THE COMPOSER'S MIND THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: AN ANALYSIS OF PITCH-CENTRICITY IN ZAIDE/ADAMA
This dissertation argues that the structural methods of pitch analysis remain inadequate for the task of explaining what composers are actually doing in their minds. In this work, I address the following questions: where the structural unit appears, does ‘pitch,’ as an isolated term, still affect the contemporary composer’s mind; what is the nature of the composer’s mind; and where does pitch fit into the context of the assemblage of Mozart’s unfinished opera Zaide and Chaya Czernowin’s second opera Zaide /Adama? What is pitch and what does it have to do with contemporary music compositions? What is the true nature of the musical idea and what is the source of this idea? Furthermore, how can a person understand the subjective experience of this musical idea in a composer’s mind? Composition is not the mere imitation of previously experienced contexts. Performativity as practicality and abstract thinking in the forms of the objects and rules of the mind as distinct from the subjective experience and syntax recognition provide complex incompatible mediums for composers. Syntactic structuralism is identical neither to the sensations nor to the ideas of the contemporary composer. As a composer, I believe that the reduction of the complexity of composition erodes the nature of the composer’s creative ideas. In this text, I argue for the impossibility of generative processes to reduce sounds that we create into immediate simpler entities and the inability of larger entities to be made explicitly recognizable or reproducible. Chaya Czernowin’s music in general, in my opinion, represents an excellent example of this non-reducibility.
Cognitive psychology; Chaya Czernowin; Listening; Mozart; Musical language; Philosophy of Music; Pitch-centricity; Musical composition; Philosophy
Ernste, Kevin M.
Pereboom, Derk; Moseley, Roger S.; Sierra, Roberto
Doctor of Musical Arts
dissertation or thesis