Towards a Method for the Analysis of Experimental Music
This paper discusses the nature of experimental music, its reception, and suggests a method for its analysis. It gives a definition for this body of music and traces its historical development. A continuum is constructed along which pieces fall that has at one end works conceived in a purely aesthetical way, and at the other end there are works for which an underlying conceptual apparatus forms an inextricable compositional element. The field of analysis is discussed in terms of its history and its place in discussions of music today. It is shown that analysis, as we know it today, arose during the era of tonal music as a means of legitimizing members of the classical canon, and thereby tacitly denigrating others. The literature is shown to be united on the idea that analysis today needs to meet music on its own terms and highlight both a piece's individuality and its way place in today's society. The method for analysis includes some more traditional approaches which are adapted to deal with music which seeks not only to be aesthetically moving, but to further a conceptual goal. New methods and techniques are suggested. A number of common pitfalls are outlined, which should be avoided in discussions of this type of music. As a proof of concept, three exemplary short analyses are offered. The pieces were chosen as a way of demonstrating the strengths of the methodology suggested. The point of this endeavor is to provide the legitimacy these pieces deserve. If a piece is discussed on its own terms, its craftsmanship can be brought out. Likewise, if a systematic investigation of a piece is executed it will be possible to demonstrate why a piece is less than optimal, rather than merely casting it off without much consideration. Hopefully, this whole body of music can gain more scrutiny and acceptance through the application of approaches like the one described in this paper.
Pfalz, Andrew. (January 2014). Towards a Method for the Analysis of Experimental Music (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4540.)
Pfalz, Andrew. Towards a Method for the Analysis of Experimental Music. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, January 2014. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/4540. November 30, 2023.
Pfalz, Andrew, “Towards a Method for the Analysis of Experimental Music” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, January 2014).
Pfalz, Andrew. Towards a Method for the Analysis of Experimental Music [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; January 2014.
East Carolina University