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Unstructured Play is not, strictly, unstructured but an expression of the idea meant by the term as it is used in music therapy and education. "Unstructured play" is when a child is supervised and assisted in exploratory play with no agenda placed upon the child by the supervisor. Exploring our own environment and getting our hands on the material objects around us is a chief component in cognitive development and much of the current research on the topic has demonstrated how the somatic cannot be divorced from what is often thought as the "purely mental" or even emotional. This idea of exploratory learning is musically expressed in the compositional process used in the creation of this piece. I created an entire draft of the piece by playing and recording myself at the cello making compositional decisions in response to the recording which informed my decisions on what would happen next. I then transcribed the whole recording making only minor adjustments for performance mistakes in the recording process. The piece is an exploration of both the different sound possibilities of bowed string instruments and the ensemble itself; all of the my playing was centered upon the exploration and variation of a single theme. A terminally climactic form is produced by the accumulation and development of timbre, tempo, melody, and ensemble. Unstructured Play is my own exploration of my instrument and my own physical abilities from which the ensemble comes, bringing the imaginative out of the physical.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Clifton Callender, Professor Directing Dissertation; Evan Allan Jones, University Representative; Mark Wingate, Committee Member; Ladislav Kubik, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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