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Composition Portfolio

The music written for this portfolio offers creative answers to some of the challenges facing contemporary New Zealand composition, including multiculturalism.This has involved in-depth research using a variety of methods. Engagement was undertaken with linguists and musicians from Malaysia and Korea, who not only assisted with texts, but also spoke knowledgeably about their cultural traditions and past and present musical genres. The inclusion of Chinese gu-zheng in several of the works was made possible with the assistance given by Chen Xi Yao, an excellent performer who comes from a long lineage of musicians. Attending concerts given by performers of the instruments that have been used in the portfolio was essential to understanding the sounds and uses of the instruments. In addition, on-line sources include many examples of the sounds. Attendance at workshops on Māori taonga pūoro also brought the additional honour, benefits and experience of making and playing the instruments, and the opportunities to meet and work with leading makers and performers of these musical treasures. Sources of Western classical music that have been particularly influential during the writing of the portfolio are orchestral works by Igor Stravinsky, Samuel Barber and Param Vir, and the song cycles of Alban Berg and Benjamin Britten. Luciano Berio’s virtuosic piece for solo bassoon was also instructive. Experiences of composition, reflection and scholarly research underpin the portfolio and have have informed the composition of each work.
Type of thesis
Ulenberg, P. (2011). Composition Portfolio (Thesis, Master of Music (MMus)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6517
University of Waikato
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