A Process of Becoming: A Musical Enquiry into Process-Relational Philosophy Through Autoethnographical and Zoomusicological Means


Robert W. B. Burrell. 2013. A Process of Becoming: A Musical Enquiry into Process-Relational Philosophy Through Autoethnographical and Zoomusicological Means .Thesis (PhD Doctorate), Griffith University, Brisbane.


This folio and exegesis represent the findings of a practice-based inquiry into process-relational philosophy, autoethnography and zoomusicology. Beginning in early 2010 and continuing through to mid 2012 it has been my personal goal to create a substantial body of new musical compositions that addresses the dual ambitions of a practice-based inquiry into a deep comprehension of process-relational philosophy and the development of new modes of making music. The philosophical stimulus reflects a desire to bring the personal and professional together; to observe, through an autoethnographical methodology, the process of becoming in action in my own family, and then to incorporate musical stimuli from the natural world as a lateral thinking provocateur, what de Bono (1991) calls a ‘Po’ (p.15). I sought to create new musical works in the western notation system, as well as in the mixed media of electro-acoustics and live performance, and finally through pure electro-acoustics. The folio and exegesis present what has been explored, uncovered, researched and learned and thence developed through this inquiry into the Whiteheadean notions of ‘process and reality’ and the philosophical insights of the ‘process of becoming’. The evolution and maturation of my language and syntax of composition is presented in the folio of music. Further explanation and evidence is addressed in the exegesis, specifically in Chapters 5 through to 8. Chapter 7 of the exegesis presents a critical analysis of selected movements from the greater works created during the research and responds to the literature, which informs the philosophical investigation of process-relational philosophy. Literature in this exegesis also includes examples of landmark works in the mediums selected for composition.

Subject Keywords
Process-relational philosophy, Autoethnography , Zoomusicology, Music composition , Western notation system
Thesis Type
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Degree Program
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Queensland Conservatorium
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Primary Supervisor
Kim Cunio
Other Supervisors
Helen Lancaster
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Copyright © 2013 Robert W. B. Burrell.
Copyright Disclaimer
This thesis is protected by copyright. Copyright in the thesis remains with the author. The Griffith University Higher Degree Theses Repository has a non-exclusive licence to archive, publish and communicate this thesis online.


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