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 Degree Discipline: Music Theory
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Thematic and Formal Narrative in Respighi’s Sinfonia Drammatica

Thematic and Formal Narrative in Respighi’s Sinfonia Drammatica

Date: May 2014
Creator: Amato, Alexander G.
Description: Respighi’s scarcely-known orchestral work Sinfonia Drammatica lives up to its title by evoking a narrative throughout the course of its three movements. In this dissertation, I argue how the work’s surface, subsurface, and formal elements suggest this narrative which emerges as a cycle of rising and falling dramatic tension. I explain how Respighi constructs the work’s narrative in the musical surface through a diverse body of themes that employ three motives of contour. The disposition and manipulation of these motives within the themes suggest frequent fluctuations of the level of conflict throughout the symphony as a whole. To show the involvement of musical forms in the work’s narrative, I employ an approach which integrates harmony and thematic behavior. I utilize analytical methods from the current Formenlehre, including terms from James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy’s sonata deformation theory and William Caplin’s theories of formal functions to elucidate ties between the forms of the Sinfonia Drammatica’s movements and those of conventional sonata forms of the late-eighteenth century. This dissertation also employs Heinrich Schenker’s theories of structures, voice leading, and reduction to illustrate large-scale aspects of the Sinfonia Drammatica’s narrative. The resulting analyses show Respighi’s elaborations of common structural paradigms which serve to ...
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Gualterio Armando's 34 Canciones Hispanoamericanas Para Canto Y Piano: a Comprehensive Edition and an Analytical Study of the Work’s Thematic Unity, Chromaticism, and Use of Musical Quotations

Gualterio Armando's 34 Canciones Hispanoamericanas Para Canto Y Piano: a Comprehensive Edition and an Analytical Study of the Work’s Thematic Unity, Chromaticism, and Use of Musical Quotations

Date: May 2014
Creator: Pérez Torres, René
Description: During the 1930s, German-born music critic and composer Gualterio Armando (1887-1973), formerly known as Walter Dahms, set to music thirty-four poems by some of the most important Hispano-American poets from the latter part of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. In these songs, Armando tries to capture the spirit and idiosyncrasy of Hispano-American cultures while incorporating his own musical aesthetics. Armando’s 34 Canciones Hispanoamericanas para Canto y Piano (34 Hispano-American songs for voice and piano) display an original sound and style full of rhythms, shapes, colors, and textures found in the music of various Hispanic cultures. Nevertheless, the essence of these songs is deeply rooted in nineteenth-century German musical traditions. This eclecticism results in unique works that developed and evolved as reflections of their creator’s musical psyche. This dissertation presents an analytical study of selected songs from the 34 Canciones. The study focuses on three compositional aspects: unity within song cycles, chromaticism, and the use of pre-existing musical material. Since only one of the 34 Canciones has ever been published, this document also includes a complete edition of the thirty-four songs. Additionally, a significant part of the research incorporates a biographical sketch of the composer.
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Redeeming the Betrayer: Elgar’s Portrayal of Judas in the Apostles

Redeeming the Betrayer: Elgar’s Portrayal of Judas in the Apostles

Date: December 2013
Creator: Taycher, Ryan
Description: Despite its generally agreed importance, very little has been written about The Apostles. Even among the extant publications that address The Apostles, scholars have focused on its history and development, its reception, or analytical descriptions of its surface themes. The aim of this study will therefore be to provide neither a biography of Elgar, nor an account of the genesis of the work, but to analyze The Apostles in a manner that will achieve a deeper understanding of the oratorio. Chapter 1 explores the complexities that surround Judas and the different ways in which he was perceived throughout history. Then, through my analysis of the surface motives in Chapter 2 and their significance in relation to the large-scale harmonic structure in Chapter 3, I will suggest that Elgar does not denigrate Judas as the betrayer of Christ in The Apostles, but rather depicts him as a tragic yet crucial figure in achieving the redemption of mankind, and through this Judas himself is redeemed.
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Deconstructing Webern's Op 25, Drei Lieder: a Multidimensional Assessment

Deconstructing Webern's Op 25, Drei Lieder: a Multidimensional Assessment

Date: August 2013
Creator: Morgeson, Paul Taylor
Description: Webern scholarship has not comprehensively examined op. 25, drei lieder. If the selection of text for op. 25 is viewed as one work in three movements they create a ternary form (A-B-A1). To show how this form is developed in the music the author creates a new analytical system based on Schoenberg's Grundgestalt which is defined by three basic ideas: symmetry, liquidation, and variation. The relationship between the voice and accompaniment and Webern's deliberate manipulation of the text is used to reveal the use of a program which is then tied to the numerical symbolism of 2 and 3.
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Harmonic and Contrapuntal Techniques in the Late Keyboard Works of Cesar Franck

Harmonic and Contrapuntal Techniques in the Late Keyboard Works of Cesar Franck

Date: May 1992
Creator: Cranford, Dennis R. (Dennis Ray)
Description: This study examines the five late keyboard works of Cesar Franck: the Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue and the Prelude. Aria, and Finale for piano, and the three organ chorales. The study focuses on harmonic and contrapuntal techniques and their interrelationships, placing the discussion in the context of an analysis of the whole piece. The primary goal is to identify the salient characteristics of each piece; a secondary goal is to identify common harmonic and contrapuntal aspects of Franck's style.
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An Application of Grundgestalt Theory in the Late Chromatic Music of Chopin: a Study of his Last Three Polonaises

