Lucas, Stephen Michael
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This thesis investigates the result of merging three musical approaches (jazz fusion, breakbeat/IDM and Electronic Dance Music) and their respective methodologies as applied to music composition. It is presented in a progressive manner. Chapters two to four identify and discuss each of the three styles separately in terms of the research undertaken in the preparation of this thesis. Chapter 2 discusses, through a close examination of selected compositions and recordings, both Weather Report and Herbie Hancock as representing source material for research and compositional study in terms of melody, harmony and orchestration from the 1970s jazz-fusion genre. Chapter 3 examines breakbeat and Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) drum rhythm programming through both technique and musical application. Chapter 4 presents an examination of selected contemporary Electronic Dance Music (EDM) techniques and discusses their importance in current electronic music styles. Chapters 5, 6 and 7 each present an original composition based on the application and synthesis of the styles and techniques explored in the previous three chapters, with each composition defined by proportions of influence from each of the three styles as in the Venn diagram shown in the introduction. Since the musical context of the original compositions is software oriented, diagrams and computer screenshots are used in addition to conventional score notation in order to highlight details of musical examples and techniques. The final chapter discusses the conclusions made through the thesis research and result of this “synthesis” style of composition.