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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: Musicology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
"Being" a Stickist: A Phenomenological Consideration of "Dwelling" in a Virtual Music Scene
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28430/
Criticism of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103304/
Don Gillis's Symphony No 5½: Music for the People
Don Gillis wrote Symphony No. 5½ (1947) in order to reconcile the American public with modern art music. By synthesizing jazz (as well as other American folk idioms), singable melodies, and humor, and then couching them into symphonic language, Gillis produced a work that lay listeners could process and enjoy. The piece was an immediate success and was played by orchestras across the globe, but it did not retain this popularity and it eventually faded from relevancy. This study focuses on elements that contributed to the initial efficacy and ultimate decline of the work. Due to its pervasive popular influences, Symphony No. 5½ is a crystallized representation of time in which it was written, and it soon became dated. Don Gillis did not harbor the idea that Symphony No. 5½ would grant him great wealth or musical immortality; he had a more pragmatic goal in mind. He used every musical element at his disposal to write a symphonic work that would communicate directly with the American people via a musical language they would understand. He was successful in this regard, but the dialogue ended soon after mid-century. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271867/
It's Not Fusion: Hybridity in the Music of Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa
This thesis concerns the performance of identity in the music of Indian American jazz musicians Rudresh Mahanthappa and Vijay Iyer. In combining the use of Indian classical music elements with jazz, Iyer and Mahanthappa create music that is inextricably tied to their multifaceted identities. Traditional musicological analysis is juxtaposed with a theoretical framework that draws on postcolonial theory and the history of Asian immigrant populations to the U.S. I chronicle the interactions between Indian and Western music and link it to larger issues of Asian American identity formation and activism through music. Through interviews and transcriptions of studio recordings, I identify specific compositional and improvisational strategies of the musicians. I emphasize the role of individual agency in the formation of second-generation identities, drawing attention to the distinct ways that Iyer and Mahanthappa approach their music. Finally, I connect this research to a larger discourse on Indian American artistic identity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177203/
Musical Arrangements and Questions of Genre: A Study of Liszt's Interpretive Approaches
Through his exceptional creative and performing abilities, Franz Liszt was able to transform compositions of many kinds into unified, intelligible, and pleasing arrangements for piano. Nineteenth-century definitions of "arrangement" and "Klavierauszug," which focus on the process of reworking a composition for a different medium, do not adequately describe Liszt's work in this area. His piano transcriptions of Schubert's songs, Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and the symphonies of Beethoven are not note-for-note transcriptions; rather, they reinterpret the originals in recasting them as compositions for solo piano. Writing about Liszt's versions of Schubert's songs, a Viennese critic identified as "Carlo" heralded Liszt as the creator of a new genre and declared him to have made Schubert's songs the property of cultured pianists. Moreover, Liszt himself designated his work with Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and the symphonies of Beethoven "Partitions de piano": literally, piano scores. As is well known, concepts of genre in general create problems for musicologists; musical arrangements add a new dimension of difficulty to the problem. Whereas Carl Dahlhaus identifies genre as a tool for interpreting composers' responses to the social dimension of music in the fabric of individual compositions, Jeffrey Kallberg perceives it as a "social phenomenon shared by composers and listeners alike." The latter concept provides a more suitable framework for discussing the genre of transcriptions, for their importance derives in large part from relationships between the original and the derivative works, both as constructed by Liszt and perceived by critics and audiences. During the nineteenth and early twentieth century's, Liszt's transcriptions of songs and symphonies were construed as both compositions for pianists and subsets of the originals. Consequently, these compositions should be studied for their own musical value as well as for the light that they shed on the original works. Liszt's transcriptions are derivative and at the same time created distinct genres. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28488/
Le Nuove Musiche: Giovanni Battista Bovicelli?
