Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

David Garner


This research study identifies techniques of creating and releasing musical tension in audio-visual performance media, specifically within the marching arts. A successful composition in this medium is defined, in part, by the coordination of effects between pitched musical elements, non-pitched (percussive) musical elements, and movement (choreographed) elements. Such compositions create a concert performance situation in which there is aesthetic gratification and a sense of sophistication in which aural stimuli interact in congruence and in conjunction with visual stimuli. By identifying the creative practice through conversation with practitioners, designers, choreographers, and composers, the common practices of the genre can be identified to better inform future design and composition endeavors. This will benefit not only the marching arts but also those directors and musicians who wish to create enhanced, audio-visual performances in any setting.


© 2020, Ryan John Williams

Included in

Composition Commons