Explorations of Just Intonation, Minimalism, and Spectralism in 20th Century Music
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This thesis consists of three analyses on works by twentieth century composers who explored the theoretical and practical applications of the harmonic series and just intonation. The first chapter provides a description of Harry Partch’s theoretical work as outlined in his book Genesis of A Music, and investigates the application of his theory to a passage from his composition Castor & Pollux (1952). The second chapter demonstrates the influence of minimalist aesthetics in the works of James Tenney through a survey of his compositional output, and reveals how his spectral compositions arose out of minimalist models and concepts. The third chapter examines Gérard Grisey’s early spectral work Périodes (1974) and his use of domain independence and process composition to explore the harmonic spectrum as a precompositional model.
- Music