Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This dissertation is an examination of the problems faced when staging a work for electronics and orchestra. Part I is an original composition and model for the exploration of those problems. Part II is a monograph reviewing those problems and concentrating on issues of taxonomy and nomenclature. Part I is a concerto for laptop ensemble and orchestra titled The Ship of Theseus. It is named after a philosophical paradox. If every component of an object (i.e. the boards of a ship) is replaced with newer parts, at what point does the original cease to exist? Likewise, if the music performed by an instrument or ensemble is sampled and played back on stage, is it still an orchestra, or is it a recording? The role of the soloists is also explored throughout the work. Similarly to the dialogue of a Classical concerto, at times the soloist enhances the orchestra; at other times it clashes. Part II is an exploration of the etymology and nomenclature of electroacoustic music. In chapter 1, I explore broad problems and concerns specific to electronics and orchestra. In chapter 2, I break down the etymologies of both the orchestra and electroacoustic music, focusing on general issues surrounding the latter specifically. A new taxonomy for electroacoustic music is presented. In chapter 3, I investigate the nomenclature of three well-known terms: live electronic, real time, and interactive. Each of these terms is problematic and often misused; as a result the new term transformational is introduced and defined. This term should not be associated with the general idea of a musical transformation (although such an idea is not unwarranted), but with the flow of musical information in and out of a system. It is my hope that with the introduction of a new classification based on musical information, I will not merely pad the decades-long discourse on nomenclature of electroacoustic music, but rather provide a starting point for composers and technicians to reconcile technology with the music itself. The terms presented in this dissertation should not be considered definitive, but rather the inception of a new dialogue.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Beck, Stephen David



Included in

Music Commons