Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

A RADICAL IDIOM: STYLE AND MEANING IN THE GUITAR MUSIC OF DEREK BAILEY AND RICHARD BARRETT AND ENERGY SHAPES, AN ORIGINAL COMPOSITION FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR AND ELECTRONIC SOUNDS

Brooks, Aaron (2014) A RADICAL IDIOM: STYLE AND MEANING IN THE GUITAR MUSIC OF DEREK BAILEY AND RICHARD BARRETT AND ENERGY SHAPES, AN ORIGINAL COMPOSITION FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR AND ELECTRONIC SOUNDS. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Research Paper)
Primary Text

Download (5MB) | Preview
[img]
Preview
PDF (Original composition - score)
Supplemental Material

Download (960kB) | Preview
[img] Audio (WAV) (Original composition - audio recording)
Supplemental Material

Download (148MB)

Abstract

The freely-improvised music of British electric and steel-string acoustic guitarist Derek Bailey, who lived from 1930-2005, and the notated electric guitar music of British composer Richard Barrett (b. 1959) bear remarkable similarities, despite originating from different working methods, creative voices, and cultural contexts.
In order to understand this musical style, which I have named “radically idiomatic guitar music,” after a term created by Richard Barrett, I have conducted analyses of micro-level sonic events and larger musical structures utilizing the musicians’ own thoughts on their music along with an analytical approach which investigates oppositions of pitch and rhythmic motive, melodic range, register, and timbre. With each analytical approach, I have discovered a plurality of possible structural readings, which in each case encourage a flexible and creative approach to hearing the music. I have additionally investigated outside critical responses to their music, and briefly discuss the socio-cultural significance of the music through lenses provided by Jacques Attali and Ernst Bloch. I have found that, despite tensions in its creation and reception, the music strives to express a socialistic ideal through the creation of idealized sonic societies, where imagination may be explored free from the restrictions of top-down power structures.
Through this investigation, I have found that radically idiomatic guitar music, through its musical abstractions from conventional styles, its multi-layered musical structures which resist any single aural or analytical reading, and its problematization of familiar instrumental vocabulary, is capable of provides an exciting example of how music might be experienced without clear hierarchies or normalized sets of expectations, inviting us to play an active role in structuring its affect. It is at the same time a music of rigorous thought and craft, and a sound-world of sonic freedom and exploration.
My original composition, Energy Shapes, for electric guitar and electronics, attempts to exemplify this musical style both in its rigor and perceptual subjectivity, while altering some of the style’s basic characteristics by utilizing microtonal elements, by incorporating rhythmic grooves, and by at times making explicit genre references.


Share

Citation/Export:
Social Networking:
Share |

Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Brooks, Aaronaaronbrookscomposer@gmail.com
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMoe, Ericemoe@pitt.eduEMOE
Committee MemberWilliams, Amyaeb59@pitt.eduAEB59
Committee MemberRosenblum, Mathewrosenblu@pitt.eduROSENBLU
Committee MemberScott, William Davidwdscott@pitt.eduWDSCOTT
Date: 28 May 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 March 2014
Approval Date: 28 May 2014
Submission Date: 16 April 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 93
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Music
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Richard Barrett,Derek Bailey, free improvisation, new complexity composition, non-idiomatic, radically idiomatic
Date Deposited: 28 May 2014 15:21
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:19
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21260

Metrics

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics


Actions (login required)

View Item View Item