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 Degree Discipline: Musicology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Accessibility and Authenticity in Julia Smith's Cynthia Parker

Accessibility and Authenticity in Julia Smith's Cynthia Parker

Date: December 2007
Creator: Buehner, Katie R.
Description: In 1939, composer Julia Smith's first opera Cynthia Parker dramatized the story of a Texas legend. Smith manipulated music, text, and visual images to make the opera accessible for the audience in accordance with compositional and institutional practices in American opera of the 1930s. Transparent musical themes and common Native Americans stereotypes are used to define characters. Folk music is presented as diegetic, creating a sense of authenticity that places the audience into the opera's Western setting. The opera is codified for the audience using popular idioms, resulting in initial but not lasting success.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Asserting Identity in Wagner's Shadow: The Case of Engelbert Humperdinck's  Königskinder (1897)

Asserting Identity in Wagner's Shadow: The Case of Engelbert Humperdinck's Königskinder (1897)

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Kinnett, Forest Randolph
Description: Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), who was considered a Wagnerian due to to his past work in Bayreuth and the Wagnerian traits of his Hänsel und Gretel, seems to have believed that to define himself as a composer, he had to engage somehow with that designation, whether through orthodox Wagner imitation or an assertion of his independence from Wagner's musical legacy. The latter kind of engagement can be seen in Humperdinck's Königskinder (1897), in which he developed a new kind of declamatory notation within the context of melodrama, thus fulfilling Wagnerian ideals as well as progressing beyond them. The effectiveness of Humperdinck's effort is seen in the ensuing critical reception, in which the realities of being heard as a Wagnerian composer are clarified.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The "Beethoven Folksong Project" in the Reception of Beethoven and His Music

The "Beethoven Folksong Project" in the Reception of Beethoven and His Music

Date: December 2006
Creator: Lee, Hee Seung
Description: Beethoven's folksong arrangements and variations have been coldly received in recent scholarship. Their melodic and harmonic simplicity, fusion of highbrow and lowbrow styles, seemingly diminished emphasis on originality, and the assorted nationalities of the tunes have caused them to be viewed as musical rubble within the heritage of Western art music. The canonic composer's relationship with the Scottish amateur folksong collector and publisher George Thomson, as well as with his audience, amateur music lovers, has been largely downplayed in the reception of Beethoven. I define Beethoven's engagement with folksongs and their audience as the "Beethoven Folksong Project," evaluating it in the history of Beethoven reception as well as within the cultural and ideological contexts of the British Isles and German-speaking lands at the turn of the nineteenth century. I broaden the image of Beethoven during his lifetime by demonstrating that he served as an ideal not only for highly educated listeners and performers but also for amateur music lovers in search of cultivation through music. I explore the repertory under consideration in relation to the idea of Bildung ("formation" or "education" of the self or of selves as a nation) that pervaded contemporary culture, manifesting itself in music as the ...
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"Being" a Stickist:  A Phenomenological Consideration of "Dwelling" in a Virtual Music Scene

"Being" a Stickist: A Phenomenological Consideration of "Dwelling" in a Virtual Music Scene

Date: May 2010
Creator: Hodges, Jeff
Description: Musical instruments are not static, unchanging objects. They are, instead, things that materially evolve in symmetry with human practices. Alterations to an instrument's design often attend to its ergonomic or expressive capacity, but sometimes an innovator causes an entirely new instrument to arise. One such instrument is the Chapman Stick. This instrument's history is closely intertwined with global currents that have evolved into virtual, online scenes. Virtuality obfuscates embodiment, but the Stick's world, like any instrument's, is optimally related in intercorporeal exchanges. Stickists circumvent real and virtual obstacles to engage the Stick world. Using an organology informed by the work of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, this study examines how the Chapman Stick, as a material "thing," speaks in and through a virtual, representational environment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Belle Musique and Fin' Amour: Thibaut de Champagne, Gace Brulé, and an Aristocratic Trouvére Tradition

Belle Musique and Fin' Amour: Thibaut de Champagne, Gace Brulé, and an Aristocratic Trouvére Tradition

Date: December 2008
Creator: Bly, Emily
Description: Many consider Gace Brulé (c1160-c1213) and Thibaut IV, Count of Champagne, (1201-1253) to have been the greatest trouvères. Writers on this subject have not adequately examined this assumption, having focused their energies on such issues as tracking melodic variants of individual works as preserved in different song-books (or chansonniers), the interpretation of rhythm in performance, and creation of modern editions of these songs. This thesis examines the esteem enjoyed by Gace and Thibaut in both medieval and modern times which derives from their exemplarity of, rather than difference from their noble contemporaries.
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Beyond the Human Voice: Francis Poulenc's Psychological Drama La Voix humaine (1958)

Beyond the Human Voice: Francis Poulenc's Psychological Drama La Voix humaine (1958)

