This composition project explores the connection between emotions, music, and how emotions may be expressed through music and the qualities of sound. The project is a collection of pieces for solo piano titled “To –.” Each musical piece is based off of a poem of the same title by 19th Century poet, Edgar Allan Poe. The poems used are titled “To F – S S. O – D,” “To – F –,” and “To –.” The majority of this project focuses on the compositional process, primarily the step of atonal improvisation. Atonal improvisation allows a composer to manipulate three of the basic qualities of sound (pitch, duration, and intensity) to express the desired emotion by eliminating predetermined compositional forms. This process also allows the composer a freedom of expression. The musical ideas expressed through atonal improvisation are then recorded, organized into proper musical thoughts, and input into music notation software. The final product allows for a performance in which the written music can be played alongside the poem, allowing for a truly unique and personal experience.
Semester/Year of Award
Mentor Department Affiliation
Restricted Access Thesis
Peters, Chelsea A., "To – : A Musical Interpretation of Poems by Edgar Allan Poe" (2015). Honors Theses. 233.