Archive for July, 2010

A theme for thesis

As I’m entering my second year of the master’s degree in music composition I must hasten to choose a subject for the thesis paper. I always suggest that tasks such as this, a seemingly academic (i.e. theoretical) one, should by all means have practical implications. Whether affecting the way I compose or altering my conception of music I hear, it should have a significant impact.

While pondering on the matter I have indeed turned to such subjects of both interest and practical use such as research of children’s chants (songs that toddlers make up) as a basic framework for further understanding of the human concept of music. Or an analysis of certain aspects in compositions I’ve already heard, and that I felt may conceal further aspects I have yet to discover, a deeper understanding that may well change the way I hear these compositions.

Unfortunately, all my suggestions were discarded by my professors as already heavily researched and commented. My mind roams again to well-known zones such as music education and popular music, but it all seems like beating around the bush and avoiding what seems to me important and interesting: to have a true insight on artistic composition. It may be a modest insight, but it should have an impact.

My two main concerns and often of a dettering nature in my writing are the flow of creativity and control of structure. Examining these two from the viewpoint of the listener, who’s listening to the completed piece, only the second is crucial to the composition. If my ideas do not flow at the time of composing, I can take a break and continue later, or consult with someone else. But if I lack control of structure it may well affect the composition, as the structure is controled by mere chance.

What then could be a thesis that may influence one of these two aspects? I gaze through the window in front of me and I see the eternal traffic jam on the highway exiting Jerusalem. Every day, except Saturday, from about 16:00 to 18:00 a crawling serpent of cars laborisiosly advancing, gliding on the hot asphalt.

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