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Learning by Doing: Composing a Symphony

Taylor Hosek, and Dr. Gregory Young, School of Music, Montana State University, P.O. Box 173420 Bozeman, MT 59717-3420

The purpose of this creative research project was to examine the steps involved in composing a symphony. The first step was to research what defines a symphony. My literature did not produce a guide or manual for composing symphonies. In my research I originally set out to compose a symphony based on my initial perceptions of symphonic form. I planned to have four movements organized in a standard order consisting of the following: I. Sonata-allegro form, II. A slow movement, III. Minuet and Trio, IV. Rondo. I discovered that not all symphonies follow the typical format and structure. Upon this realization, the trajectory for my own symphony changed significantly. Instead, I decided to have a singular movement that combines elements from the standard four movements. I listened to ten well-known symphonies, studied the composers and their compositional styles, including their non-symphonic works. They span nearly 150 years of musical history from Haydn - the grandfather of the symphony as we know it - to Shostakovich  - regarded as one of the greatest composers of the 20thcentury. The symphony has greatly evolved since its inception in the early eighteenth-century, from an increase in instrumentation, variance in the length, to structural changes. I wanted to keep the intimate conversations among the instrumental parts, the musicians and the audience, but with the advantage of a larger instrumentation and a wide variety of instruments. My poster will include a QR code to a MIDI recording so that people can instantly hear my original work.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Taylor Hosek

Institution: Montana State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Music

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 8
Date/Time: Tue 5:00pm-6:00pm
Session Number: 5673