Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Music Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Communications and Creative Industries


This dissertation is born out of a yearlong study of Michel Colombier's composition Wings. The dissertation falls into two parts: the first is a concentrated study on Colombier's score and the second is my response to the score - Evolution, a rock symphony for jazz orchestra. Wings can be understood as an allegory of the struggles of contemporary society; therefore, in order to gain as much knowledge as possible about the creation of Wings, I found it necessary to conduct a brief study into the social and political climate of the 1960s. The function of chapter one is to show the symbiotic relationship between the social climate of the 1960s, the emergence of greater numbers of students, and the increasing sophistication of rock music - factors that I believe have had a profound influence on Colombier's Wings. I have attempted to show this using two distinct headings: A social overview and Rock As a High Art Form. In the second chapter, I will discuss Michel Colombier's life in music. His musical upbringing will be discussed as well as his musical influences and career achievements. The third chapter will contain a short study of three forerunners of Wings: Deep Purple's Concerto For Group and Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein's Mass, and the music of Emerson Lake & Palmer. A detailed description of the genesis of Colombier's Wings will follow- an account of its reception history will also be given. The analysis of Colombier's Wings will take place in chapter four, and will begin with some primary observations of the work, followed by a study of its libretto. The chapter will conclude with a detailed analysis of three sections of the work: Freedom & Fear, Earth and Thalassa. Chapter five will present an overview of my own composition Evolution. An analytical comparison between Evolution and Wings, focussing on specific musical examples, will follow.