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An exploration of modal, serial, stochastic, electroacoustic and computer aided compositional techniques and their application into a series of original compositions

Sakellarides, Leonidas


Leonidas Sakellarides


Alastair, 1964 Borthwick


The text is divided into two parts preceded by an introduction. The introduction focuses on some general issues that relate to musical composition: More specifically, it discusses the motivation of a composer and the goals he tries to achieve. The first section of part I focuses on small-scale technical aspects in relation to the music submitted. More specifically, it deals with aspects relating to melody and harmony, counterpoint, timbre, tempo, rhythm and meter. The second section of the first part focuses on large-scale construction elements like the juxtaposition and development of ideas, the role of numbers and proportions on the submitted music as well as on certain aesthetic issues. In this first part, an overview is given of the techniques that were used in order to create the pieces that are included in this PhD. The goal is not to give a detailed analysis of the techniques but to emphasize the ideas that might interest other composers and facilitate them in then: search for their own organisational tools. Consequently, the creation of a 'system' of musical composition is out of the scope of this research. It is also true that there are many aspects of contemporary composition that are not discussed in this text, mainly because of the fact that they were not used in these particular pieces that were submitted with the theoretical part.

Part II focuses on the main subject of the PhD, the submitted pieces themselves. It contains information that relates to the program notes as well as the actual scores of the pieces that can be studied together with the available recordings found on the CD. The opening commentaries of the second part include key structural points of the music as well as issues regarding their aesthetic approach.

Each submitted piece is an 'amalgamation' of a series of techniques and thoughts on music so that the reader will be able to trace the evolution of thoughts among the different pieces. The works, however, are presented at random rather than in chronological order. This is because they were not written one after the other, but have undergone changes affecting one another up the last completion of the entire project. In this sense they do form a larger 'circle' of musical pieces while the last one, Engraving, which was composed separately at the very end of this 'circle', functions as a 'coda' to the whole project.

The Epilogue of the theoretical part deals with personal thoughts regarding future 'musical quests'. The music and the ideas take composers into certain directions regarding future works and professional decisions that relate to the compositional activity as well as to decisions regarding technical and aesthetic issues. These are presented at the end of the text.


Sakellarides, L. (2010). An exploration of modal, serial, stochastic, electroacoustic and computer aided compositional techniques and their application into a series of original compositions. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Sep 25, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Music
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Music, The University of Hull
Award Date Apr 1, 2010


Thesis (6.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2010 Sakellarides, Leonidas. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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