Creating and understanding musical fragments

Scheuregger, Martin (2015) Creating and understanding musical fragments. [Project]

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Item Type:Project
Item Status:Live Archive


This body of research critically engages with the notion of fragmentation in contemporary classical music through a set of interlinked compositions, accompanying recordings and scores, conference presentations and other publications. The overriding research question asks how fragmentation can be used and understood in a contemporary compositional paradigm. Each part articulates a response to the challenge posed by adopting fragmentation, with the aim not to give a blueprint for musical fragmentation, but to offer multiple perspectives – each grounded in a theoretical and practical awareness of the topic – that inform each other to create a deeper response to the research question.

In the three compositions the question is explored through formal and structural means, the compositional methods employed, the use of musical material, and the musical sonorities and textures. These features can be observed in the scores through a variety of common features. Formal issues present the most literal interpretation, with each work presented as a series of short movements; within these, sonorities evoke ideas of fragility, delicacy, dislocation and fracturedness, all associated with the fragment. A variety of composition approaches are used in creating these works that engage with the idea that a fragment must belong to a larger unseen whole. These approaches reveal themselves through the use of musical material in the scores, and are explored further in the associated conference presentations and publication.

The practical engagement with these works – both from performers and audiences – creates its own knowledge about the fragment. Whether actively or passively, each participant will make their own links between what is heard and played, and what a fragment represents. Creating this plural understanding of the subject is essential, and achieved here thanks to the practice-led and practice-based nature of the research and its dissemination in recordings and performances.

Additional Information:Research package
Keywords:Composition, Fragments, Brevity, Miniatures, Music, Solo piano
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W300 Music
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
Relation typeTarget identifier
ID Code:25455
Deposited On:04 Jan 2017 10:28

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