Forst, Erik Michael
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Spectral music is a school of compositional thought developed in France in the late 1960s in which composers utilize computer analyses of source sounds to derive pitch, melody, harmony, rhythm, form, and other compositional elements. By its very nature, spectral music as a genre is difficult to define and is often a difficult undertaking for performers. The purpose of this document is to provide performers of spectral music an analytical guide by which to demystify some of the more technical aspects of the genre and thereby aid them in providing more accurate representations of these compositions. By using an entirely new composition, I intend to show how the techniques commonly found in spectral compositions have simultaneously remained consistent over the past four decades as well as changed significantly through the evolution of compositional philosophies and computer technology.