Anatomy of Musical Composition

Little, J. D. (2016) Anatomy of Musical Composition. In: Fourth Annual Research & Scholarship Conference, University of Chichester, 17 Jul 2016, The Dome, Bognor Regis Campus. (Unpublished)

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Work-in-progress poster presentation of highlights and key aspects of a projected monograph:

"Anatomy of Musical Composition: A Handbook and a Guide; or, The Composer’s Directory and Mentor: A Philosophy and Approach to Early 21st-Century Concert Music Composition"

This presentation explores the burgeoning framework of an ambitious project aimed at producing a detailed written guide that lists and describes as many as possible of the techniques that have been, and can be, used, in mainstream acoustic concert music composition. While examining past techniques, it also aims to comment on long-term tendencies that seem to hint at future directions, so as to help establish a practical and viable approach to early 21st-century musical composition.

The contemporary composer’s task is more perplexing than ever, as we now have access to the music of a huge range of geographical locations, as well as that of many past ages. How can a student learn it all, let alone digest it, contemplate it, and create with it? Despite all of the musical traumas of the past century, it can be argued that certain basic principles of musical construction seem never to alter, no matter what the medium, the technology, the place, or the age. We may well, in time, come to fashion a musical art that, because of the vast depth of our heritage and our ever-broadening knowledge, will come to sound at once both very old and very new, and, what is more, very “plural” – or all-embracing. Music should ideally become thoroughly and absolutely comprehensive in its technique, and fully capable of a wider range of emotional expression than ever before. This objective would seem to be the creative challenge for the composer of concert music in the coming century.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords: musical composition
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study > MT40-67 Composition. Elements and techniques of music
Divisions: Academic Areas > Conservatoire
Event Title: Fourth Annual Research & Scholarship Conference, University of Chichester
Event Location: The Dome, Bognor Regis Campus
Event Dates: 17 Jul 2016
Depositing User: Jonathan Little
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2016 14:41
Last Modified: 14 May 2018 10:19

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