Mia McGiffert

Date of Award


First Advisor

Larry Wallach

Second Advisor

John Myers

Third Advisor

Monk Schane-Lydon


The thesis is an exploration and investigation of musical narrative and “noise music.” It contains a brief introduction to how music conveys narrative, according to nineteenth century aesthetic philosopher Eduard Hanslick. It also explores how pioneering modernist composers such as Luigi Russolo and Arseny Avraamov explored the abilities of structured sounds to convey narrative. The main portion of the written thesis is documentation of the process of creating the sound installation Noise as Music. The installation, the creative portion of the thesis, is a sonic experience in which listeners were placed in a surround sound environment, using eight speakers, and were subjected to four original pieces of noise music, each with a distinct narrative and style of plot portrayal. The thesis details each step of the technical tasks completed to create music purely from collected noises, to organize those noises in such a way that they became music, and how the noise music was transformed from a piece in stereo to the eightspeaker/ 8-channel installation. Following the documentation of the technical process is analysis of noise music’s ability to convey musical narrative, using Hanslick and Russolo as reference to musical aesthetics and narrative. The analysis also includes audience feedback, gathered from over 50 attendees of the installation.


Ask at the Alumni Library circulation desk for the companion piece that accompanies this thesis.

Simon's Rock Off-campus Download

Simon's Rock students and employees can log in from off-campus by clicking on the Off-campus Download button and entering their Simon's Rock username and password.