The integration of sound, resonance, and color in Lacrimosa for alto saxophone and piano by Marilyn Shrude

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Bobbi Amanda Thompson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Steven Stusek

Abstract: American composer Marilyn Shrude has written more than thirty works that feature the saxophone prominently, comprising a substantial contribution to the instrument’s literature. This document argues that in her works for saxophone and piano, Shrude’s most notable and unique compositional trait is her conception of a non-hierarchical relationship between these two instruments. The result of this compositional approach is the combination of these sounds transforming into an integrated “third sound” that generates a unique resonance and color. To illustrate this concept, Shrude’s composition Lacrimosa (2006) is used as an exemplar. This examination considers Shrude’s musical influences from Gregorian chant, Luciano Berio, Witold Lutoslawski, and Olivier Messiaen, including the use of heterophony, simultaneous harmonic fields, resonance pitches, harmonic language, controlled aleatory, and Messiaen’s third mode of limited transposition. Shrude’s signature use of compositional devices such as pedaling, dynamics, pitch tendencies, and timbral effects are also discussed. This document includes an appendix of four interviews that detail Shrude’s biography, career, musical influences, and compositional style. The interviews also examine three of Shrude’s compositions for saxophone and piano – Shadows and Dawning (1982), Renewing the Myth (1988), and Lacrimosa (2006). The inclusion of Shadows and Dawning and Renewing the Myth provides a basis for comparing her compositional traits across multiple works for saxophone and piano.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Contemporary music, Lacrimosa, Marilyn Shrude, Saxophone
Shrude, Marilyn, $d 1946- $t Lacrimosa
Shrude, Marilyn, $d 1946- $x Criticism and interpretation
Saxophone and piano music $x Analysis, appreciation

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