This thesis is a comparative study on the late 16th century manuals of ornamentation by Girolamo Dalla Casa, Giovanni Bassano, Riccardo Rognoni, and Giovanni Battista Bovicelli. The study demonstrates that the latest Renaissance manual should be given more credit for the innovative ornamentation style that was to come in the Early Baroque era. Bovicelli's use of sequence, dissonances, and less moving notes for more rhythmic varieties are features most often associated in the style of the Baroque. Unfortunately, the topic of ornamentation in the late Renaissance is most commonly discussed as a group of different entities writing in the same style. The research for this paper is intended to separate the manuals of the late Renaissance, focusing on the separate styles that led to the work of Giovanni Battista Bovicelli. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30458/
Opera at the Threshold of a Revolution: Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-1956)
Francis Poulenc’s three-act opera Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-1956) depicts the struggles of the novice nun Blanche de la Force during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution. The use of Latin liturgical music at critical points in the opera conveys the ritualistic nature of Catholic worship. The spiritual message of mystical substitution, along with the closely related notion of vicarious suffering, imbue the opera with a spirituality that offers a sharp contrast to earlier operatic settings of Catholic texts, particularly during the age of grand opera. Marian devotion also plays an important role in the opera. The final tableau of the opera stages the execution of Blanche and her sisters, complete with the sound of a guillotine, with the nuns singing the Salve Regina as they proceed to the scaffold. The multivalence of the final tableau highlights the importance of voice and its absence. While the nuns, onstage spectators, and the guillotine are audibly present in the scene, the priest participates solely through gesture. The surfacing of the Lacanian Real in the silent moment of traumatic shock that follows the guillotine’s first fall allows for intertextual references to the opera in Poulenc’s Sonate pour Flûte et Piano (1957) to function as a work of remembrance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103288/
Patronage, Connoisseurship and Antiquarianism in Georgian England: The Fitzwilliam Music Collection (1763-1815)
In eighteenth-century Britain, many aristocrats studied music, participated as amateurs in musical clubs, and patronized London’s burgeoning concert life. Richard Fitzwilliam, Seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion and Thorncastle (1745-1816), was one such patron and amateur. Fitzwilliam shaped his activities – participation, patronage, and collecting – in a unique way that illustrates his specialized tastes and interests. While as an amateur musician he sang in the Noblemen’s and Gentlemen’s Catch Club (the premiere social club dedicated to musical performance), he rose to the highest level of patronage by spearheading the Handel Commemoration Festival of 1784 and serving for many years as a Director of the Concert of Antient Music, the most prestigious concert series in Georgian Britain. His lasting legacy, however, was his bequest to Cambridge University of his extensive collection of art, books and music, as well as sufficient funds to establish the Fitzwilliam Museum. At the time of his death, Fitzwilliam’s collection of music was the best in the land, save that in the Royal Library. Thus, his collection is ideally suited for examination as proof of his activities, taste and connoisseurship. Moreover, the music in Fitzwilliam’s collection shows his participation in the contemporary musicological debate, evidenced by his advocacy for ancient music, his agreement with the views of Charles Avison and his support for the music of Domenico Scarlatti. On one side of this debate were proponents of learned, ancient music, such as Fitzwilliam and Avison, whose Essay on Musical Expression of 1752 was a milestone in musical criticism. On the other side of the discussion were advocates for the more modern, “classical” style and genres, led by historian Charles Burney. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103327/
Repetition and Difference: Parodic Narration in Kander and Ebb's "The Scottsboro Boys"
The American musical team John Kander and Fred Ebb created many celebrated works, yet musicologists have carried out little research on those works. This study examines the role of music in the parodic narration of Kander and Ebb's final collaboration, The Scottsboro Boys. Kander and Ebb use minstrelsy to tell the story of the historic Scottsboro Boys trials with actors portraying the Scottsboro Boys as minstrels; at the same time, they employ a number of devices to subvert minstrelsy stereotypes and thereby comment on racism. Drawing on African American literary theory, sociolinguistics, and Bakhtin's dialogism, this study illuminates how Signifyin(g), a rhetorical tradition used to encode messages in some African American communities, is the primary way the actors playing the Scottsboro Boys subvert through minstrelsy. This study not only contributes to the discussion of Signifyin(g) in African American musicals and theatre as a tool of subversion, but also provides an example of non-African American creators—Kander and Ebb—using Signifyin(g) devices. They use these in the music and the book; in particular, Kander and Ebb do some Signifyin(g) on Stephen Foster's plantation melodies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283804/