Date: May 2000
Creator: Beard, Cynthia C.
Description: Francis Poulenc's one-character opera La Voix humaine (1958), a setting of the homonymous play by Jean Cocteau, explores the psychological complexities of an unnamed woman as she experiences the end of a romantic relationship. During the forty-minute work, she sings in a declamatory manner into a telephone, which serves as a sign of the unrevealed man at the other end. Poulenc uses musical motives to underscore the woman's changing emotional states as she recalls her past relationship. The musical dramaturgy in this work resignifies Debussy's impressionist symbolism by collapsing devices used in Pelléas et Mélisande in a language that shifts between octatonicism, chromaticism, harmonic and melodic whole tone passages, and diatonicism. This late work recontextualizes elements in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-56), and the end of the opera provides a theme for his Sonate pour Clarinet et Piano(1962), as Poulenc reflects on his youthful encounters with Cocteau, Erik Satie, and Les Six.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Beyond the "Year of Song": Text and Music in the Song Cycles of Robert Schumann after 1848

Beyond the "Year of Song": Text and Music in the Song Cycles of Robert Schumann after 1848

Date: May 2007
Creator: Ringer, Rebecca Scharlene
Description: In recent years scholars have begun to re-evaluate the works, writings, and life of Robert Schumann (1810-1856). One of the primary issues in this ongoing re-evaluation is a reassessment of the composer's late works (roughly defined as those written after 1845). Until recently, the last eight years of Schumann's creative life and the works he composed at that time either have been ignored or critiqued under an image of an illness that had caused periodic breakdowns. Schumann's late works show how his culture and the artists communicating within that culture were transformed from the beginning to the middle of the nineteenth century. These late works, therefore, should be viewed in the context of Schumann's output as a whole and in regard to their contributions to nineteenth-century society. Schumann's contributions, specifically to the genre of the song cycle from 1849 to 1852, are among his late compositional works that still await full reconsideration. A topical study, focusing on three themes of selections from his twenty-three late cycles, will provide a critical evaluation of Schumann's compositional output in the genre of the song cycle. First, Schumann's political voice will be examined. The political events that led to the mid-nineteenth-century revolutions inspired crucial ...
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Carlo Milanuzzi's Quarto Scherzo and the Climate of Venetian Popular Music in the 1620s

Carlo Milanuzzi's Quarto Scherzo and the Climate of Venetian Popular Music in the 1620s

Date: August 2001
Creator: Gavito, Cory Michael
Description: Although music publishing in Italy was on the decline around the turn of the seventeenth century, Venice emerged as one of the most prolific publishing centers of secular song in Italy throughout the first three decades of the 1600s. Many Venetian song collections were printed with alfabeto, a chordal tablature designed to facilitate even the most untrained of musicians with the necessary tools for accompanying singers on the fashionable five-course Spanish guitar. Carlo Milanuzzi's Quarto Scherzo (1624) stands out among its contemporary Venetian song collections with alfabeto as an anthology of Venetian secular songs, including compositions by Miniscalchi, Berti, and Claudio and Francesco Monteverdi. Issues surrounding its publication, instrumentation, and musical and poetic style not only contribute to the understanding of Venetian Baroque monody, but also help to construe a repertory of vocal music with defining characteristics usually associated with popular music of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
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Caught Between Jazz and Pop: The Contested Origins, Criticism, Performance Practice, and Reception of Smooth Jazz.

Caught Between Jazz and Pop: The Contested Origins, Criticism, Performance Practice, and Reception of Smooth Jazz.

Date: December 2008
Creator: West, Aaron J.
Description: In Caught Between Jazz and Pop, I challenge the prevalent marginalization and malignment of smooth jazz in the standard jazz narrative. Furthermore, I question the assumption that smooth jazz is an unfortunate and unwelcomed evolutionary outcome of the jazz-fusion era. Instead, I argue that smooth jazz is a long-lived musical style that merits multi-disciplinary analyses of its origins, critical dialogues, performance practice, and reception. Chapter 1 begins with an examination of current misconceptions about the origins of smooth jazz. In many jazz histories, the origins of smooth jazz are defined as a product of the jazz-fusion era. I suggest that smooth jazz is a distinct jazz style that is not a direct outgrowth of any mainstream jazz style, but a hybrid of various popular and jazz styles. Chapters 2 through 4 contain eight case studies examining the performers of crossover jazz and smooth jazz. These performers have conceived and maintained distinct communicative connections between themselves and their audiences. In the following chapter, the unfair treatment of popular jazz styles is examined. Many early and influential jazz critics sought to elevate jazz to the status of art music by discrediting popular jazz styles. These critics used specific criteria and emphasized notions ...
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Criticism of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics

Criticism of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics

Date: December 2011
Creator: Cooper, Amy Nicole
Description: Critics who discuss Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony often write about aspects that run counter to their conception of what a symphony should be, such as this symphony’s static nature and its programmatic elements. In nineteenth-century Boston and London, criticism of the Pastoral Symphony reflects the opinions of a wide range of listeners, as critics variably adopted the views of the intellectual elite and general audience members. As a group, these critics acted as intermediaries between various realms of opinion regarding this piece. Their writing serves as a lens through which we can observe audiences’ acceptance of ideas common in contemporaneous musical thought, including the integrity of the artwork, the glorification of genius, and ideas about meaning in music.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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