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 Department: College of Music
 Degree Level: Master's
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Violetting Through August’s End (Or the Sunset in Water, the Carillon-chime in Square): an Original Chamber Opera and a Critical Essay on the Trajectory of American Minimalist Opera

Violetting Through August’s End (Or the Sunset in Water, the Carillon-chime in Square): an Original Chamber Opera and a Critical Essay on the Trajectory of American Minimalist Opera

Date: December 2014
Creator: Doyle, James Joseph
Description: When the dust settles, John Adams’s Nixon in China and Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach may stand as the most important operas of the latter twentieth century. The critical essay portion of this thesis examines the trajectory of minimalist opera, from its beginnings with Glass’s Einstein on the Beach through the more romantic operas of John Adams, Steve Reich’s multimedia opera The Cave, David Lang’s musical-influenced The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, and finally the post-minimalist operas currently being staged by young composer Nico Muhly. It examines the differences between the more abstract trajectory established by the early Glass operas and the plot driven trajectory established by operas more commonly associated with John Adams, most significantly Nixon in China. Additionally, the aforementioned pieces are compared and contrasted with the author’s newly composed chamber opera Violetting through August’s End (or the sunset in water, the carillon-chime in square).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
“Before I Die…”: Original Composition with a Critical Essay Exploring the Techniques of Six Crossover Composers

“Before I Die…”: Original Composition with a Critical Essay Exploring the Techniques of Six Crossover Composers

Date: August 2014
Creator: Trusko, Robert
Description: Candy Chang developed a public art installation where people are given the opportunity to write their answers to "Before I Die I want to ________." in a public space. I created one of these walls in Denton, TX and set it to music in a 12 minutes and 42 second piece titled Before I Die..., which combines elements of South Indian carnatic music, gospel, R&B, jazz fusion, and minimalism. The composition was influenced by the music of several crossover artists Becca Stevens, Michael League (Snarky Puppy), Nico Muhly, Poovalur Sriji, Tigran Hamasyan, and James Blake. Crossover music, fusion, and third-stream are all synonymous terms used to describe music where multiple genres or styles are authentically combined. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the balance of musical elements in crossover works as well as how specific works composed by the artists mentioned have influenced the creation of the Before I Die... piece.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Intimacy of Death: Mahler’s Dramatic Narration in Kindertotenlieder

The Intimacy of Death: Mahler’s Dramatic Narration in Kindertotenlieder

Date: May 2014
Creator: Strange, AnnaGrace
Description: There has been relatively little scholarship to date on Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder. The writings about this song cycle that do exist primarily focus on the disparate nature of the poems and justify Kindertotenlieder as a cycle by highlighting various musical connections between the songs, such as keys and motivic continuity. Mahler, however, has unified the cycle in a much more complex and sophisticated way. His familiarity with Wagner’s music and methods, and his mastery of the human voice and orchestral voices allowed him to weave a dramatic grief-laden narrative.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Blueline Concerto: Critical Essay

Blueline Concerto: Critical Essay

Date: August 2013
Creator: Lamb, Christopher
Description: The purpose of this critical essay is two-fold. First, the essay presents a detailed critical analysis of my original composition, Blueline Concerto for bass trombone and wind ensemble. Second, using Blueline Concerto, the essay presents preliminary findings of my study to develop an approach to composing that takes into account the musicians' health, specifically regarding noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Through various hypothesized composition- and orchestral-based approaches, I test effectiveness on changes in NIHL risk while also noting that artistic merit and compositional integrity is preserved.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Educating American Audiences: Claire Reis and the Development of Modern Music Institutions, 1912-1930

Educating American Audiences: Claire Reis and the Development of Modern Music Institutions, 1912-1930

Date: August 2013
Creator: Freeman, Cole
Description: The creation of institutions devoted to promoting and supporting modern music in the United States during the 1920s made it possible for American composers to develop an identity distinct from that of European modernists. These institutions were thus a critical part of the process of modernization that began in the United States during the early decades of the twentieth century. There is substantial scholarship on these musical institutions of modern music, such as the International Composers’ Guild and the League of Composers; but little to no work has been done on the progressive musical institutions of the 1910s, such as the Music League of the People’s Music Institute of New York, which was founded by Claire Reis. This thesis addresses the questions of how and why American musical modernism came to be as it was in the 1920s through an examination of the various stages of Reis’s career. The first chapter is an extensive study of primary source material gathered from the League of Composers/ISCM Records collection at the New York Public Library, which relates to Reis’s work with the PML in the 1910s. The second chapter uses the conclusions of the first chapter to shine new light on an ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Repetition and Difference: Parodic Narration in Kander and Ebb's "The Scottsboro Boys"

Repetition and Difference: Parodic Narration in Kander and Ebb's "The Scottsboro Boys"

Date: August 2013
Creator: Wolski, Kristin Anne
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Brass Band History and Idiomatic Writing in Brass Music

Brass Band History and Idiomatic Writing in Brass Music

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kahler, Elyse T.
Description: The purpose of this research was to explore historical perspective of brass music. There is a brief history of brass bands in Britain. Furthermore, the paper examines the differences between two brass band pieces in the repertoire, A Western Fanfare by Eric Ewazen and Brass Symphony by Jan Koetsier. Both of these pieces were compared and contrasted against the author's newly composed work for brass, Two Companion Pieces for Brass Ensemble. The paper covers different techniques commonly used in brass writing and points these techniques out in all three pieces.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
A Description of Sixth Grade Choir Programs: Student Grouping According to Gender and Teacher Perception of Adolescent Behavior and Vocal Physiology

A Description of Sixth Grade Choir Programs: Student Grouping According to Gender and Teacher Perception of Adolescent Behavior and Vocal Physiology

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kotara, Tammy G.
Description: The purpose of this study was to provide a description of teacher perceptions concerning behavioral and physiological vocal issues among current gender groupings in sixth-grade choir classrooms through the collection of survey research data. Participants selected for this study consisted of registered Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area choral directors of the Texas Music Educators Association. Results of the study indicated that more girls were enrolled in sixth-grade choir than boys and that mixed choirs were more common than gender-specific choirs in sixth grade. Results also indicated that teachers perceived evidence of early voice change among both sixth grade boys and girls, and that there was a difference in behavior as students showed signs of puberty.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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