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 Department: College of Music
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Michael Nyman: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Michael Nyman: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Date: May 2008
Creator: Avant-Rossi, Joan
Description: Composer Michael Nyman wrote the one-act, minimalist opera The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, based off the neurological case study written by Oliver Sacks under the same title. The opera is about a professional singer and professor whom suffers from visual agnosia. In chapter 1, the plot and history of the opera are discussed. Chapter 2 places The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat alongside a selection of minimalist operas from Philip Glass and John Adams. Chapter 3 contains a history of the Fluxus art movement and shows where Fluxus-like examples appear in the opera. Chapter 4 includes Nyman's usage of minimalism, vocal congruencies, and Robert Schumann as musical elements that convey the drama.
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Cyclic Patterns in John Coltrane's Melodic Vocabulary as Influenced by Nicolas Slonimsky's  Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns: An Analysis of Selected Improvisations

Cyclic Patterns in John Coltrane's Melodic Vocabulary as Influenced by Nicolas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns: An Analysis of Selected Improvisations

Date: August 2003
Creator: Bair, Jeff
Description: This study documents and analyzes cyclic patterns used as melodic vocabulary in John Coltrane's improvisations from compositions of 1965 to 1967. The analysis is categorized in two distinct sections. The first section analyzes melodic vocabulary that is derived from the cycle of descending major thirds progressions found in the compositions of 1959 to 1960. The second section analyzes melodic vocabulary that is derived from Nicolas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns using the theoretical terminology incorporated in the treatise. Musical examples consist of patterns from the Thesaurus and excerpts from selected improvisations of John Coltrane as transcribed by Andrew White. Important scholarly contributions relevant to the subject by Carl Woideck, Lewis Porter, David Demsey, and Walt Weiskopf are included. Every effort has been made to cite interviews with musicians and commentaries by writers contemporary to that period of time with special emphasis on the important influence of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Ornette Coleman. Chapter headings include: Literature Review and Methodology; Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Ornette Coleman: Converging Influences; Analysis: Coltrane's Major Thirds Harmonic Cycles Used as Melodic Vocabulary; Interval Cycles in Coltrane's Melodic Vocabulary Based on Patterns from Slonimsky's Thesaurus; Summary and Conclusion.
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The Snare Drum as a Solo Concert Instrument: An In-Depth Study of Works by Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Dan Senn, and Stuart Saunders Smith, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Keiko Abe, Daniel Levitan, Askell Masson, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Others

The Snare Drum as a Solo Concert Instrument: An In-Depth Study of Works by Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Dan Senn, and Stuart Saunders Smith, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Keiko Abe, Daniel Levitan, Askell Masson, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Others

Date: December 2004
Creator: Baker, Jason Colby
Description: This dissertation discusses the potential of the snare drum as a solo concert instrument. Four pieces from a collection entitled The Noble Snare are used for demonstration ("Homily" by Milton Babbitt, "Composed Improvisation for Snare Drum" by John Cage, "Peeping Tom" by Dan Senn, and "The Noble Snare" by Stuart Saunders Smith). In the absence of many traditional musical devices (i.e. melody and harmony), alternative means of expression are used by the composer. Each piece is discussed with regard to its distinctive compositional approach and inherent performance issues. Information is also given pertaining to the background of the Noble Snare series. This includes: the inspiration for the project, editorial issues, and its influence on snare drum performance. Much of this research was completed through interviews by with author with Sylvia Smith, publisher of The Noble Snare and owner of Smith Publications.
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The effect of three different levels of skill training in musical timbre discrimination on alphabet sound discrimination in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children

The effect of three different levels of skill training in musical timbre discrimination on alphabet sound discrimination in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children

Date: May 2000
Creator: Battle, Julia Blair
Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of three different levels of skill training in musical timbre discrimination on alphabet sound discrimination in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten children. The findings of prior investigations indicated similarities between aural music and language perception. Psychoacoustic and neurological findings have reported the discrimination of alphabet quality and musical timbre to be similar perceptual functions and have provided, through imaging technology, physical evidence of music learning simultaneously stimulating non-musical areas of the brain. This investigator hypothesized that timbre discrimination, the process of differentiating the characteristic quality of one complex sound from another of identical pitch and loudness, may have been a common factor between music and alphabet sound discrimination. Existing studies had not explored this relationship or the effects of directly teaching for transfer on learning generalization between skills used for the discrimination of musical timbre and alphabet sounds. Variables identified as similar from the literature were the discrimination of same- different musical and alphabet sounds, visual recognition of musical and alphabet pictures as sound sources, and association of alphabet and musical sounds with matching symbols. A randomized pre-post test design with intermittent measures was used to implement the study. There were 5 ...
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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.
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Opera at the Threshold of a Revolution: Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-1956)

