An examination of compositional approach in arvo part's te deum and john tavener's ikon of light
Muzzo, Grace Kingsbury
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The purpose of this document is to promote an understanding of the aesthetic philosophies and the compositional approach of two contemporary composers, Arvo Part and John Tavener. These composers are often associated together for the emphasis they place on spiritual matters and because much of their oeuvre is sacred choral music. Their music has been described as minimalist, as neo-medieval, as simple; and it has received I considerable popular acclaim from the general public. This document presents a review of the literature and an analysis of two I representative works: Arvo Part's Te Deum, and John Tavener's Ikon of Light. A I comparison is then made regarding their compositional approach. There are discussions in the literature regarding Part and Tavener, but there are few substantial studies of their work. This document seeks to examine the techniques and methods of the two composers by examining two substantial works for chorus and string ensemble. The technique of tintinnabuli used by Part dictates a highly structured and formulaic approach to melody and to rhythm, using a reduced palette of melodic and rhythmic materials. Tavener is more eclectic in his choices; he is attentive to balanced and symmetrical structures and to the manipulation of sonority and silence for expressive purposes. The clear presentation of the text is of paramount importance to both i composers. While both composers share a similar ethos and religious tradition, their compositions are significantly different. These differences emerge upon a careful examination of Te Deum and Ikon of Light.