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Musical composition, The silent dragons, with document Bashaw, Howard Eugene 1989

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MUSICAL COMPOSITION, THE SILENT DRAGONS, WITH DOCUMENT By HOWARD EUGENE BASHAW B.Mus., The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1981 M.Mus., The Univers i ty of B r i t i sh Columbia, 1984 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS (Composition) in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Music) We accept th is thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March 1989 @ Howard Eugene Bashaw, 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of M u s i c The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date A P r i l 1 1 1 9 8 9 DE-6(3/81) i i ABSTRACT The S i l e n t Dragons is an 18-minute work for chamber ensemble and male chorus. The voice part has no l i t e r a r y or l i n g u i s t i c content , but uses phonemes for the i r sonic and expressive charac te r . Compositional a c t i v i t y is organized into two essent ia l l a y e r s ; texture and drone. In i t s many forms, the textural layer p e r s i s t s throughout the e n t i r e composit ion and is perceived as the concurrence of two d i s t i n c t continuums; the continuum of cumulative rhythmic e f fec t in which the l i s t e n e r r e g i s t e r s and in terpre ts change in the tota l attack rhythm, and the continuum of tex tura l t ransformation in which one perceives t r a n s i t i o n s from one overa l l textura l condi t ion to another. Both continuums ar ise from the cons is tent change in the s t ructure of successive textura l s o n o r i t i e s . Unl ike tex ture , the drone l a s t s jus t one ha l f the composi t ion 's overa l l length and is posi t ioned temporal ly in the textural layer as a centra l segment. Both texture and drone are structured s i m i l a r l y in ternary form; the ternary form of the drone is contained within the ternary form of the textura l l a y e r . In th is sense, and in the impression they make, texture and drone, r e s p e c t i v e l y , provide the composit ion with primary and secondary forms of c o n t i n u i t y . Each c o n t i n u i t y has a s t ra teg ic inter im d e s t i n a t i o n , an event, that a c t i v i t y 'must' proceed to and recede from; these des t ina t ions are, t h e r e f o r e , c l i m a t i c in nature and are perceived as the two most s i g n i f i c a n t events in the composi t ion. i i i Apart from sonor i ty , texture and drone are d is t inguished p r i m a r i l y with reference to t o n a l i t y ; the textural layer is e s s e n t i a l l y non-tonal and is perceived, by and large , in terms of co lor and rhythm. The drone, however,- is designed to induce a sense of t o n a l i t y by means of heterophonic and l inea r re la t ionsh ips that conduce to perceptions of p i tch emphasis and, u l t ima te ly , p i tch c e n t r i c i t y . Supervisor iv TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION 1 II. TEXTURE 3 i The two continuums 3. i i Textural spectrum 3 i i i The rhythmic continuum 7 iv Progression 11 v Cont inui ty 14 III. DRONE 16 i Descr ipt ion 16 i i The ascent 16 i i i The descent 17 iv Structure 19 v Tonal d is junc t ion and l inea r c o n t i n u i t y 19 IV. STRUCTURE AND COGNITION 24 i Three movements 24 i i Relat ive rhythmic a c t i v i t y 24 i i i Interim dest inat ions 26 iv Structura l complex 27 V. SCORE: THE SILENT DRAGONS 29 1 I. INTRODUCTION At a most fundamental l e v e l , The S i l e n t Dragons has only two basic components: texture and drone. Texture is s p e c i f i c a l l y i d e n t i f i e d as a l l sonor i t ies other than drone. Contr ibut ing member(s) to textural sonor i t i es range from one instrument (rare) to f u l l ensemble. The drone i s i d e n t i f i a b l e in equal ly precise terms; i t is the monodic chant - l i ke sonori ty produced by the male chorus (solo or unison) . The voice in a l l other set t ings funct ions as a cont r ibut ing member to textural sonor i ty . Although texture and drone remain c l e a r l y d i s t i n c t in sonor i ty , they funct ion s i m i l a r l y in the capaci ty of providing long-range c o n t i n u i t y . The textural layer provides the greatest degree of c o n t i n u i t y , f o r , in one form or another, texture is always present. Textural cont inu i ty is achieved through the process of continuous textural transformation (explained l a t e r ) . The drone represents a secondary form of c o n t i n u i t y , fo r i t l a s t s jus t one hal f the composit ion's o v e r - a l l length and is c l e a r l y perceived as temporal ly embedded in the textural continuum. The c o n t i n u i t i e s of both texture and drone are sect iona l i zed in s im i la r ways. In both cases l a r g e - s c a l e contrast in the musical set t ing c l e a r l y def ines three major s e c t i o n s ; the resu l t ing st ructure i s ternary in that the f i r s t and th i rd sect ions contain percept ib le s i m i l a r i t i e s while the central one o f fe rs a d i s t i n c t cont ras t . The drone's ternary s t ructure is contained within the ternary structure of the texture: the drone's f i r s t sect ion begins approximately two-thirds 2 of the way through the f i r s t sect ion of tex ture . The drone's th i rd sect ion ends approximately one-s ix th of the way through the t h i r d sect ion of the texture. The points of d i v i s i o n between the f i r s t and second, and second and th i rd sect ions are the same for both texture and drone; there fore , the central sect ions of both texture arid drone c o i n c i d e , remaining d i s t i n c t in sonor i ty . 