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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Out of the Dark: A Composition about My Life with an Auditory Processing Deficit
by Swanson, Shaye Nicole, M.M., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 92; 13859571
Abstract (Summary)

The way music is conceptualized and interpreted is subjective. Individuals may take away different aspects of a composition, such as harmony, rhythm, and melody, but ultimately, music often emotionally impacts the listener. From academia to therapeutic use, music has received the reputation of improving physical and mental health, and in particular, cognitive functioning, motor skills, and emotional development. Music also resonates with different types of learners including those with learning differences. In a recent study, Aniruddh D. Patel, a Professor of Psychology at Tufts University, gives evidence that music and language are not processed independently and share a deeper connection1. Although some neurologists do not agree with this claim, I fully support this conclusion because as someone with an auditory processing deficit, I have confirmed this with my own experience: singing instructions were a tool my family used to communicate with me when I was not able to respond to verbal information. My personal struggle with an auditory processing deficit and my thorough research in music and neurology inspired me to write, Out of the Dark, a two-movement work emoting my personal and professional journey from child to adult.

Following in the path of fusion works by John Adams, Milton Babbitt, and Michael Torke, Out of The Dark fuses elements of jazz, rock, and minimalism. Just as these composers achieved fusion by creating a symphonic scope with jazz instruments in works such as City Noir, All Set, and Adjustable Wrench, Out of The Dark uses this hybridization to demonstrate my perspective of the world as a child who processed information differently. In writing this composition, I hope listeners will gain a deeper understanding of what it is like to have a learning difference and see value and talent in people who are different from themselves.

1 Aniruddh D. Patel, Music, Language, and the Brain, (US: Oxford University Press, 2007), 4.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shockley, Alan
Commitee: Torres-Santos, Raymond, Emerzian, Jimmy
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Bob Cole Conservatory of Music
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Musical composition
Publication Number: 13859571
ISBN: 9781687989789
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