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Odds and Middles for Wind Ensemble explores the concept of duality in human identity. The struggle to discover and develop an individual identity which allows for inclusion in the larger social dynamic, yet is capable of enduring the conflicts of character and consciousness that arise from such an endeavor is the programmatic drive of this composition. As human beings, striving to make our own voice heard amidst the ever-increasing din of humanity, we often find ourselves at odds with both ourselves and the people around us, or in the middle of situations which force us to choose between maintaining our individual voice and fitting into the larger social order. Throughout the piece, a recurring motive of a descending major third, represents the constant, yet ever-evolving individual identity. The opening section of the piece presents this motive quietly and slowly evolving. As soon as the individual identity seems to be well-established, the challenge of trying to maintain that identity within the demands of the world arises, presented in the B section. This section's contrapuntal and rhythmically driven nature represents the larger social dynamic, and all the ways in which the individual resolve can be weakened, distorted, or destroyed. As this conflict comes to an abrupt end, the C section begins, presenting a brief moment of clarity: a calm within the storm, where the individual is at peace with herself and her place in the world. This clarity, however, is only temporary and abruptly returns to conflict, as the difficulty of maintaining individuality while reaffirming the inclusion as part of the whole returns anew. The return of the B section material presents an even more chaotic reality in which the individual must strive harder and harder to be heard. Out of this chaos, the descending major third motive recurs, blending into the tapestry of disorder, which eventually seems to overtake it. However, the last measures of the piece present the motive a final time, still striving to be heard, to fit in, and ultimately, to exist at all.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Music Theory and Composition in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Ladislav Kubik, Professor Directing Thesis; Clifton Callender, Committee Member; Mark Wingate, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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