A composer describes his concerns in relation to a 34-minute musical work (The Angel of Death) written in consultation with perceptual psychologists. This work was conceived, and has served, as an experimental object suited to the testing of a range of issues of interest to composers as well as psychologists: in particular, are the musical materials and the formal structure of a piece of music heard by listeners in the ways that the composer anticipates? The thematic sources of the subject work are described in relation to an overall formal design that was realized in two contrasted ways: Sectional (strongly characterized sections with clear boundaries) and Domain (an interwoven presentation of materials that minimizes formal articulation). These two realizations can be performed in either order (S-D, or D-S), but in either case, a computer component enters at the end of the first part, coexisting with the second.
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