Aspects of pitch structure and pitch selection in post-war Irish composition: an analytical study of tonal and post-tonal referential collections in selected works by Irish composers
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This dissertation examines aspects of pitch structure, processes of pitch selection and the treatment of referential collections in the works of selected post-war Irish composers. The first chapter reviews the literature available on twentieth-century Irish art music highlighting the exiguous nature of published reference sources in this area and is followed by a discussion of the methodology used. The second chapter comprises an analytical study of the atonal and serial pitch structure of Seoirse Bodley's Prelude. Toccata and Epilogue (1963) and his Ariel's Songs (1969), and the compositional process employed in the first of these songs is examined in detail using Bodley's sketches. The third chapter considers the use of the octatonic scale and its subsets as a source of pitch selection in the works of several Irish composers, and focuses on the first movement of Philip Marlin's Piano Concerto No_ 1 (1986) Gerald Barry's use of quotation as a method of pitch selection is addressed in the fourth chapter and is followed by an exploration of aleatoric pitch structure in works by Barry, Fergus Johnston, Sweeney and in particular in Frank Corcoran's Piano Trio (1978), The final chapter examines the use of Irish traditional music as a source of pitch selection in the work of Eric Sweeney; his absorption of Irish traditional pitch material into a minimalist compositional idiom is explored m general in Duo (1991) and in greater detail in his String Quartet (1996).