Lisa James

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Performing Arts Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education and Arts


The ability of new technologies of the early twentieth century to record, copy and manipulate music has permanently changed many of the basic conceptions of musical structure that have held true for centuries. With the development of musique concrete in France (1948) and elektronische musik in Germany (1951), traditional compositional elements of classical music such as melody, harmony and rhythm, which had survived even the drastic revolutions of the serial composers, began to take a secondary role to new structural and developmental techniques. Although there have been many technological and musical advances in the field of electronic music since these first schools were conceived, it was in this fledgling period that electronic music brought about the fundamental changes to our musical world that have remained the same despite the advances of digital technology. It is these first important changes to concepts and techniques of musical construction and perception that will be the focus of this paper, and how these developments in the understanding and manipulation of musical material have been utilized by composers of instrumental music. This will be shown in detail through the study of Helmut Lachenmann's solo cello work Pression (1969) and its relation to other musical practices.

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