Music for Solo Trumpet and Electronics:
A Repertoire Study
by Michael Edwin Barth
This dissertation examines the repertoire for solo trumpet and electronics through a study of the genre as a whole and discussions of four compositions that represent its main stylistic approaches.
An obscure but fascinating genre, current research in this area is limited to discussions of a few of its compositions in other dissertations and lecture recitals. By investigating this music, this dissertation will contribute to an area that has so far seen little research while promoting new repertoire that greatly expands the musical possibilities of solo trumpet performance.
Based on the List of Compositions for Solo Trumpet and Electronics compiled by the author, several aspects of this repertoire are described in Chapter Two, including its development from 1965 to 2009 and the relative popularity of its different compositional approaches. The primarily academic background of this repertoire’s composers is discussed as well as the diverse nationalities they represent. The relative obscurity of this repertoire is suggested by the number of compositions for solo trumpet and electronics that have been published and recorded.
A discussion of the aesthetic, qualitative and practical aspects of the repertoire is presented in Chapter Three. Based on interviews with leading performers of this repertoire and the composers of the pieces examined in this dissertation, this music is discussed from the perspective of musicians who have significant experience in this field. Their interviews illuminate several important issues that may not be apparent to musicians who are unfamiliar with this repertoire.
Chapters Four through Seven discuss four representative compositions from the List. An overview of each piece is given, along with biographical information about its composer, a description of its electronic components, discussion of relevant performance techniques, and formal analysis of the composition.
Conclusions based on this investigation and suggestions for future research are suggested in Chapter Eight.
-Michael Edwin Barth