3 II. TEXTURE The two continuums The textura l layer is a concurrence of two d i s t i n c t , yet i n t e r -dependent continuums; the continuum of cumulative rhythmic e f fec t (rhythmic continuum), and the continuum of textural t ransformat ion . These continuums are of equal importance even though the i r respec t ive cont r ibut ions are c l e a r l y d i s t i n c t : the rhythmic continuum provides the composition with an overa l l sense of progress ion , while that of textura l t ransformat ion provides the composition with i t s basic con-t i n u i t y . The essent ia l d i f f e r e n c e between the two continuums l i e s in t h e i r r e l a t i v e rates of change: the rate of change in the rhythmic continuum is s i g n i f i c a n t l y slower than the rate of change in the con-tinuum of textural t ransformat ion; change in the former is perceived as underly ing change in the l a t t e r . Textural spectrum Due to the fact that texture is everpresent (as a dimension of the p i e c e ) , the continuous process of change r e s u l t i n g in a succession of d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e textura l s o n o r i t i e s is re fer red to as the continuum of  textura l t ransformat ion . The term textura l spectrum ind ica tes the ordered set of textura l s o n o r i t i e s d is t ingu ished as the consequence of t h i s process of change. This term re fe rs to texture only as a succession of s o n o r i t i e s d i s t i n c t as acoust ic phenomena; i t is a term with no impl ica t ion of funct ion or h ierarchy . In summary, textural 4 t ransformat ion is the means for a r t i c u l a t i n g texture as the textural spectrum. Example 1 is an approximate representat ion of the textural spec-trum (sect ions E, E l , E2, and G5 [excepting percussion] are deleted from the example; these sect ions are unique in the spectrum and are f u l l y d iscussed l a t e r ) . The co lo rs represent ing the s ix d i f f e r e n t f a m i l i e s of instruments are s p e c i f i c a l l y analogous to the r e l a t i v e degrees of t imbral prominence p a r t i c u l a r to each of these f a m i l i e s . Put another way, r e l a t i v e i n t e n s i t i e s of p ro jec t ion are d is t ingu ished by analogous co lo r cod ing: The two br igh tes t f a m i l i e s of instruments are high percussion and brass ; these are represented as orange and r e d , r e s p e c t i v e l y . S i m i l a r l y , low percussion and piano, being the darkest , are represented as blue and purple r e s p e c t i v e l y . The s t r ings and chorus exh ib i t an i n t e n s i t y best described as mediate, and are repre -sented as green and turquoise r e s p e c t i v e l y . This co lor coding is not intended to r e f l e c t acoust ic proper t ies of instruments per se , but rather to ind icate d i s t i n c t i o n s among textura l const i tuents p a r t i c u l a r to t h i s composi t ion. TEXTURAL SPECTRUM example 1 Time Frames | 8 5 " 7 7 " 9 5 " LA] [1] [C] [D] 140" 160' [E] [F] [G] [18:00] 200" Porcussion - high ( i n d e f i n i t e pitch) Percussion - low ( i n d e f i n i t e pitch) Pianos Brass [ H ] Strings Chorus [I] 6 Consider the fo l lowing observat ions made in reference to example 1: (1) A - C4 and E3 - F5' are s i m i l a r in the i r instrumentat ion, r e g i s t r a t i o n and subdued charac ter . D - D5 and G2 - 14' are s i m i l a r in t h e i r instrumentat ion, r e g i s t r a t i o n , d i v e r s i t y , a c t i v i t y , and asser t i ve charac te r . (2) In context of A - F5' o n l y , D - D5' can be regarded as an i n t e r p o l a t i o n of d i v e r s i t y and a c t i v i t y . In context of D - 14' o n l y , E - F5' can be regarded as an i n t e r p o l a t i o n of uni formity and i n a c t i v i t y . (3) A - D5' demonstrates the motion from subdued/ inact ive to d i v e r s e / a c t i v e . E - F5 ' is e s s e n t i a l l y subdued and i n a c t i v e . G - 14' i s e s s e n t i a l l y asser t ive and act ive ( a c t i v i t y and i n a c t i v i t y re fe r to the rate of change in both hor izonta l and v e r t i c a l d imensions) . In l i g h t of these observa t ions , the textura l spectrum encourages two p o s s i b i l i t i e s of s t ruc tura l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n : (1) In the broadest of p e r s p e c t i v e s , texture is perceived as an overa l l evo lut ion from re t i cence (subdued, i n a c t i v e , uniform) to exuberance ( a s s e r t i v e , a c t i v e , d i v e r s e ) . A regress ive in te r rupt ion in t h i s evolut ion r e s u l t s in a three-par t s e c t i o n a l i z a t i o n tha t , in t u r n , c o n s t i t u t e s the composi t ion 's three-movement s t r u c t u r e : the f i r s t point of d i v i s i o n (E) occurs af ter the i n i t i a l development of textura l d i v e r s i t y and a c t i v i t y ; the subsequent abandonment of th is development combined with a return to the i n i t i a t i n g textural environment ( " i n i -t i a l " in a n o n - l i t e r a l sense) c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e s the f i r s t major d i v i s i o n . The sect ion preceding th is f i r s t d i v i s i o n is designated as 7 movement I. The second point of d i v i s i o n (G) occurs with the resump-t ion of textura l d i v e r s i t y and a c t i v i t y , and a t h i r d sect ion is thus as c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d as the f i r s t . The sect ion f a l l i n g between E and G is designated as movement II, and the l a s t sect ion as movement III. Were they immediately adjacent, movements I and III would