Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Music Theory

Degree Program


Committee Chair

Jemian, Rebecca

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Brody, Christopher

Committee Member

Brody, Christopher

Committee Member

Zahorik, Pavel

Author's Keywords

Lucier; perception; spectral music; acoustics; psychoacoustics


Listeners often associate the music of Alvin Lucier with the practice of experimental music due to his unorthodox means of composition. By viewing his work in this way, whether consciously or subconsciously, his music is often treated as aleatoric. This classification ignores the compositional stimulus that fuels the creation of his music. Lucier’s compositions are driven by the exploitation of one facet (or phenomenon) of sound. These sound phenomena take the form of spectral particles: vibrating media, acoustics, and psychoacoustics. The spectral particles uncovered in his pieces combine to form a spectral atom. By analyzing four of Alvin Lucier’s works, Twonings,Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra,I am Sitting in a Room, andStill and Moving Lines of Silence in Families of Hyperbolas, I intend to extrapolate their spectral particles. A combination of these spectral particles will inform the spectral atom of the work in question.

Included in

Music Theory Commons