Opera at the Threshold of a Revolution: Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-1956)

Date: December 2011
Creator: Beard, Cynthia C.
Description: 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 ...
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Mus. Ms. 1511b: A Historical Review of a Lute Manuscript in the Herwarth Collection at the Bavarian Library, Munich

Mus. Ms. 1511b: A Historical Review of a Lute Manuscript in the Herwarth Collection at the Bavarian Library, Munich

Date: August 2007
Creator: Beasley, Douglas William
Description: The purpose of this paper is to create a modern transcription/edition and an historical study of Munich Mus. Ms. 1511b thereby helping to define the social and pedagogical ramifications of lute repertoire from the mid-sixteenth-century. Because of the amateurish nature of the compositions, the conclusion of this study is that a member of the Herwarth family probably used the manuscript for learning purposes. Dance, grounds and other related forms found in the manuscript are discussed. Also included is an incipit concordance that can be used as a cross-reference for further research.
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The influence of Sister Helen Prejean on the life and work of Jake Heggie as seen in the song cycle The Deepest Desire: Four Meditations on Love.

The influence of Sister Helen Prejean on the life and work of Jake Heggie as seen in the song cycle The Deepest Desire: Four Meditations on Love.

Date: December 2008
Creator: Beasley, Rebecca Choate
Description: Jake Heggie, American art song and opera composer, began his association with Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ when he composed Dead Man Walking, an operatic adaptation of her memoirs. Though from two very different backgrounds, the two developed a deep friendship and spiritual bond that provided the impetus for further compositions dealing with spirituality. Heggie adapted Prejean's meditations as a text for his song cycle The Deepest Desire in 2002, producing what he considers to be his finest work to date. Using The Deepest Desire as a gateway, this paper explores the social and cultural aspects of their association, revealing their personal perspectives on their relationship, collaborations, and shared sense of spirituality. Chapters include the biographies and spiritual philosophies of both Heggie and Prejean, Heggie's compositional style, Dead Man Walking, a performance analysis of The Deepest Desire, and the continuing influence of the relationship between Heggie and Prejean on Heggie's work. The appendix includes transcriptions of personal interviews with both individuals, Prejean's original meditation texts, correspondence with Heggie, Prejean, and Joyce DiDonato, and performance notes for The Deepest Desire derived from a musical coaching with the composer.
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Present Absence:  A work for string quintet and live electronics

Present Absence: A work for string quintet and live electronics

Date: May 2001
Creator: Bell, Jeffrey C.
Description: Present Absence is a work that integrates electronic processing and live performance. It is approximately 20 minutes long and is divided into three movements. The movements are distinct from each other, but are related through various elements. Incorporating electronic processing and live performance can be cumbersome. The primary objective of this piece is to use electronic processing in a manner that liberates the performers from any restrictions imposed by the use of electronic processing. The electronic processing in the work is accomplished through the program MAX/Msp, a real-time digital signal processing environment. The patch that was created for this piece is called MOO-V. This paper discusses the both the technical details in the construction of this patch, and the aesthetic it serves.
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The Keyboard Music of Peter Philips

The Keyboard Music of Peter Philips

Date: August 2010
Creator: Bennight, Bradley J.
Description: The keyboard works of the English virginalist Peter Philips have been little studied in comparison with his more famous contemporaries, William Byrd, John Bull and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. While Philips left comparatively fewer keyboard works than these composers, his music contains very unique attributes. This study compiles the latest research of Philips' life as well as an analysis of representative works showing many of the individual and uncommon features to be found in Philips' works for keyboard. Pieces from all genres of Philips' keyboard output are represented and discussed, including Pavanes and Galliards, Fantasias and Intabulations of madrigals. Musical examples of each of these works are provided. A description of the instruments needed for the performance of the music and an illustration of the rare type of keyboard instrument required in the Pavana and Galliarda Dolorosa is included. A discussion of Philips' style, particularly regarding ornamentation, is included with a comparison to the works of his contemporaries.
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