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Windsor, W. Luke

A Perceptual Approach to the Description and Analysis of Acousmatic Music

Ph.D. City University, 1995

Chapter 1 offers a critique of existing theories which purport to form the basis for the description of acousmatic music. It is concluded that there is a need for a descriptive, perceptual theory of acousmatic music, a theory which is able to respond not only to the intrinsic structures concentrated on by traditional notation and music theory but also to the extrinsic structures within which acousmatic works are situated.

Chapter 2 presents a review of work in ecological acoustics which provides a theoretical framework within which the relationship between the work and its surroundings might be explored. This framework is extended to apply to the perception of culture, society and art and a preliminary musical analysis is offered which applies this theoretical approach.

Chapter 3 develops and extends the theoretical position developed through a detailed analysis of Mi Bémol by Yves Daoust and a number of shorter analyses. Chapter 4 forms both a conclusion to the preceding chapters and a cultural critique of the theoretical position they develop. A number of observations are drawn regarding acousmatic music's position within contemporary culture and some general conclusions are reached regarding the relationships between composition and listening, and between perceptual and musical research.

N.B.: This thesis may be downloaded from the following web site: there are the possibilities of retrieving it by ftp as a compacted, binhexed word for macintosh file or as a rich text format (rtf) file, or of viewing it in an html version.