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Title: Beyond Pitch: Complexity in Contemporary Electronica
Authors: Morrison, Thomas
Advisors: Tymoczko, Dmitri
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Electronic Music
Subjects: Musical composition
Music theory
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: While production and sound design are often at the forefront of electronic music analysis, fundamental analysis of musical content—pitches, rhythmic structures, form, and process—is often underrepresented in writings and conversations about electronic music. The evolving landscape of available tools in digital music technology gives artists infinite ways and processes to create music, inevitably changing fundamental aspects of the music they make. As techniques evolve, new trends emerge, and a new musical lexicon is built. By transcribing and analyzing five tracks from 2005-2022—“Daughter” by Four Tet, “Berlin” by Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto, “Chorus” by Holly Herndon, “Vladimir’s Blues - Jlin Remix” by Jlin, and “As We Always Do” by Florent Ghys—I will uncover contemporary trends and techniques in current digital music composition, specifically on how they use sampling to achieve musical complexity. Each of these tracks relies heavily on sampling a relatively small economy of acoustic sound sources to build the track’s primary architecture and form. As they all share these common criteria, we can compare how each artist creates compelling and complex music using a small collection of sound material. These tracks find novel ways to address and generate purposeful complexity in contemporary music.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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