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Durham e-Theses
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Problems of perceptibility affecting formal design in Nontonal music

Jarman, J. D. A (1969) Problems of perceptibility affecting formal design in Nontonal music. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The thesis argues that the absence of traditional referential elements,-such as tonality and metre, affects the exactitude with which the listener perceives certain aspects of nontonal music. It claims that the listener might impose his own interpretation on a work in which the musical patterns are too complex to be perceived exactly and that, in extreme cases, the patterns which the listener reads into the music may be completely subjective. The thesis examines the extent to which Webern and some post-Webernian composers determine the listener's response to their music and shows that certain aspects of Webern's music are simple enough to be easily grasped and to be perceived exactly and that these aspects control the way in which the listener understands Webern's music. It suggests that the nature of the musical material and the procedures employed in much post-Webernian music precludes the use of many of the controls found in Webern, but that other methods of determining the listener's response to the music can be found in some of the works of the post-Webernian composers. It argues, however, that in some post-Webernian music, and particularly in that composed using chance or serial methods, the listener's response to the music may not be determined by the composer. The thesis claims' that many of the important formal problems facing post-Webernian music must be considered in relation to the problems of auditory perception.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1969
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 10:28

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