Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Dr. Ramon Zupko

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In "Catch of the Day," the music is centered by a time-line, a feature of African ritualistic music. West African ritualistic music is often performed by large drum ensembles, each playing a different rhythm. In order to stay together properly, each musician listens to a time-line, or a rhythmic pattern which beats out the basic rhythm and keeps time for the whole group. The time-line also has special significance because it is heard even when it is not actually played. While the time-line is used to define the rhythm, the most important element in ritualistic music is the text, which forms the rhythm for the vocal line.

These principles are used with Western instruments to change the sound, but keep the very essence of the piece African. Two songs from a collection of African transcriptions are incorporated in the work. One, a fishing song called the Spratcatching song, is the springboard for the whole composition. The second quote is from a ritualistic dance, the Sovu dance of the Yeve religious sect. This quote is used as the first part of the B section of this ternary work.

Several compositional techniques are employed: klangfarbenmelodie, so-called minimalism, invertible counterpoint, and a general metamorphosis of the two excerpted songs.

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