Author Identifiers

Joshua Gabriel McMahon
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3257-4784

Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Music (Honours)

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Advisor

Professor Jonathan McIntosh

Abstract

A product of flute modification and experimentation, the Matusiflute is a headjoint that allows the performer to alter the timbre of the western concert flute. This thesis examines this bi-timbral instrument, invented by Swiss flautist Professor Matthias Ziegler, and explores its capabilities to shift to a buzzing timbral colour which is similar to that of the dizi (Chinese end-blown flute). Composers may use the instrument for its unique textural timbral colour or to imitate the culturally-informed performance style of the dízi. Though reflective performance practice, music analysis and an interview with the inventor, the thesis examines the Matusiflute to document its development and the cultural influences that inform its performance practice. The research explores the timbral and technical capabilities of the Matusiflute, including areas such as tone colour, textural blending and intonation, and how they are implemented within select repertoire. The research also investigates how – through cross-cultural collaboration and sensitive intent – the Matusiflute may be used as a platform to convey intercultural musical themes in representing the musical setting of the dízi. In doing so, the thesis considers how notions to Orientalism and cultural appropriation inform the repertoire and performance practice for this modified instrument, and what issues to consider when creating culturally sensitive output on the Matusiflute.

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