Hexachords reconsidered towards a revised compositional paradigm
Wilde, Douglas Gordon
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This dissertation demonstrates, through a number of original works, the depth and variety offered by the exclusive use of hexachords as a generative compositional resource. Part One provides an overview of hexachords, outlines the connection between hexachords and twelve- tone music, reviews specific techniques, and discusses how these techniques were used by prominent twentieth century composers. Although a great deal of western art music has been created using these techniques, exclusive composition with six-note collections in equal tempered systems is rare. Further, much of the literature devoted to hexachords is concerned solely with their use in twelve-tone music. Interest in the hexachord has long been overwhelmed by the preeminence of twelve-tone music. Part Two introduces eighteen hexachordal compositions. Various techniques developed for use in twelve-tone music are adapted and employed. My research seeks to expand the understanding and use of hexachords as a compositional resource apart from serialism. Another component of this research, and one that sets it apart further from existing work in this area is my interest in different musical genres in addition to exploring hexachordal composition as a resource within western art music, this dissertation presents a distinctly rare investigation into the use of hexachords in jazz composition and improvisation.