Dissertation Index



Author: Smith, Kathleen Biddick

Title: Musical Process in Selected Works by Michael Torke

Institution: Florida State University

Begun: May 2005

Completed: May 2009

Abstract:

This dissertation explores the role of musical process in four postminimalist works composed by Michael Torke. Close readings of “The Blue Pages,” Rapture, Four Proverbs, and Book of Proverbs show a variety of ways in which process can function in compositional design. As an introduction, Chapter 1 discusses the state of postminimal music analysis, and poses what I believe to be fundamental questions about the impression of postminimalism, including the important role that process plays. Chapter 2 identifies and explains various rhythmic and tonal processes one encounters in minimal and postminimal music. The analytical chapters (Chapters 3 through 5) address three very distinct types of pieces to demonstrate the variety and combinations of processes that appear in Torke’s music. Chapter 3 examines a small chamber work entitled “The Blue Pages” (the second movement from Telephone Book), the form of which is shaped by several interacting rhythmic and tonal processes. Rapture, the subject of Chapter 4, is a percussion concerto in which rhythmic processes play the largest role. Chapter 5 includes two pieces for voice and ensemble (Four Proverbs and Book of Proverbs), in which the relationship between text and music is especially salient. The dissertation concludes by drawing comparisons and exposing differences among the various analytical examples, providing responses to questions posed in the introduction, and presenting further considerations and additional avenues of research for the study of postminimal music.

Keywords: Michael Torke, Postminimalism, Minimalism, Process Music, Telephone Book, The Blue Pages, Rapture, Four Proverbs, Book of Proverbs

TOC:

CHAPTER 1: POSTMINIMALISM AND MICHAEL TORKE
CHAPTER 2: PROCESS TYPES
CHAPTER 3: TELEPHONE BOOK, “THE BLUE PAGES”
CHAPTER 4: RAPTURE
CHAPTER 5: FOUR PROVERBS AND BOOK OF PROVERBS
CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS

Contact:

Kathleen B. Smith
kbiddick@gmail.com

Date Listed: 09/01/2009


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