j o i n , forming a s ingle movement exh ib i t ing continuous textural e v o l u t i o n . Movement II, there fore , funct ions as an in ter rupt ion in th is c o n t i n u i t y , and i t is th is in ter rupt ion that forms the basis of the composit ion's three-movement s t ruc tu re . (2) The textural spectrum can also be viewed as two analogously st ructured s e c t i o n s : A - D5 and E to 14. The f i r s t sect ion of these i s movement I, and the second includes both movements II and III. The p a r a l l e l aspect of these two sect ions is as fo l lows: the f i r s t move-ment's c h a r a c t e r i s t i c motion from subdued/ inact ive to d i v e r s e / a c t i v e i s r e p l i c a t e d on a larger level in the conjunct ion of movements II and III. In other words, movements II and III combine as an extended r e p e t i t i o n , in general textural o u t l i n e , of movement I. The rhythmic continuum The pers istence of the textural layer r e s u l t s in continuous rhythmic a c t i v i t y , an a c t i v i t y structured into two l e v e l s of f u n c t i o n : in an immediate perspect ive , adjacent textural s o n o r i t i e s are d i s t i n -guished p r imar i l y by change in rhythmic d e t a i l ; while in a broader perspec t ive , one perce ives , as cumulative rhythm, a c t i v i t y within spans composed of a succession of textural sonor i t i es perceived as s imi la r in 8 respect of such a c t i v i t y . Rhythmic change from one textural sonor i ty to the next occurs within the continuum of textural t ransformat ion. Change in the cumulative rhythm within an ordered set of textures determines the continuum of rhythmic e f fec t proper . The continuum of rhythmic e f fec t has three gradations of r e l a t i v e rhythmic a c t i v i t y ; minimal , medial and maximal. Each of these charac-t e r i z e s the cumulative rhythmic e f fect of a succession of textural sonor i t i es that demonstrate c lear s i m i l a r i t y in the i r individual net rhythmic e f f e c t s . A textural sonor i ty is a composite of indiv idual rhythmic s t ruc tu res . I ts net rhythmic e f fec t (ensemble rhythm, macro-rhythm) i s the overa l l level of a c t i v i t y , in r e l a t i v e terms, produced by the ensemble of these indiv idual s t ruc tures . Put another way, the net rhythmic e f fec t indicates the rhythm of a texture per se, and not the rhythm of i t s s t ructura l components; i t is an e f fect the basis of which is in perception and not in cons t ruc t ion . The cumulative  rhythmic e f fec t re fe rs to the level of a c t i v i t y that d is t inguishes each gradation in the rhythmic continuum; i t represents the composite rhythmic e f fec t of a set of successive textural sonor i t ies demonstrat-ing s imi la r net rhythmic e f f e c t . The cumulative rhythmic e f fect i s , in p r i n c i p l e , the h i e r a r c h i c a l extension of the net rhythmic e f f e c t , for i t represents the rhythm of each gradation per se and not the rhythm of i t s indiv idual members, which are .successive textures . Gradation change occurs only where there ex is ts s u f f i c i e n t contrast in the net rhythmic e f fec t of adjacent s o n o r i t i e s . Each of the three gradations in the rhythmic continuum can be fur ther described in terms of representat ive textural s o n o r i t i e s : 9 (1) Textural sonor i t i es exh ib i t ing minimal cumulative rhythmic a c t i v i t y can be referred to as sustained tex tures . These s o n o r i t i e s are perceived as regions of comparative i n a c t i v i t y . The s t ructura l components of sustained textures are, for the most par t , independent rhythmic structures p a r t i c u l a r to each of the cont r ibu t ing i n s t r u -ments. The composite e f fec t of these independent s t ructures is one of reserve, but with an internal a c t i v i t y that provides co lor and v ibrancy; an a c t i v i t y designed to enhance rather than chal lenge the intent of comparit ive s t a s i s . (2) Textural sonor i t i es belonging to the gradation of maximal rhythmic a c t i v i t y can be re ferred to as anxious tex tures . These sonor i t ies exhib i t considerable a c t i v i t y and excitement; they are the perceptual antipodes to sustained texture . As was the case in sus-tained texture , the s t ructura l components of anxious texture are independent rhythmic structures p a r t i c u l a r to each of the cont r ibu t ing instruments. In t h i s l a t t e r case , however, a c t i v i t y is pronounced to the extent such that the composite e f fec t is one best described as hyper-rhythmic. Hyper-rhythm indicates one s p e c i f i c textural condi t ion wherein the simultaneous rhythmic components produce a composite rhythmic complex-i t y that precludes any perception of an organiz ing pulse or metric s t ruc ture ; in e f f e c t , a c t i v i t y has pushed the texture beyond conven-t ional means of rhythmic re ference. It should be noted, however, that the condit ion of being ametric is not s u f f i c i e n t to determine hyper-rhythm, or by extension, an anxious texture . In th is work, in f a c t , a sustained e f fect is one that necessar i l y negates inference of pulse 10 or meter, and s ince in the case of sustained tex tures , the internal rhythmic a c t i v i t y is e c l i p s e d by the sostenuto e f f e c t . In s h o r t , sus-ta ined textures are also a m e t r i c a l , but ipso f a c t o , and without inducing and then defeat ing any des i re to hear meter in the l i s t e n e r . By c o n t r a s t , anxious tex tu res , in addi t ion to presenting a c t i v i t y and excitement, create regions of r e l a t i v e t e n s