Humanasonics: Compositions Inspired by Anthropological Human Universals
Novotny, Paul Anthony
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Human universals are the commonalitiesthe onenessof mankind, and anthropology is charged with their study. Universals form a general, immutable foundational theory of humanity. The purpose of this thesis is to show how that theory can be used to inspire composition. Human Universals, Donald E. Browns seminal 1991 work is an exhaustive and comprehensive overview of the subject and provided my understanding of anthropological human universals. Music composition is viewed as the organization of contrasting soundssonics. Humanasonics is a new word that names the concept of deriving inspiration from human universals for music composition. This suite of program music is structured in four movements, totalling approximately twenty minutes, for jazz orchestra. Each movement is inspired by a human universal trait or condition. The conclusion asserts that when music is metaphorically based on immutable human universality, it will lead to an inherent understanding, unconscious or conscious, of the work.