Artistry, particularly musical, is subjective and success in artistry can be achieved by more than one route. I consider myself an autodidactic musician by the musical and compositional achievements I have made without formal music training. I chose to research the compositional traits of other autodidacts to see their successes and challenges with their knowledge. George Gershwin, Danny Elfman, and John Bucchino come from a different background, a different time period in music, and each comes from a different stylistic genre. This research describes each of these composers’ influences, approach to composing, and any advantages or disadvantages they have faced because of their lack of formal music and music theory training. I wanted to know what skills and instincts composers possess. As part of my study, I composed a song cycle of 10 original musical theatre-style pieces. Notating the sheet music for the songs was a large portion of the project. During the process, I recognized my level of music theory, patterns and habits in my writing, and engaged in the process of making my music accessible.
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Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Cline, Abigail, "Musical Autodidacts, Can We Do it Ourselves?: Exploring the Histories of Those Who Have" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1860.