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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).
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“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.
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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.
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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.
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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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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 ...
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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Don Gillis's Symphony No 5½: Music for the People

Don Gillis's Symphony No 5½: Music for the People

Date: May 2013
Creator: Morrison, Sean
Description: 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.
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Modern Api Design and Physical Computing Techniques in Just Intonation Performance Practice

Modern Api Design and Physical Computing Techniques in Just Intonation Performance Practice

Date: May 2013
Creator: Sonnabaum, Mark
Description: approached previously by both Harry Partch and Ben Johnston, and proposes the decoupling of interface and sound production as a way forward. The design and implementation of a software instrument and a hardware prototype are described, both using a simple API for variable tuning instruments. The hardware prototype uses physical computing techniques to control the tuning of a string with a servo motor, while the software instrument exists entirely in a web browser. Finally, potential algorithms for clients of the API are presented, and the effectiveness of the hardware prototype is evaluated by measuring its pitch accuracy.
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Some Soundwalks (Denton, Tx)

Some Soundwalks (Denton, Tx)

Date: May 2013
Creator: Jackson, Jonathan
Description: some soundwalks (Denton, TX) is an audio portrait of the Denton square - the area in downtown Denton bordered by the streets Oak, Hickory, Elm, and Locust. For three months (June - August, 2012), I went on soundwalks in this area, recording the soundscape and collecting material from each hour of the twenty-four hours of the day. The resulting work is presented as a layered montage of this gathered material that takes the listener on a twenty-four hour journey through the Denton square in about eighteen minutes. Ultimately, this sonic portrait of the Denton square is my subjective reaction to the daily soundscape of an area of Denton that embodies a strong sense of tradition combined with a newer presence of a growing population.
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It's Not Fusion: Hybridity in the Music of Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa

It's Not Fusion: Hybridity in the Music of Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa

Date: December 2012
Creator: Govind, Arathi
Description: 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.
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Jacques Ibert: an Analytical Study of Three Movements From Histoires

Jacques Ibert: an Analytical Study of Three Movements From Histoires

Date: August 2012
Creator: Waldroup, William Allan
Description: Although many biographical studies are available on Jacques Ibert, few contain significant analytical commentary. In this study I examine three movements from Ibert’s Histoires for piano which was composed between 1920 and 1921 and was premiered in 1923. The three movements are “La menuese de tortues d’or,” “Le petit âne blanc,” and “La marchande d’eau fraîche.” I primarily use Schenkerian analysis to identify characteristics of Ibert’s compositional language. Significant aspects of impressionism and Debussian influence are also identified as related elements to my analysis. Many expected elements of Schenkerian theory are absent in Histoires. The conclusions of this study are consistent with those of other analysts who apply Schenkerian methodology to impressionist music such as Richard Parks, Adele Katz, Felix Salzer, and Edward Laufer.
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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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Performing the “Classical”: the Gurukula System in Karnatic Music Society

Performing the “Classical”: the Gurukula System in Karnatic Music Society

Date: August 2012
Creator: Harris, Myranda Leigh
Description: Recent scholarship has revealed that the representation of Karnatic music as a “classical” art form in South Indian society was a complicated process bound to the agendas of larger early twentieth-century nationalist projects in India. This thesis explores the notions of classicalness as they are enacted in Karnatic music society through the oral transmission process from guru to shishya, or disciple. Still considered one of the most important emblems of the “classical,” the gurukula (lit. “guru-family”) system has been transformed to accommodate more contemporary lifestyles and reinscribed within many other social and musical processes in South Indian classical music society. This thesis examines the everyday interactions between members of Karnatic music society, particularly the clapping of t?la during a Karnatic music concert and the musical exchanges between percussionists onstage during the tani ?vartanam (Karnatic percussion solo), as public performances reminiscent of the relationship between guru and shishya.
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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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The Natural Learning Process and Its Implications for Trombone Pedagogy

