Dissertation Index

Author: Wilkinson, Carlton J.

Title: Symphony in Five Movements: A Presentation and Analytical Discussion of a New Work in a Symphonic Form

Institution: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Begun: December 1993

Completed: January 1995


By way of the presentation of a new musical score titled Symphony in Five Movements, problems related to the transference of traditional forms into a modern-day idiom are analyzed. The use of such forms by living composers is argued to be anachronistic in the face of fundamental changes which have occurred in music over the last century. Some alternative approaches to large-scale form, drawn directly from works of twentieth century masters, are presented. An overview of the Symphony in Five Movements is presented and aspects of its particular forms are discussed. The movements follow both ancient and contemporary models, including forms generated from a Cantor set as described by Benoit B. Mandlebrot. The score consists of an introductory Adagio movement, an Allegro whose form is derived from a historical model; two movements loosely based on the minuet and scherzo; and a Presto in a quasi-rondo form. The musical style is influenced in part by the works of Wuorinen, Moevs, Carter and Boulez. The essay describes: (in Chapter I) applying traditional forms to modern-day idioms; (II) the overall form of the Symphony in Five Movements; (III) the special problems encountered in the use of the Cantor set in movements I and V; and (IV), some thoughts on the future of the symphony as an art form.

Keywords: Symphony, Form, Fractals, Cantor set, Mandlebrot, Wuorinen, Moevs, Sonata


Volume I:
Abstract ii
Acknowledgments iv
Table of Contents v
Incipit vi
I. The Difficult Issue of the Symphony as a Dead Form 1
II. The Overall Plan of the Symphony if Five Movements 32
III. The Special Problem of the Cantor Set 48
IV. Concluding Remarks 64
Appendices 68
End Notes 73
Bibliography 77
Vita 80

Preface to the score ii
Orchestration iii
Adagio 1
Allegro 13
Adagio 37
Calm, still/Animato 57
Presto 75


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