i o n : when confronted with hyper-rhythm, the l i s t e n e r s t r i v e s to e s t a b l i s h contextual h i e r a r c h i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n ; the cons is tent denial of such organizat ion r e s u l t s in prolonged expecta t ion , and hence, t e n s i o n . Sustained textures are , in comparison, r e l a x e d , as they car ry no impl ica t ion of rhythmic h i e r a r c h y . (3) Textural s o n o r i t i e s belonging to the gradation of medial rhythmic a c t i v i t y can be re fe r red to as sustained-anxious tex tu res . These s o n o r i t i e s occur only as t r a n s i t i o n a l regions between sustained and rhythmic tex tures . They present a level of a c t i v i t y that represents the fus ion of sustained and rhythmic tex tures . Two forms of textura l sonor i ty earn the designat ion sustained anxious: (a) sustained textures that demonstrate degrees of rhythmic a r t i c u l a t i o n s u f f i c i e n t to chal lenge t h e i r own net sustained e f f e c t (the texture is subjected to the threat of an i n s i s t e n t rhythmic p r o f i l e , perhaps with h i e r a r c h i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s ) ; and (b) anxious textures whose perceptual e f f e c t is transformed by temporal prolongat ion (the i n i t i a l e f f e c t of a c t i v i t y and excitement in rhythmic textures is diminished when subjected to pro long-a t i o n ; the i n i t i a l e f f e c t assumes an underlying sostenuto p r o f i l e by v i r tue of i t s very p e r s i s t e n c e ) . Whether sustained-anxious texture has o r i g i n e i ther in sustained or in anxious tex ture , i t s phenomenological e f f e c t is l a r g e l y one and the same. 11 Progression As mentioned, sustained and anxious textures are opposed grada-t ions in the rhythmic continuum, while the sustained-anxious textures are always t r a n s i t i o n a l between the two. Ant ic ipated motion between these counteract ive textures (sustained to anxious, or anxious to sus-tained) is the basis from which progression is der ived : regions of sustained texture are expected to move to regions of anxious texture , and, converse ly , regions of anxious texture are expected to move to regions of sustained texture . This motion is expected because i t represents the motion from re laxat ion to tens ion , and tension to r e l a x -a t i o n . Progression is achieved with the r e a l i z a t i o n of t h i s expected motion. The succession of gradations in the rhythmic continuum is s t r a -t e g i c a l l y organized to (1) f a c i l i t a t e consistent motion between counteract ive tex tures , and (2) to formal ize th is motion in a st ructure both in te res t ing and p e r c e p t i b l e . Example 2c l demonstrates th is organ-i z a t i o n : regions of sustained texture are represented in green, sustained-anxious in orange, and anxious in red (colors are used here with the hope of providing a v isual representat ion analagous to the r e l a t i v e e f f e c t of each rhythmic gradat ion; green = i n a c t i v e / r e l a x e d , red = a c t i v e / t e n s e , orange = t r a n s i t i o n a l ) . As is immediately obvious in the example, the rhythmic continuum is organized simply as a f i v e -part a l te rna t ion between counteract ive textures , and each of these 1 Examples 2 and 4 present the textural spectrum in r e g i s t r a l compression. This compacted v e r s i o n , included for guide re ference , i s to be understood as an abbreviated form of Example 1. 12 textures is separated by a t r a n s i t i o n a l texture . The perceptual e f fec t of th is structure is the large scale progression of re laxed- tense-re laxed- tense - re laxed . In a less obvious perspect ive , the organizat ion of the rhythmic continuum produces a symmetrical double-arch s t ruc ture . Example 2e c l e a r l y ind icates th is underlying st ructure where susta ined, sustained-anxious and anxious textures are represented as A, B and C r e s p e c t i v e l y . The s i g n i f i c a n c e of the double-arch is further explained in the la te r d iscuss ion of s t ruc tura l complex. RELATIVE RHYTHMIC ACTIVITY 1) Rhythmic Continuum (c) A I .:' = inactive (- I "*l = active jj i U = fusion 2) Drone (d) A C B example 2 = inactive = active = fusion 1 2 3 4 ! 1 2 3 4 85" [A] 1 2 3 A | 77" [B] [C] 95' 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 160" [D] 140' [E] 1 2 3 4 5 ( 1 2 3 4 5 —1 1 1 1 1 i 1 1 1 1 L 160' [F] *rt *:"' A 1 • MVT I-A MVT I I C Pianos Perc-low Chorus Strings Perc-high Brass a) = Time Frames b) = Textural Spectrum c) = Rhythmic Continuum d) = Drone e) = Double-Arch 14 Cont inui ty As mentioned above, basic c o n t i n u i t y for the composition inheres in the textural dimension. This c o n t i n u i t y can be e x p l i c i t l y defined as the continuum of textura l t ransformat ion, and is perceived as the continuous succession of changing textural s o n o r i t i e s . Textural t rans-formation is e s p e c i a l l y important when viewed in r e l a t i o n to the length of a textural layer : texture can be prolonged only when subjected to the process of t ransformat ion. In other words, texture "must" undergo continuous change where i t is allowed to p e r s i s t . The reason for th is is u l t imately one of aesthet ic judgement, since in order for perceptual interest to remain constant , t ransformation must occur at a rate rough-ly proportional to temporal pers is tence . Texture appearing for r e l a -t i v e l y b r ie f periods need not exh ib i t s i g n i f i c a n t change (or , indeed, any at a l l ) . Texture appearing for r e l a t i v e l y long periods