The Natural Learning Process and Its Implications for Trombone Pedagogy

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Date: May 2012
Creator: Reider, Shane Robert
Description: This thesis considers the natural learning process as defined by Timothy Gallwey and Daniel Kohut. This learning theory is examined and applied to trombone pedagogy while also considering physiological attributes to trombone performance. a brief synopsis of the history and lineage of the trombone is considered in order to understand the current setting of the trombone medium.
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Never Odd Or Even: Using Temporal Structures In Composing Music For Dance

Never Odd Or Even: Using Temporal Structures In Composing Music For Dance

Date: May 2012
Creator: Bernardo, Daniel
Description: This study engages the collaboration of dance and music, focusing primarily on experiences in the production of a large scale collaborative concert entitled Never Odd or Even. Famous historical collaborations offer archetypal collaborative models, the more unconventional of which are applied to the pieces of the concert. Issues and observations regarding cross-influence, project evolution, and application of the collaborative models are engaged to determine effective means of collaboration given different circumstances. The key focus of the study, the temporal relationship between music and dance, is explored in great detail to determine three models for relating time between music and dance. These temporal relationship models are applied to the pieces and evaluated on effectiveness and potential strengths when applied to dance.
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Reviewing Commercial Music Resources: a Guide for Aspiring Singers and Vocal Professionals

Reviewing Commercial Music Resources: a Guide for Aspiring Singers and Vocal Professionals

Date: May 2012
Creator: Hanlon, Susan Christina
Description: Contemporary commercial music is a broad label used to describe the styles of popular music including pop, rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, hip-hop, country and heavy metal. the vocal ability required for each of these genres varies greatly but may require the use of screaming, belting, utilizing vocal fry and growling or singing with a breathy or dark tone. Singers who wish to perform in these genres may need assistance with vocal technique to assure the longevity and the quality of their singing. Due to the rise in popularity and the accessibility of contemporary commercial music (CCM), commercial pedagogical guides and self-study manuals are abundantly available for purchase. Aspiring singers are searching for appropriate training for this genre without having an awareness of how the voice works and how to maintain good vocal hygiene. Those who seek out private instruction are often frustrated when traditional classical training techniques are offered, rather than techniques utilizing CCM styles. Because CCM pedagogy is relatively new and few pedagogues in this specialized field are well known, the self-taught singer is responsible for finding a reliable study source. Many vocal instructors and choral directors are interested in familiarizing themselves with new stylistic techniques to enhance ...
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Criticism of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics

Criticism of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics

Date: December 2011
Creator: Cooper, Amy Nicole
Description: 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.
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Formal Devices of Trance and House Music: Breakdowns, Buildups, and Anthems

Formal Devices of Trance and House Music: Breakdowns, Buildups, and Anthems

Date: December 2011
Creator: Iler, Devin
Description: Trance and house music are sub-genres within the genre of electronic dance music. The form of breakdown, buildup and anthem is the main driving force behind trance and house music. This thesis analyzes transcriptions from 22 trance and house songs in order to establish and define new terminology for formal devices used within the breakdown, buildup and anthem sections of the music.
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Resilience Among High Achievers In An Instrumental Music Program

Resilience Among High Achievers In An Instrumental Music Program

Date: December 2011
Creator: Price, Benjamin J.
Description: Positive adaptations experienced in spite of challenges faced is known as resilience. Comparatively little research has focused on in-depth descriptions regarding how resilience is manifested in children. The purpose of this study was to add to previous research in the identification of characteristics of resilience in students, and to determine the extent to which band membership has aided their resilience in other domains. Data was collected from a random sample of band seniors from the class of 2011 (n = 3) who attended a large high school in the South. Specific research questions were: (1) What characteristics of resilience are present in the talk of participants in a high school instrumental music program? (2) To what extent has this population perceived that membership in band aided their resilience in other domains? A descriptive study design was chosen that used qualitative data. Following data analysis that included category matrices, prominent themes emerged from the participants’ responses. These included self-improvement, forward thinking, optimism, inner drive, increased achievement, determination, development of relationships to peers and adult mentors, and development of connectedness to the school. The findings of this study complemented previous research on characteristics of resilient students, and suggested that the participants derived ...
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