Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Walczak, Christopher


Blotterkrossed is a twelve-minute work for wind ensemble which elaborates on a compositional system known as the Circle of 12 Tones, originally developed by Ron Jarzombek and used to compose music performed by death metal supergroup Blotted Science. Jarzombek’s system presents an intuitive method of selecting pitch-class segments from twelve-tone aggregates. These individual segments are articulated until the aggregate structure is completed. At that point, a new permutation of the aggregate is initiated. This method is compositionally attractive as it is somewhat open-ended and unordered, but the absence of deeper pitch relations projects a certain lack of musical coherence. In order to add a deeper level of structural integrity to this system, a method is utilized which structurally relates multiple forms of the initial row, in effect creating four distinct subsets of the ordered aggregate collection, each one related by transposition and/or inversion. The result is a palate of hundreds of pseudo-serialized aggregate permutations. In Blotterkrossed, each one of these aggregate “row forms” is used as the basis of respectively independent sections of the piece. The sonority of each row form evokes distinct character changes to better aurally convey the transformation from one row form to the next.




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