of t ime, however, must exh ib i t some form of v a r i a t i o n . A textural layer that is always present must exh ib i t greatest change of a l l . In shor t , the r e l a t i v e duration of texture determines the degree to which change "must" occur . Since texture extends throughout the 18 or so minutes of Si lent  Dragons, i t must be transformed in sonor i ty with considerable f r e -quency. The work's r a p i d i t y of textural t ransformation is not only calculated to compensate for th is d u r a t i o n , but to also induce an overa l l e f fect of continuous change: although texture is const ructed , and immediately perce ived , as compact regions of d i s t i n c t sonor i ty , i t assumes as a complete e n t i t y the cumulative e f fec t of constant 15 metamorphosis and is to be appreciated as a sonic dep ic t ion of i n s i s -tent momentum. 16 I I I . DRONE Descr ip t ion The secondary form of c o n t i n u i t y in The S i l e n t Dragons i s the bass l i n e drone, expressed e x c l u s i v e l y in the chorus. The overa l l shape of the drone is a three-par t melodic arch whose ascent and descent is p r imar i l y by semitone. The ascent is prolonged and takes approximately one-ha l f the composi t ion 's overa l l l ength . In comparison, i t s descent i s extremely abrupt, occupying approximately one t h i r t y - f i f t h of the o v e r a l l length (25 seconds) . The composit ional strategy behind these seemingly d ispropor t ionate durat ions of ascent and descent is explained in the fo l lowing d i s c u s s i o n . The ascent The drone's ascent is d iv ided into two s e c t i o n s ; the f i r s t occurs in time frames D - D5 and c o n s i s t s of the i n i t i a l ascent F - G#; the second occurs in time frames E - F5 and presents the continued ascent A - D. In the f i r s t s e c t i o n , textura l t ransformation is t r iggered by each chromatic r i s e in the drone's monodic s e t t i n g . The textual se t t ing here is e s s e n t i a l l y s y l l a b i c . The second sect ion (E - F5 ' ) i s immediately d is t ingu ished by the octave t r a n s p o s i t i o n of the drone into the solo tenor where i t is then embell ished in the form of an extended melisma. The o r i g i n a l octave of the drone (that of the f i r s t sect ion) i s used o c c a s i o n a l l y in the remaining voices to d i s c r e e t l y provide a measure of r e g i s t r a l c o n t i n u i t y without de t rac t ing from the tenor s o l o . 17 The apex of the drone's arch (F5) i s the terminating point of the extended melisma, and i t is treated as a c l imact ic event. The descent The th i rd part of the drone is i t s descent (G2) from D to F#. This region is most s ign i f i can t in the large-scale plan of the composi-t i o n , for i t is here that the predominant cont inui ty establ ished by the drone in E - F5 is rap id ly absorbed by the textural dimension. The set t ing of the drone's descent i s , therefore, t rans i t iona l in funct ion: i t s abrupt descent i s combined with a simultaneous increase in sur-rounding textural d i ve rs i t y and in tens i ty (G - G2 ' ) . Upon completion of descent, the drone i s abruptly abandoned and new textures are immediately introduced (G3). The t rans i t iona l set t ing of the drone's descent is s p e c i f i c a l l y designed to simultaneously rea l i ze four compositional ob ject ives: (1) To sh i f t the perception of texture from the ro le of accompani-ment (mvt II in par t icu lar ) to the ro le of predominance: the textures accompanying the drone's ascent are perceived as dependent to the extent that transformation occurs, by and large, with each r i se in the drone. The descent and subsequent el iminat ion of the drone funct ions s p e c i f i c a l l y to enable the textural dimension to (a) assume complete independence, and (b) to subsequently assert i t s e l f as the primary thrust of the overal l composition. (2) To provide a sense of completion to the drone in that i t s descent w i l l be perceived as representing a return to i t s or ig inat ing 18 context: a l ine that simply ascends and terminates does not provide the same sense of completion as one that both ascends and descends pr ior to terminat ion. The l a t t e r instance exempl i f ies the basic com-posi t ional p r i n c i p l e of departure and r e t u r n . The abandonment of the drone immediately af ter i t s c l i m a c t i c apex would, the re fo re , most l i k e l y r e s u l t in the expectation of a l a te r return thereby providing some conclusive form of descent. A re turn of th is nature in The S i l e n t  Dragons would e x p l i c i t l y contrad ic t the basic in t r igue of drone u l t i -mately surrendering i t s existence to the ever - inc reas ing predominance of the textural environment. (3) To abruptly subordinate the s i g n i f i c a n c e acquired in the drone's ascent. The process of prolongation a t t r ibu tes d i s t i n c t i v e importance to both sect ions of the drone's ascent. This importance is immediately retracted by (a) the sudden abandonment of pro longat ion , and (b) the extreme contrast manifested in the r a p i d i t y of descent. (4) To re in force the perception of the drone's apex as the s i g n i -f i c a n t interim d e s t i n a t i o n . In the course of i t s descent , the drone becomes ec l ipsed by environmental tex ture . The r e s u l t i n g retreat in. exposure and the aforementioned r a p i d i t y of descent contr ibute to the process of de-emphasis, and the drone's apex is thereby enhanced as the point of maximum emphasis. This enhancement is by way of two f a c t o r s : (a) The compressed set t ing of the descent and termination precludes any challenge to the p reva i l ing s i g n i f i c a n c e of the apex, and (b) the abruptness in contrast between the regions of growth and dec l ine pro-vides immediate subordination of the l a t t e r to the former. 