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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: College of Music
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Expectation as Narrative Strategy in Richard Wagner's Parsifal

Expectation as Narrative Strategy in Richard Wagner's Parsifal

Date: August 1997
Creator: Straughn, Greg, 1972-
Description: The story of Parsifal is presented in two manners: through action and through narrative. Using the formalist theories of Vladimir Propp, the overall narrative is articulated in three narrative episodes. This thesis interprets the structure of narrative episodes in Parsifal on the basis of expectation. Propp's theory of functions provides labels for an interpretive analysis. Levi-Strauss' reconstruction of Propp's functions into paired structures identifies key points in the drama as moments of "functional" saturation. This "functional" saturation coincides with Wagner's practice of Leitmotivic saturation. The semiotic theories of Charles Sanders Peirce, specifically his notion of sign, clarify the dense accumulation of meanings accrued by the Leitmotifs. Finally, Parsifal, as a "quest" for the unobtainable object, fits into the matrix of desire as formulated in the theories of Jacques Lacan.
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Reconstructing Convention: Ensemble Forms in the Operas of Jules Massenet

Reconstructing Convention: Ensemble Forms in the Operas of Jules Massenet

Date: December 2004
Creator: Straughn, Gregory
Description: Over the last quarter-century, scholars have taken a unified approach in discussing form in Italian and French opera of the nineteenth century. This approach centers around the four-part aria and duet form begun by Bellini, codified by Rossini, modified by Verdi, and dissolved by Puccini. A similar trajectory can be seen in French opera in the works of Meyerbeer, Gounod, and Massenet; however, only Meyerbeer and Gounod have received significant critical attention. This is in part due to Massenet's reception as a "composer for the people," a title ill fitting and ripe for reconsideration. This dissertation will examine duet forms in Massenet's oeuvre and will focus on the gradual change in style manifest in his twenty-five operas. Massenet's output can be divided into three distinct periods delineated by his approach to form. Representative works from each period will show how he inherited, interpreted, thwarted, and ultimately rewrote the standard formal conventions of his time and in doing so, created a dramaturgical approach to opera that unified the formerly separate number-based elements. Massenet's longevity and popular appeal make him the quintessential French opera composer of the fin de siècle and the natural choice for examining reconstructed conventions.
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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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An Analysis and Comparison of Four Rotations Pour Marimba, A Solo Marimba Suite, by Eric Sammut

An Analysis and Comparison of Four Rotations Pour Marimba, A Solo Marimba Suite, by Eric Sammut

Date: May 2011
Creator: Suen, Ming-Jen
Description: Four Rotations Pour Marimba (1996) by Eric Sammut has become one of the most important marimba compositions in serious concert solo marimba literature. Four Rotations Pour Marimba is a suite of four short pieces; each of them demonstrates a different musical character while incorporating similar compositional components and techniques. The goal of this thesis project is to create a stylistic analysis for providing the concert marimbist with insight into the interpretation of these four pieces and also giving composers a more in-depth understanding of Sammut's compositional method. This thesis includes a formal analysis and comparisons of compositional elements used in Four Rotations. A brief biography of Sammut and historical significance of Four Rotations Pour Marimba are also included.
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Alexander Scriabin (1871-1915): Piano miniature as chronicle of his creative evolution; Complexity of interpretive approach and its implications.

Alexander Scriabin (1871-1915): Piano miniature as chronicle of his creative evolution; Complexity of interpretive approach and its implications.

Date: May 2008
Creator: Sukhina, Nataliya
Description: Scriabin's piano miniatures are ideal for the study of evolution of his style, which underwent an extreme transformation. They present heavily concentrated idioms and structural procedures within concise form, therefore making it more accessible to grasp the quintessence of the composer's thought. A plethora of studies often reviews isolated genres or periods of Scriabin's legacy, making it impossible to reveal important general tendencies and inner relationships between his pieces. While expanding the boundaries of tonality, Scriabin completed the expansion and universalization of the piano miniature genre. Starting from his middle years the 'poem' characteristics can be found in nearly every piece. The key to this process lies in Scriabin's compilation of certain symbolical musical gestures. Separation between technical means and poetic intention of Scriabin's works as well as rejection of his metaphysical thought evolution result in serious interpretive implications. Music of Scriabin provides an excellent opportunity for a performer to find a proper balance between rational and intuitive. The lack of any of these qualities will impoverish his works, making their interpretation incomplete. Following one of main Scriabin's ideas - synthesis of all arts - this study approaches his music not from the narrow analytical, but broad synthetic standpoint. The ...
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Fidget, Sway, and Swerve: Three Works Inspired By Movement From the Intricate Maneuvers Series

Fidget, Sway, and Swerve: Three Works Inspired By Movement From the Intricate Maneuvers Series

