Fleeting Asterisms: Original composition with analysis



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This dissertation consists of an original work for wind ensemble, Fleeting Asterisms, and an analysis focusing on three musical aspects of the piece: formal content, harmonic content, and rhythmic content. While the piece is clearly sectional, the absence of traditional formal indicators, such as keys or themes, results in a somewhat ambiguous formal structure. Harmonically, the piece is based on manipulations of small collections of pitches, and several non-tertian verticalities. Though limited in number and scope, these small harmonic units are superimposed and juxtaposed, then mapped onto simple rhythmic motives to produce a wide variety of unique combinatory statements. The analysis of the rhythmic content of the work explores the way this musical information is organized into metrical strata, interacting either simultaneously or in series. The analysis also puts forth a method for dealing with bundles of metrical strata that are manipulated independently of one another. These bundles, or metrical continua, present special notational challenges explored within the analysis.