19 Structure In i t s e n t i r e t y , the drone manifests in simple ternary s t r u c t u r e . The f i r s t (D - D5') and th i rd (G2) sect ions demonstrate two basic s i m i l a r i t i e s : (1) The text in e i ther case is set in a s y l l a b i c manner; a s i m i l a r i t y that remains percept ib le even though the respect ive rates of a c t i v i t y are in obvious c o n t r a s t . (2) The textural environment in e i ther case is predominant and therefore remains the primary focus of a t ten t ion . The cont ras t ing central sect ion is d is t inguished in four ways: (1) the obvious reduction in textural in tens i ty and d i v e r s i t y , (2) the sudden emergence of the drone funct ion ing as the dominant form of c o n t i n u i t y , (3) the melismatic set t ing of the tex t , and (4) the emergence, unique in the work, of tonal funct ions and r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Of these four d i s t i n c t i o n s , the las t is most important and requires e labora t ion . Tonal d is junct ion and l i n e a r con t inu i ty The l inear c o n t i n u i t y (G-sharp - A) br idging the f i r s t and second sect ions (D5 to E3) of the drone's ascent is interrupted by the region E - E2; a region of s t r i k i n g contrast that funct ions contextual ly as a tonal departure from the non-tonal nature of the f i r s t movement: although the chromatic r i s e (F - G#) in the drone's i n i t i a l ascent is perceived as a r e g i s t r a l / 1 i n e a r c o n t i n u i t y , i t can scarcely be argued that th is r i s e , in i t s e l f , c a r r i e s an impl icat ion of t o n a l i t y . Furthermore, tonal involvement is not even remotely suggested in the accompanying textural environment. The unexpected inser t ion and 20 treatment of B-natural at E places an unprecedented emphasis on p i tch and invokes t o n a l i t y as a larger perspect ive . Three d i s t i n c t cond i -t ions combine to produce th is emphasis and are de ta i led as fo l lows: (1) The sudden s ix -octave r e p l i c a t i o n of B-natural at E is a com-p e l l i n g form of emphasis, for (a) contrast is maximized because no octave r e p l i c a t i o n ex is ts pr ior to E and (b) by sheer weight alone, a s ix -octave r e p l i c a t i o n is a forcefu l construct in any context . (2) The sudden and unprecedented absence of rhythmic a c t i v i t y at E minimizes textural d i v e r s i t y to the extent such that at tent ion is con-f ined la rge ly to the treatment of p i t c h . (3) The a r r iva l of B-natural at E in te r rupts the cont inu i ty of the drone's chromatic ascent , and, in an immediate sense, is understood as an unannounced subs t i tu t ion for the expected A - n a t u r a l . In a larger sense, the B-natural thereby funct ions as an upper neighbour to A - n a t u r a l ; the eventual motion to A-natural in E2 i s delayed both by the susta in ing of B-natural through E - E2, and the l inear embe l l i sh -ment of B-natural at the onset of E2. In addit ion to i t s tonal perspect ive , the region E - E2 is fur ther d is t inguished in i t s suspension of rhythmic i n t e n s i t y and d i v e r s i t y . The expected resumption of rhythmic texture occurs in conjunction with the cont inuat ion of the drone's chromatic ascent (E3) . A charac ter -i s t i c of E - E2' is retained in E3 and perseveres as the composit ional substructure for the remainder of the drone's ascent: Octave r e p l i c a t i o n within Piano I and between Piano I and the solo tenor is maintained with several in terest ing and expressive conse-quences. F i r s t , the octaves generate a tonal underpinning that , in an immediate context provides an anchoring t o n a l i t y , lending percept ib le c e n t r i c i t y to the melodic/harmonic variance exhibi ted in solo tenor and Piano II, and i t forms the basis of the large scale harmonic progres-sion in D (VI - V - natural VII - I) that t o n i c i z e s D at the c l i m a c t i c apex of the drone's ascent. Second, the octave r e p l i c a t i o n in Piano I at E3 - F5 funct ions heterophonica l ly with respect to the tenor: the two parts are in a sort of counterpoint which, i f the tenor 's l i n e is reduced to i ts basic elements, s i m p l i f i e s to p a r a l l e l octaves . F i n a l -l y , Piano I r e la tes p r i m a r i l y , at t imes, to texture . For example, at E 3 , i t is absorbed into the textural environment and is perceived la rge ly as a b a s s - r e g i s t e r presence. The harmonic wash in Piano II (E3 - E5) can only be described as s u p e r f i c i a l changes in harmonic co lor - - changes whose c e n t r i c i t y remains f i rmly rooted in the tonal underpinning of piano I. The rate of change in piano II i s co inc identa l with the change of successive phrases in the melisma. In a broad sense, the harmonic wash might be thought of as an i n t e n s i f i e d c o u n t e r a c t i v i t y to the melismatic embel-lishment of the tenor ; the tonal underpinning of piano I is embell ished in the harmonic/rhythmic mobi l i t y of piano II. Example 3 summarizes the fo l lowing aspects of the drone's s t ructure : (1) The drone's ternary s t ructure as contained within the ternary structure iden t i f i ed as movements in the e a r l i e r d iscuss ion of texture . (2) The tonal underpinning o f , and subsequent t o n i c i z a t i o n w i th in , the central B s e c t i o n . 