UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exploring the waterfall Pickett, Timothy Jay


Exploring the Waterfall is a 13-minute composition for 12 strings in 2 continuous movements. It realizes important aspects of a harmonic theory that I have been developing over the past 15 years. This theory is an attempt to recreate and expand tonal resources through a rational method based on acoustics. It focuses on the ability of one primary principle, the regulation of frequencies through number series, to generate the entire harmonic content of a piece of music. In the first movement, this is mainly accomplished through series selection, whereby many different series are grouped together according to the similarities and differences in their numeric and intervallic structure. In contrast, the second movement uses only a few different series, but attains harmonic variety through the Intervallic Design concept, in which a single series is segmented and recombined to produce a multitude of different intervallic structures. This harmonic theory illustrates how a wide spectrum of harmonic color can be achieved and united under one system. Finally, from an aesthetic viewpoint, Exploring the Waterfall defies some of the double standards that one often encounters in the realms of jazz and classical music composition.

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