Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Open works represent a significant deviation from traditional methods of musical composition and presentation. This thesis examines their evolution, explores their defining characteristics, presents methods by which they may be analyzed, and reflects upon their impact on musical aesthetics and criticism.
The open work's development in the twentieth-century is documented in Chapter One, with particular emphasis placed on extra-musical, artistic, and cultural events which influenced its emergence. Chapter Two is devoted to defining the open work in terms of form and content. In doing so, it is shown that there are two types of open work.
Chapter Three presents an analysis of two open works: Earle Brown's Available Forms I and John Cage's Variations III. Chapter Four positions the open work in terms of its philosophical perspective, demonstrating that while openness represents a re-alignment of the traditional musical process, it does not deprive the listener of critical or evaluative resources.
Jones, Timothy James, "Chaos and Criticism: Toward an Aesthetic of the Open Musical Work" (1991). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6534.
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