22 (3) A l l p i tches of the B sect ion in h ie ra rch ica l representat ion in r e l a t i o n to the anchoring t o n a l i t y ; bracketed pitches indicate the c o l l e c t i o n s of p i tches used in the melismatic embellishment of the solo tenor (Ex. 3a), and in the harmonic wash generated by piano II (Ex. 3c). 24 IV. STRUCTURE AND COGNITION Three movements The three movement s e c t i o n a l i z a t i o n establ ished in the e a r l i e r d iscussion of texture i s , as was the case for drone, simple ternary s t ruc ture . The f i r s t and th i rd movements bear the fo l lowing s i m i l a r -i t i e s : (1) the predominance of t ex ture , (2) non-tonal harmonic e n v i -ronment, (3) s imi la r treatment of drone, and (4) s im i l a r contrast between the r e l a t i v e rhythmic a c t i v i t y of texture and drone (as d i s -cussed l a t e r ) . The central contrast ing movement is d is t inguished by the fo l lowing: (1) the predominance of drone, (2) obvious contrast in the treatment of drone, (3) impl ica t ion of t o n a l i t y , and (4) a reversa l in the contrast between the r e l a t i v e rhythmic a c t i v i t y of texture and drone. In short , the f i r s t and th i rd movements are perceived in r e l a -t ion to texture, and the second in r e l a t i o n to drone. Rela t ive rhythm and a c t i v i t y Each of the composit ion's movements presents obvious contrast in the r e l a t i v e rhythmic a c t i v i t y of texture and drone. In the f i r s t movement, where texture and drone are simultaneous, texture is ac t ive and drone is inac t i ve . The second movement reverses these ro les with the drone active and the accompanying textural l a y e r , although more act ive than the drone in a s t r i c t l y l i t e r a l sense, inact ive (the i n -a c t i v i t y of texture here is a perception induced by the contrast in set t ing that immediately subordinates texture to (1) the acoust ic 25 presence of the drone, and (2) the prominence of the texture as estab-l ished in the f i r s t movement). The t h i r d movement returns the drone to the ro le of i n a c t i v i t y and texture to the ro le of a c t i v i t y . With respect to opposing ro les of r e l a t i v e a c t i v i t y and i n a c t i v -i t y , the drone's b r i e f appearance in the th i rd movement is c ruc ia l in r e a l i z i n g two composit ional o b j e c t i v e s : (1) to contr ibute to the sense of completion manifest in the descent of the drone: the r a p i d i t y of the drone's descent represents a level of a c t i v i t y suggesting a concluding fus ion of the r e l a t i v e i n -a c t i v i t y and a c t i v i t y e s t a b l i s h e d , r e s p e c t i v e l y , in the f i r s t two move-ments (Ex. 2d) . (2) To ensure the perception of return to r e l a t i v e i n a c t i v i t y despite the comparative abruptness of the drone's descent - - a percep-t ion achieved simply through d i rec t c o n t r a s t . In comparison to the sustained set t ing of the f i r s t movement, the drone's d i rec t and un-adorned descent in the th i rd can only be described as demonstrating percept ib le increase in a c t i v i t y . This increase , however, is not e x p l i c i t l y perceived as such, but rather as (conversely) representing the return to r e l a t i v e i n a c t i v i t y : The high level of. a c t i v i t y p a r t i c u -lar to the melismatic embellishment in the second movement b l a t a n t l y contrasts with the straightforward and compar i t ive ly inact ive descent in the t h i r d ; i t i s , s p e c i f i c a l l y , the strength of th is contrast that induces the perception of re turn . The drone's entrance and departure are, as mentioned, events treated as inact ive r e l a t i v e to surrounding texture . More p r e c i s e l y descr ibed , these events s t r a t e g i c a l l y occur in context of rhythmica l ly 26 intense textures (regions of maximal rhythmic a c t i v i t y ) , and are, the re fo re , p a r t i a l l y hidden in the compositional f a b r i c [Example 2e demonstrates the drone's entrance (A) and departure (B) in r e l a t i o n to the double arch structure p a r t i c u l a r to the rhythmic continuum]. Consequently, in the course of the three movements the drone assumes ( respect ive ly ) the condi t ions hidden-exposed-hidden. This formula r e a l i z e s two compositional o b j e c t i v e s : (1) O v e r a l l , the drone is perceived as a subordinate en t i ty in contex t 'o f the textural dimension; the drone's emergence, f l o u r i s h i n g and subsequent submersion occur in an opportuniy granted by a l u l l in the harbouring forces of the textural l ayer . (2) In a broad perspect ive , the drone's hidden regions funct ion as t r a n s i t i o n s in the t ransfer of predominant c o n t i n u i t y ; in the f i r s t ins tance , drone absorbs cont inu i ty of tex ture , and in the second (as mentioned e a r l i e r ) , texture absorbs cont inu i ty of drone. Examples 2c and 2d c l e a r l y demonstrate the r e l a t i v e rhythmic a c t i v i t y of texture and drone. Interim dest inat ions The cont inu i ty of texture and drone i s , in e i ther case, or iented to a s p e c i f i c interim d e s t i n a t i o n . These dest inat ions are c l imact ic in s e t t i n g , and are intended perceptual ly as instances to which motion "must" proceed, and from which i t "must" recede (motion here includes a l l aspects cont r ibut ing to the overa l l sense of momentum or propul -s i o n ) . 