio of seven musical works with supporting commentary documenting the research process and providing contextual and analytical detail. Using a range of influences such as myth and nature as springboards, my research consists of the development of an individual compositional language in which texture plays an important part. Central to this approach is the role of dialogue between polarities such as rhythmical versus timeless, calm and ethereal versus agitated and aggressive, polyphonic density and textural mass versus clarity of line. The research culminates in a triptych of orchestral pieces collectively entitled Anubis (entitled ‘Anubis’, ‘Isis’ and ‘Ammit’ respectively). Each piece forms a movement of Anubis yet can be performed in a stand-alone form. Also included in the portfolio are a number of supporting works that serve as experiments in the use of texture, structure and narrative, as well as exploring how stimuli can be a powerful tool in the creation of striking sonic textures, which then function within complex compositional structures in the main work. The commentary documents the research journey, charting the evolution of my musical language from piece to piece whilst explaining the relationship between source stimuli and resulting compositional response. The completed work, Anubis, comprises three movements exploring a range of textural polarities within a cohesive and consistent soundworld.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
April 2015Completed
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-02 - music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Richard Birley
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 12:10
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:54

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