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Restricted Access Thesis

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Vineet Shende


This three-movement composition, written for SATB choir, soprano and baritone soloists, flute, oboe, clarinet, piano, violin, and cello, uses music to explore the expected temperature driven changes in New England bird species populations. After a 3 degree Celsius increase in average global temperatures, the geographical ranges of many bird species are expected to shift, resulting in many species becoming locally extinct in New England. In this work, much of the musical material is derived from the birdsongs of several local species, including the American Goldfinch, Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, and Mourning Dove. Each of these birdsong motifs are used less and less frequently through the three movements according to how severely their geographical ranges are expected to be affected by the changes in temperature. This shift is also reflected in the overarching structure of the piece, which moves through the day-to-night cycle with the most birds active in “Dawn,” then the next for “Midday,” and the fewest for “Dusk.”


Available only to users on the Bowdoin campus.