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From score study to original musical composition: How research and creative activity inform each other

From an interview with Thomas McKenney, Professor, Composition and Music Theory

Johann Sebastian Bach was very much a tonal composer who wrote contrapuntal compositions, “which are linear in design with some vertical concepts as well.” For example, Bach would have the basses sing the melody at one point, and the altos later, creating a linear, contrapuntal design. Through such research into the work of other composers, McKenney seeks to understand how other composers have handled a certain idea, concept, or technique.