Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Music




David Myska


Dawn was written as a tribute to the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis, and, more particularly, its author, Elaine Morgan, who has been a restless proponent of the hypothesis for more than three decades. The evolutionary theory explains the anatomical differences between modern humans and apes by proposing that hominids lived through a semi-aquatic phase at some time in their development, providing reason for many of the aquatic characteristics & impulses that humans have and experience today.

My composition aims to capture the magic of this divergence of the genus homo over several million years. The music is programmatic, meaning an extra-musical narrative was envisioned during the writing of the piece, though a detailed story, specific landscape, or even approximate timeline is not associated with the development of the music – the composition is merely an attempt to evoke the changing of a hominid lifestyle in harmony with the changing of an ecosystem.

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