Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music


Music Performance

First Advisor

Jennifer Parker-Harley

Second Advisor

Greg Stuart


Experimental music is rarely taught in higher education music programs but it could nevertheless be useful for providing students a methodology through which to develop creativity. This document seeks to find common ground between the seemingly disparate worlds of classical music and experimental music in pursuit of revealing the usefulness of experimental music practice for musicians trained in the classical tradition. In seeming contrast to classical music, experimental music values include process, indeterminacy, and non-subjectivity. This document shows that these aspects, despite seeming exclusive to experimental music, are in fact integral to all music. This document will also discuss writings on the use of experimental compositions in teaching young, novice musicians, showing that these works can benefit both untrained and professional musicians. This document concludes with side-by-side analyses of four pieces of experimental music with four coinciding pieces of standard flute repertoire, discussing the benefits of viewing the latter through the lens of the former. These arguments will reveal the shared space between experimental music and classical music and show that they can influence, inform, and benefit each other.


© 2018, Philip Melancthon Snyder V