An Application of Grundgestalt Theory in the Late Chromatic Music of Chopin: a Study of his Last Three Polonaises

Date: December 1994
Creator: Spicer, Mark Joseph
Description: The late chromatic music of Chopin is often difficult to analyze, particularly with a system of Roman numerals. The study examines Schoenberg's Grundgestalt concept as a strategy for explaining Chopin's chromatic musical style. Two short Chopin works, Nocturne in E-flat major. Op. 9, No. 2, and Etude in E major, Op. 10, No. 3, serve as models in which the analytic method is formulated. Root analysis, in the manner of eighteenth-century theorist Simon Sechter, is utilized to facilitate harmonic analysis of chromatic passages. Based upon the analytic method developed, the study analyzes the last three polonaises of Chopin: Polonaise in F-sharp minor, Op. 44, Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53, and Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat major, Op. 61. The Grundgestalt-based analysis shows harmonic, melodic and rhythmic connections in order to view Chopin's chromaticism and formal structure from a new perspective. With this approach, the chromaticism is viewed as essential to the larger form.
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A Phenomenology of Music Analysis

A Phenomenology of Music Analysis

Date: December 1995
Creator: Anderson, Andrew E. (Andrew Edwin)
Description: Many of the early writings and lectures of the German phenomenological philosopher Martin Heidegger involve investigations into the question of Being. An important part of these investigations is his examination of how we go about the everyday business of existing--doing our jobs, dealing with things in our environment, working through problems, thinking, talking--and what our ways of operating in these everyday activities tell us about our Being in general. Musicians have their own everyday musical tasks, two of the most prominent of which are composing and performing. Composers and performers, like everyone else, have a 'world'--Heidegger's word for the structure of relationships between equipment, persons, and tasks and the way in which a person is situated in that structure--and that 'world' allows them to cope with their musical environment in ways that enable them to make music as composers and performers. Analyzing music is an activity that a Heideggerian approach sees as derived from the primary musical activities of composing and performing. A music analyst trades the possibility of primary musical involvement for a kind of involvement that points out determinate characteristics; hence in adopting an analytical stance, the analyst trades doing something musical for saying something about music. In ...
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Arvo Pärt and Three Types of His Tintinnabuli Technique

Arvo Pärt and Three Types of His Tintinnabuli Technique

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kongwattananon, Oranit
Description: Arvo Pärt, an Estonian composer, was born in 1935. Most of the works at the beginning of his career were for piano in the neo-classical style. After that, he turned his interest to serial music and continued creating works with serial techniques throughout the 1960s. After his "self-imposed silence" period (during the years 1968-1976), Pärt emerged with a new musical style, which he called tintinnabuli. Although, this technique was influenced by music from the medieval period, the texture and function of its musical style cannot be described easily in terms of any single musical technique of the past. This study explores the evolution of Arvo Pärt's tintinnabuli technique in its first decade 1976-1985, which is divided into three different types. It provides musical examples from the scores of selected works, Für Alina, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Cantate Domino canticum novum, Missa Sillabica, Stabat Mater and Es sang vor langen Jahren, and their analyses with supporting interpretative sketches. The goal of this thesis is to provide the reader a basis for understanding and recognizing the different types of Pärt's tintinnabuli technique.
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“A Metaphor for the Impossibility of Togetherness”: Expansion Processes in Gubaidulina’s First String Quartet

“A Metaphor for the Impossibility of Togetherness”: Expansion Processes in Gubaidulina’s First String Quartet

Date: August 2012
Creator: Stroud, Cara
Description: This thesis illustrates how I hear processes of expansion organizing musical materials in the First String Quartet. By employing a flexible approach to expansion and developing models of wedge and additive expansions beyond the bounds of specific voice-leading or rhythmic augmentation procedures, expansion processes can be understood in each of the varied episodes of the quartet. Gubaidulina’s use of expansion processes, embodied organically in pitch, rhythm, form, and physical space, unifies the episodic materials of the First String Quartet and provides an inevitable conclusion to the work’s loose narrative.
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Toward a Descriptive Eidetics of Atonality: a Phenomenological Analysis of Webern Op 3, No 1

Toward a Descriptive Eidetics of Atonality: a Phenomenological Analysis of Webern Op 3, No 1

Date: August 2012
Creator: Schnitzius, Michael P.
Description: David Lewin, in his 1986 article “Music Theory, Phenomenology, and Modes of Perception,” offers a promising methodological approach for the analysis of tonal music from a phenomenological perspective. Lewin’s phenomenological method has a propensity to render seemingly contradictory readings in such a way that their respective validities can be preserved by articulating them within differentiated contexts. Expanding upon Lewin’s phenomenological work with analyzing tonal music, I propose that a phenomenological investigation of an atonal song, Webern op. 3, no. 1, from within a variety of differentiated contexts can shed light upon what it means to perceive a piece of music as being “not in a key.” This thesis will open with an introduction to Lewin’s phenomenological work and the writings of Edmund Husserl and Izchak Miller that Lewin used as a point of departure. The analysis of Webern op. 3, no. 1, that follows will regard the voice and piano parts as differentiated musical contexts in order to investigate the interaction between these contexts as they generally undermine the perception of tonality in the song. Finally, the notion of a “musical context” as an organizing factor of musical perception will be expanded to include the different analytical approaches of Olli ...
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