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Derivation was written with the idea that biology can influence music on many levels. Just as phenotype and genotype can be expressed in genetics, the same terms may describe a musical work, distinguishing its phenotype, or perceived impression, from its inner design and structure, the genotype. Experimentation with mapping pitches onto basic biological constructs results in interesting musical parallels. By considering phonetics of pitches much in the same way that Robert Schumann contrived certain motivic materials, the DNA model may be replicated (no pun intended) as the octatonic set (02). This reflects the concept of organicism quite literally. The opening motive serves as the genesis of the work, undergoing transformations (mutations) that unify the different sections. Ultimately, the concepts are tempered with musical discretion and purpose, as the principal intent is to communicate with the listener in a primal sense and, in the central section, as a doleful call.
Biological Infuences on Music, Phonetics Of Pitches
Date of Defense
April 21, 2003.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Composition in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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