Contemporary application of Neo-Riemannian theory to the art of composition

  • John Lockwood

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This thesis acts as an explanation to where I feel I am within the world of contemporary music, an introductory guide on applying Neo-Riemannian theory to composition practice and a commentary on some of my own compositions. When I refer to contemporary music, at this stage I am referring to the style of contemporary music which is characterised by use of atonality and extreme levels of dissonance, rhythmical atonality, extended instrumental techniques and unusual instrument combinations and irregular forms and structures. The thesis intends to explain my perspective I formed as an undergraduate student on the contemporary music I was introduced to during my studies noting I had a desire to develop my skills as a composer. I also briefly explain analysis using ‘Neo-Riemannian’ theory and how I was interested in considering it as a tool for a composer. The commentary explains my thought processes towards various sections within the works, primarily referring to my uses of Neo-Riemannian theory, however the section also demonstrates my opening thoughts in practice, contextualising my perspective. The compositions associated with this thesis show that I had some success with joining the world of contemporary music using Neo-Riemannian theory perhaps stylistically, but I also feel closer to being part of current new contemporary music
Date of Award29 Feb 2024
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorGeoff Cox (Main Supervisor)

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