27 The sense of climax is c l e a r l y achieved at each d e s t i n a t i o n ; there can be no doubt when f a c t o r s of increase p a r t i c u l a r to each c o n t i n u i t y have reached maxima. The inter im des t ina t ion of drone i s i t s c l i m a c t i c apex occurr ing at F5. The inter im des t ina t ion of texture is the tex tura l climax (and, indeed, the obvious climax of the en t i re composition) occurr ing in H3 - I. S t ruc tura l complex The form of The S i l e n t Dragons i s best descr ibed as a s t ruc tura l complex inc luding four d isparate substructures (Example 4) : (1) the p o s i t i o n i n g of the two inter im d e s t i n a t i o n s , (2) the three movement d i v i s i o n of the textura l d imension, (3) the embedded ternary form of the drone, and (4) the textura l spectrum per se . The complex is shown in Example 4, in which the r i s i n g and f a l l i n g l i n e s ind ica te f l u c t u a -t ions in the r e l a t i v e predominance of texture (red) and drone ( b l u e ) , and inter im des t ina t ions ( instances of maximal predominance) are i n d i -cated as the high point of each l i n e . This complex const i tu tes the basic ob ject ive of the work: that in te res t is to be generated and sustained by the recogni t ion of the four d isparate substructures in the i r unfolding as un i f i ed macro s t r u c t u r e ; and while the t i t l e , The  S i l e n t Dragons, unavoidably suggests programmatic or extra-musical a s s o c i a t i o n s , i t i s not intended to generate s p e c i f i c expecta t ions , but to encourage any such assoc ia t ions as may a r i se in the ind iv idua l 1i s tener . STRUCTURAL COMPLEX a ) Interim Destinations b" ) Time Frames c ) Textural Spectrum Drone ' Textural MVT. I — A — (c.7:00) TEXTURE Embedded -Ternary MVT.II — B (c.5:00) DRONE (melismatic) B-MVT.III A' (c.6:00) -A'— Drone; Climactic Apex TEXTURE Textural Climax Pianos Perc-low Chorus Strings Perc-high Brass example 4 THL SlLiNJ MAQONS Music and text composed by HOWARD BASHAW I) INSTRUMENTATION k PERCUSSION 1) F inger Cymbals Gongs (2) Tarn Tarn Timbales Wind Chime 3) Suspended Cymbal Temple Blocks Wind Chime Wood Block 2) Bongos Inverted Cymbal on Timpani Wind Chime 4) Bass Drum Congas Suspended Cymbal Wind Chime 2 PIANOS 8 VOICE MALE CHORUS ( a m p l i f i e d ) 4 Tenors (1 so lo) 4 Basses (1 so lo) 10 STRINGS 4 V i o l a s , 6 V i o l i n s 6 BRASS 2 Tenor Trombones, 2 Bass Trombones, 2 Tubas CONDUCTOR II ) STAGING Ill) NOTATION 1) no tempo or cancel previous tempo 2) I j _ J \ , independent tempo: ' I 0 ~ performer ad lib J3 3) J = X -{CNDCT In-dependent tempo: 'conducted -i repeat composed unit improvise on composed unit 6) 7) 8) 9) i PIANO: black and white key cluster extreme upper (or lower) register - approx. 1 octave taper - out (rit/dim) performer ad lib accel./cresc. poco a performer ad lib 10) Time Frame System © ® a) rehearsal numbers b) designated succession of cues c) approx. time in seconds between frames IV) TEXT The text for The S i l e n t Dragons was composed for acoust ic e f f e c t a lone . No meaning i s otherwise intended. Any resemblance to e x i s t i n g language(s) i s pure ly c o i n c i d e n t a l . PRONOUNCIATION Text Sounds Text Sounds ai aye Lin Lynn ba - Lum loom ban -. moe. mow bin been mon -boh bow mud mood da - na nah dae. day ni knee din - noe. know do doe pen -doi - pon poe han - fiae. ray hin heen AO -hoh hoe Aey. say ^ e high tae. tay krwun - . tai t i e kin keen tin hon. - tney tray Lan - yea V) NOTES TO THE CONDUCTOR The S i l e n t Dragons i s scored i n a f l e x i b l e time-frame system. This system i s s p e c i f i c a l l y designed to (1) provide the conductor maximal opportuni ty to exerc ise personal i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and (2) coordinate simultaneous tempi i n a l o g i c a l system permi t t ing easy and d i r e c t i n t e r a c t i o n between conductor and performer. The score provides immediate access f o r manipulat ion ( i n performance) o f the fo l lowing: (1) the rate of successive e n t r i e s , (2) the durat ion between successive time frames, (3) dynamic contro l on both micro and macro l e v e l s , and (4) phrase shaping r e l a t i v e to variance i n tempi and cumulative dynamics. The conductor's primary concerns are to cue entr i e s and shape phrases. I n d i v i d u a l performers are responsible f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g independent tempi and for terminat ing passages i n the prescr ibed manner. 32 3 42 45 46 47 c*1 7lf1p' TO / n rn AT* ffl f •?•1 * (^pad. cvt A " . * A l t 3 Tv/M_. '•-rp J > rn J~H .p.j : mp PP 49 Sao ajpat. cut Han o i i -TO CO'UClOt PWO A F 7 £ £ T A r l T A D - Tfc)JO(t«, Ukj/«fii.E ID f.J0rTg we T V T » V I • ty\ -fcNDCTJ—• I-51 TAfl A U V»E C " I ' M T,r?P 4l* PfJOI 4> t if ? T i" 1 f 1- 7 I" 7 _ j r l PC* HAiJ 0r( J — [ C N D C T ] — • 4J f 1- \ t 1 M * _____. in/TeA JOCT AOtt «o" puc j>o:Ar-fi 1201 53 54 8e«,'M EAcU OvfiA^t - J I - M 'not' AO U 6 VOWEL tfv^^ft fif-AM PflgErf 55 p p pfe m*h jfpij ! . ' * T 1 57 65 -Ere) T } 1 i -• TAXI &0CX<> -nD§> ' 2 f t H 2H J l 4 = » T t *IO-H)* It" 5/ ^ 4js 5 / — 3 j r p—5/ si *pr— 5.* = »p 5/—rj . T 3 > i k r 3 ' n ' r 3 ^ r 3 > i v^- i . V-^  - 4 - » - — t f c f BlkJ «>• MOM M E THSX&iJ SO Ho*l a*£ T6E< &K| «C<rtM-0lE f I , • — - — 6 / — = p — [ i 1 1 , \r—y, H r ~ 4 / _ ^ f E - n^> r~ 4*H r^ 4 ^ f^ 4H r 4 H nn pn STWtJfc,- Z^ )> 15B -t—o * — * > - —~ ft Hi > > Til 1 I — I — J — B -5 T ? f n r ^ u r I -• u -• 3 -5 s T~ L 3 J — & M O C T ) — 0 3 73 t»* Wc ti fib two Centos ,nWK>,lfrC f " 78 "VrxC Wol-I -f B - • ID - • 1 4 I -• -<llOC\K « V / V i _ ,Mi | A C T _ £ •Hn -w-i iMv rt>r*\_r n_Y W W ^ =554 ft • ! r r = ^ L L ^ L_k. =4¥= ±33 » —rfc • i t • /* V [ i 4** J L l L j y -80 31 81 82 APeP. PEA . ' WSJ 

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