One aspect of composing is making countless connections, consciously and unconsciously, to other works. Of these countless connections, those created consciously form what I call a Referential Network. The works to which these connections are made, form the “Outside World”. In this research, I describe three of my compositions as three different Referential Networks. I analyse the compositions and show how the chosen references influence the compositional process and outcome. Performers (and listeners) also use references to access a composition. To understand this, I look at how we can understand a text and what the relation of author and observer is to a text. In relation to this, I have asked various performers for feedback to see to what extent my Referential Networks are noticed and if they play a role in interpreting them. To put my composing and this research in a historical context, I look at certain aspects of European composed art music after World War II to show two different views on tradition and the past. My concluding remarks include conclusions about the artistic result, i.e. the compositions, the performer's perspective, and some philosophical implications.



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I would like to thank the Royal Conservatoire The Hague for creating an inspiring setting for doing this research. I thank my colleagues from the master circle for their interest in my quest and constructive comments during our meetings. Special thanks to Henk Borgdorff for his inspiring leadership of the circle, and suggestions and comments on my written work. Pete Saunders, Magdalena Jones and Sophie Vroegop for their help and corrections on the English. Maarten van Veen, Marcel Worms, Hannah Collins and Mike Compitello for the many hours of studying and performing my work and the wonderful conversations we have had about my scores and research. This also counts for Maggie Urquart, Pete Saunders and Wouter Verschuren, who were willing to talk about their views on my scores with me. And of course, last but not least, my research coach, Marcel Cobussen, who stimulated me over and over and over and over and over (ad infinitum…) to get my thinking and writing on this topic to an ever higher level.

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