Polish composer Hanna Kulenty (1961- ) is considered a doyen among twenty-first century composers. Her compositions span over 30 years and comprise a wide range of works including solo instrumental works, operas, small and large chamber works, orchestral works and film scores. She experiments and incorporates various post-tonal era elements and devices into her compositions, often creating permanent tension and extreme emotional intensity. This study provides a detailed biography of Kulenty, a brief discussion pertaining to the development of music during the tonal and post-tonal eras and investigates Kulenty's approach to key musical traits (including melody, rhythm and harmony) in the selected string ensemble works in order to determine her musical idiom. Furthermore, this study serves as an essential reference for Kulenty's string quartets and quintet composed between 1984 and 2013. A style transformation pertaining to the selected string ensemble works is discussed. In her early compositions, Kulenty made use of 'polyphony of arches' comprising layers of arches within a large arch structure. Her more recent contributions make use of a single arch moving through different time dimensions, referred to as 'polyphony of time dimensions'. Ultimately, this study serves as a primary foundation for researchers who wish to investigate and discuss any stylistic aspects of the composer's oeuvre.
Mini Dissertation (MMus)--University of Pretoria, 2017.