Date: December 2012
Creator: Summar, Sarah Page
Description: Intricate Maneuvers is a series of musical works that were composed using movement as a model for compositional processes and forms. This essay presents in-depth analyses of three works from the series; Fidget, Sway: The Mildest Form of Falling, and Swerve for Chamber Ensemble. The analysis of each work highlights correlations between the musical characteristics of that work and the temporal, spatial, contextual, and psychological implications of the motion after which it was modeled. The third chapter also demonstrates the ways in which the creation of Sway was influenced by materials and processes taken from Ruth Crawford's String Quartet 1931. In order to investigate the question of how life experiences can function as models for compositional processes, the essay examines precedents for the compositional modeling of extra-musical ideas and images in the works of Bed?ich Smetana, Elliott Carter and Roger Reynolds. It also discusses approaches to modeling movement in music created for dance. Throughout the Intricate Maneuvers series, movement is modeled not merely to create an association between a musical work and a particular movement pattern, but rather to infuse the compositions with the dynamism that defines a particular kinetic experience.
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A Critical Study of Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Transcription of Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde

A Critical Study of Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Transcription of Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Sun, Ai-Kuang
Description: Toward the end of his life, from 1908 to 1909, Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) composed Das Lied von der Erde (The song of the earth). This piece is a cycle of six song movements based on seven poems selected from Die chinesische Flötem - Nachdichtungen chinesischer Lyrik (The Chinese flute - free adaptation of Chinese lyric poetry) by Hans Bethge. The Chinese verse was written by Li-Po (numbers 1, 3, 4 and 5), Tchang-Tsi (number 2), and Mong-Kao-Jen and Wang-Wei (combined in number 6). Subsequently, in 1921, Arnold Schoenberg reduced the work to a simple chamber version transcription from Mahler's original massive score for full orchestra, a version completed in 1983 by Rainer Riehn. While the main melodic material in the vocal parts was maintained, the orchestral parts underwent substantial changes. This dissertation explores Mahler's reconfiguration of textual material and the setting of these texts in the orchestral medium. After consulting the various textual editions, I establish misreading and translational differences from the original Chinese through its various Western European incarnations; how and why Mahler chose the Bethge edition; what influenced his specific selection of poetry; and how these poems inform one another and the work as a whole. I also ...
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Ida Gotkovsky's Eolienne Pour Flute et Harpe in Theory and Practice: A Critical Analysis

Ida Gotkovsky's Eolienne Pour Flute et Harpe in Theory and Practice: A Critical Analysis

Date: May 2010
Creator: Surman, Patricia Jovanna
Description: This dissertation addresses specific theoretical issues within Gotkovsky's Eolienne. She was a student of Messiaen, and his influence is evident in Eolienne, but at the same time, Gotkovsky's compositional voice is both personally distinctive and reflects l'esprit de temps of the twentieth century Parisian musical world. The research provides extensive analytical insight into Gotkovsky's musical language in Eolienne, specifically her use of symmetrical scales, emphasis on timbre, and formal constructs. Because there are limited scholarly resources available on the subject of flute and harp chamber music, and a small amount of biographical information on Gotkovsky, this dissertation is a significant contribution within the area of chamber music for flute, both historically and theoretically. It provides an analysis of Gotkovsky's musical language and the analysis gives performers access to musical-theoretical information previously unavailable.
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Georg Philipp Telemann's Use Of The Trumpet In Tafelmusik II-TWV 55: D1 (1733) Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Kennan, Torelli, Chaynes and Others

Georg Philipp Telemann's Use Of The Trumpet In Tafelmusik II-TWV 55: D1 (1733) Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Kennan, Torelli, Chaynes and Others

Date: December 2005
Creator: Swisher, Eric
Description: While trumpeters know him best for his concertos, Telemann included trumpets in his operas, cantatas, oratorios, orchestral music and mixed chamber music. This project will study the opening suite and conclusion of Tafelmusik II (TWV: D1, 1733) in order to examine his use of the trumpet in a mixed chamber work. Since Telemann was heavily influenced by his environment, the first chapter will focus on the city of Hamburg. As a major port, Hamburg's thriving economy gave rise to a wealthy merchant class, who were among Telemann's greatest supporters. The city boasted of many progressive elements: a democratic government, intellectual societies, foreign visitors, and a great love of music. This made Hamburg an ideal place for Telemann to work. The second chapter will provide an analysis of the movements: their forms, key structures, phrase organizations and orchestrations. After a brief explanation of the Baroque Trumpet, the third chapter will focus on Telemann's use of the trumpet in the work. Special attention will be paid to the methods which he employed to conceal the trumpet's tonal limitations and its relationship to the other instruments of the ensemble.
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The Fourteen Seréstas of Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)

The Fourteen Seréstas of Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)

Date: August 1999
Creator: Sánchez, Noé
Description: The Fourteen Seréstas of Heitor Villa-Lobos comprise a group of songs that expresses Villa-Lobos's compositional technique for the voice. These songs are challenging as a topic because not much historical or analytical research has been done on them. I approach the topic by providing historical background on the modinha and how it relates to the serésta. This is followed by a descriptive analysis in the order of the set, which includes musical examples, chart diagrams, and comparisons of the seréstas to other works. I hope to have contributed valuable information to the research of these songs since Villa-Lobos wrote over ninety solo vocal songs which still await analysis and discussion. This thesis is a contribution toward narrowing this gap.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries