A South African Spectral Composer, Andile Khumalo

Van Tiddens, Harm Roche (2016-12)

Thesis (MMus (Music))--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

str201703

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the 1970s and 1980s spectral music composition (spectralism) was developed by the French composers such as Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail. The music was formulated with an understanding of acoustics and psychoacoustics. Spectral composition was born out of a tradition based on ‘composing sound itself’ by composers of the 20th century such as György Ligeti, Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Giacinto Scelsi and Edgard Varése. What separated the spectral composers from their 20th century predecessors was the use of new technology, such as spectral analysis, as well as the use of the listener’s perception as a compositional parameter. As a composer, my interest in spectral music composition and its relationship to South Africa encouraged an investigation into the technique and ideas of spectralism as well as the possibility of South African composers using spectral techniques. Two South African composers claiming to use spectral techniques were located: Andile Khumalo and Miles Warrington. The thesis first gives background to the nature of acoustics and psychoacoustics relevant to spectralism. Thereafter the historical trend towards spectralism is outlined. In order to understand the intricate nature of spectral composition, the background to the theories and music of two prominent French spectral composers, Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail, is presented. Khumalo’s music is then analysed, showing a strong connection to spectral technique and philosophy. Before concluding, a brief outlook on Warrington’s and my own music is discussed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die sewentiger - en tagtigerjare is spektrale musiekkomposisie (spektralisme) deur Franse komponiste soos onder andere Gérard Grisey en Tristan Murail ontwikkel. Die musiek wat tot stand gekom het, is deur kennis en begrip van akoestiek en psigoakoestiek ingegee. Spektrale komposisie het voortgespruit uit die werke van 20ste-eeuse komponiste soos György Ligeti, Olivier Messiaen, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Giacinto Scelsi en Edgard Varése, werke waarin hulle die klem laat val het op ‘om die klank self te komponeer’. Wat spektrale komponiste se werk egter van hulle voorgangers onderskei is die gebruik van tegnologie soos spektrale analise asook nuwe kennis aangaande die luisteraar se persepsie van klank as ‘n komposisionele parameter. As komponis het my belangstelling in spektrale musiek my enersyds aangemoedig om ondersoek in te stel na die idees en tegnieke van spektrale komposisie; andersyds het hierdie genre binne die konteks van Suid- Afrika en die moontlikheid van Suid-Afrikaanse komponiste wat spektrale tegnieke in hul werk verwesentlik my geïnteresseer. Sodoende is twee SA komponiste geīdentifiseer: Andile Khumalo en Miles Warrington. Die tesis bied eerstens agtergrond tot akoestiek en psigoakoestiek in sovêr dit op sprektrale komposisie betrekking het, gevolg deur ‘n historiese inleiding tot spektralisme. Om ‘n beter begrip van spektrale komposisie te vorm word die teoretiese agtergrond van bogenoemde twee Franse spektrale komponiste, Grisey en Murail, uitgestip. Khumalo se musiek word dan geanaliseer om ‘n sterk verband met spektrale tegniek en -filosofie vas te lê. Ten slotte word die musiek van Miles Warrington en myself oorsigtelik bespreek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100157
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