Singing the Republic: Polychoral Culture at San Marco in Venice (1550-1615)
During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Venetian society and politics could be considered as a "polychoral culture." The imagination of the republic rested upon a shared set of social attitudes and beliefs. The political structure included several social groups that functioned as identifiable entities; republican ideologies construed them together as parts of a single harmonious whole. Venice furthermore employed notions of the republic to bolster political and religious independence, in particular from Rome. As is well known, music often contributes to the production and transmission of ideology, and polychoral music in Venice was no exception. Multi-choir music often accompanied religious and civic celebrations in the basilica of San Marco and elsewhere that emphasized the so-called "myth of Venice," the city's complex of religious beliefs and historical heritage. These myths were shared among Venetians and transformed through annual rituals into communal knowledge of the republic. Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli and other Venetian composers wrote polychoral pieces that were structurally homologous with the imagination of the republic. Through its internal structures, polychoral music projected the local ideology of group harmony. Pieces used interaction among hierarchical choirs - their alternation in dialogue and repetition - as rhetorical means, first to create the impression of collaboration or competition, and then to bring them together at the end, as if resolving discord into concord. Furthermore, Giovanni Gabrieli experimented with the integration of instrumental choirs and recitative within predominantly vocal multi-choir textures, elevating music to the category of a theatrical religious spectacle. He also adopted and developed richer tonal procedures belonging to the so-called "hexachordal tonality" to underscore rhetorical text delivery. If multi-choir music remained the central religious repertory of the city, contemporary single-choir pieces favored typical polychoral procedures that involve dialogue and repetition among vocal subgroups. Both repertories adopted clear rhetorical means of emphasizing religious notions of particular political significance at the surface level. Venetian music performed in religious and civic rituals worked in conjunction with the myth of the city to project and reinforce the imagination of the republic, promoting a glorious image of greatness for La Serenissima. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33220/
“Sounds for Adventurous Listeners”: Willis Conover, the Voice of America, and the International Reception of Avant-garde Jazz in the 1960S
In “Sounds for Adventurous Listeners,” I argue that Conover’s role in the dissemination of jazz through the Music USA Jazz Hour was more influential on an educational level than what literature on Conover currently provides. Chapter 2 begins with an examination of current studies regarding the role of jazz in Cold War diplomacy, the sociopolitical implications of avant-garde jazz and race, the convergence of fandom and propaganda, the promoter as facilitator of musical trends, and the influence of international radio during the Cold War. In chapter 3 I introduce the Friends of Music USA Newsletter and explain its function as a record of overseas jazz reception and a document that cohered a global network of fans. I then focus on avant-garde debates of the 1960s and discuss Conover’s role overseas and in the United States. Chapter 4 engages social purpose and jazz criticism in the 1960s. I discuss Conover’s philosophy on social responsibility, and how his contributions intersected with other relevant discourses on race on the eve of the civil rights movement. I argue that Conover embodied two personas: one as jazz critic and promoter in the United States, and the other as an international intermediary. In chapter 5 I discuss how Conover presented the avant-garde to his overseas audience. I argue that through his efforts to broadcast jazz impartially, he legitimized avant-garde and emphasized its qualities as art music. In chapter 6 I explore fandom studies as they apply to the formation of Music USA as a global fan network. I discuss the early roots of Conover’s interest in science fiction fandom as a motivation for the implementation of the Friends of Music USA (FOMUSA) groups. Chapter 7 concludes in a discussion of the deification of Conover though the medium of radio in the midst of the Cold War. I argue that, through manipulation of sound resources, Conover composed his broadcasts in a way that allowed him to improvise creatively. Finally, I discuss the effect of a radio personality on crowds and the impact of Conover’s music programming in light of studies concerning deejays as objects of devotion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149564/