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 Degree Discipline: Composition
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Aesthetic and Technical Analysis on Soar!

Aesthetic and Technical Analysis on Soar!

Date: August 2010
Creator: Wang, Hsiao-Lan
Description: Soar! is a musical composition written for wind ensemble and computer music. The total duration of the work is approximately 10 minutes. Flocking behavior of migratory birds serves as the most prominent influence on the imagery and local structure of the composition. The cyclical nature of the birds' journey inspires palindromic designs in the temporal domain. Aesthetically, Soar! portrays the fluid shapes of the flocks with numerous grains in the sounds. This effect is achieved by giving individual parts high degree of independence, especially in regards to rhythm. Technically, Soar! explores various interactions among instrumental lines in a wind ensemble, constructs overarching symmetrical structures, and integrates a large ensemble with computer music. The conductor acts as the leader at several improvisational moments in Soar! The use of conductor-initiated musical events in the piece can be traced back through the historic lineage of aleatoric compositions since the middle of the twentieth century. [Score is on p. 54-92.]
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Aesthetic Models and Structural Features in Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band

Aesthetic Models and Structural Features in Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band

Date: December 2005
Creator: Anderson, Stephen Reg
Description: Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band was commissioned by Staff Sergeant Rone Sparrow, a percussionist with the West Point Military Academy Band. Funding for the project was provided by the Barlow Foundation. The piece was premiered April 13, 2005 in the Eisenhower Hall Theater at West Point, New York. Rone Sparrow performed with the USMA band, and Colonel Thomas Rotondi Jr., Commander/Conductor, conducted the piece. The concerto consists of three movements, and each movement features a different instrument: the first features marimba, the second, vibraphone, and the third movement features the drum kit together with a rhythm section (piano, bass, and drums). In addition to the piece, the dissertation paper discusses important technical detail related to the piece, including: harmony, form, rhythm, programmatic ideas as they relate to motivic strands, and the process of generating and discarding material. The paper also focuses on a number of factors that were influential to the piece, such as postmodern philosophy.
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An Analysis of Du cristal…à la fumée by Kaija Saariaho and Axiom Unearthed, Original Composition

An Analysis of Du cristal…à la fumée by Kaija Saariaho and Axiom Unearthed, Original Composition

Date: May 2015
Creator: Allen, John Clay
Description: Beginning in the 1970s, and aided by the advancement and an increased prevalence of computers, spectral music emerged as an important development in twentieth century music. Spectral composers, as exemplified by Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail, took the harmonic spectra of sounds as the fundamental materials of composition. The resulting music placed an emphasis on texture and gradually evolving forms. The generation of composers immediately following the spectralists assimilated their techniques into distinct and varying styles. Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho uses spectral techniques to create an aesthetic that generates form and progression from a sound/noise axis. In her piece Du cristal…à la fumée, a number of pendulum and half-pendulum gestures build up texture and form. The accompanying original composition Axiom Unearthed employs similar pendulum gestures and uses spectral techniques to generate melody and harmony in an aesthetic divergent from traditional spectral pieces.
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And Drops of Rain Fall Like Tears: A Composition for Electroacoustic Music and Video

And Drops of Rain Fall Like Tears: A Composition for Electroacoustic Music and Video

Date: May 2002
Creator: Thompson, Michael Allen
Description: And Drops of Rain Fall Like Tears is a composition for electroacoustic music with an optional ambient video component. The composition consists of a single movement electroacoustic work twenty-two minutes in duration. The piece creates an immersive sonic environment within the confines of a typical concert space, thereby recreating the powerful temper and subtle beauty of nature from different sonic perspectives. The paper is divided into four chapters, each discussing an element of the piece in detail. The introduction presents background information and compositional approach for the composition. Chapters 1 through 4 present detailed information related to the creation of both the electroacoustic music and video elements of the piece. Chapter 4 contains relevant information to the performance of the piece.
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'...and one of time.': A Composition for Full Orchestra with Narration

'...and one of time.': A Composition for Full Orchestra with Narration

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Rinker, John Thomas
Description: ‘...and one of time.' is a reinterpretation of a small musical moment from Philip Glass' opera, Einstein on the Beach, centered around the phrase "Berne, Switzerland 1905." This reinterpretation is realized through the use of several different compositional techniques including spectral composition, micropolyphony and dodecaphony, as well as the application of extra-musical models developed by Alan Lightman, John Gardner, Italo Calvino and Albert Einstein.
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Archetypal Dreams

Archetypal Dreams

Date: August 1987
Creator: Hanson, Dan L.
Description: In the composition Archetypal Dreams, musical imagery is created through motifs and ideas that represent the symbolic messages of the unconscious. These motifs are introduced, developed, transformed, and overlapped in contrapuntal dialogue. This unfolding of material grows in significance and complexity building to a resolution of tension. The relationship of motifs to the row is re-established and the row is reconstructed. In this manner the conscious and unconscious elements of the personality are symbolically reconciled. The four movements of the work are entitled: I. Primordial Images; II. Archaic Remnants; III. Mythological Motifs; IV. The Process of Individuation
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Augeries, for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Tape: Aesthetic Discussion and Theoretical Analysis

Augeries, for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Tape: Aesthetic Discussion and Theoretical Analysis

Date: May 2009
Creator: Gedosh, David
Description: Augeries is a multi-channel electro-acoustic composition for flute, clarinet, percussion, and tape. It is intended to be diffused through an 8-channnel playback system. Inspired by the first four lines of William Blake's Augeries of Innocence, Augeries captures the qualitative aspects of Blake's poetry by presenting the listener with an equally aperspectival aesthetic experience. The small-scale structure reflected on the large-scale form - the infusion of vastness and expansiveness into the fragile and minute. Augeries incorporates techniques of expansion and contraction, metonymic relationships, dilation and infolding of time, and structured improvisation to create an experience that is designed to explore the notion of musical time, and to bring to the listener the sense of time freedom. The critical analysis suggests that the increase in the notions of musical time, the aesthetics with which they conform, and the new time forms created, encapsulate communicative significance. This significance exists within a horizon of meaning. Semiotics illuminates an understanding of the structuring techniques used to render time as an area of artistic play. Understanding the aesthetics and mechanisms through which these techniques can be used constitutes a shared horizon of meaning. The concepts of cultural phenomenologist Jean Gebser, as explicated in The Ever-Present Origin, ...
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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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I, Blavatsky: A One-Act Opera

I, Blavatsky: A One-Act Opera

Date: May 1990
Creator: Cooper, Steve, 1951 Dec. 4-
Description: I, Blavatsky is a one-act opera based on the life of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a nineteenth-century Russian princess and co-founder of a religious organization called the Theosophical Society. The libretto, by the composer, involves a cast of three principal soloists and minor roles for six more singers who are also participants in a small chorus. The text format features free verse alternating with regular, rhymed strophes. Accompaniment is provided by a piano. Melodic structure combines some nineteenth-century Romantic idioms with twentieth-century style. Most of the melodic and harmonic material was intuitively composed to express the text. Rhythmic and stylistic contrasts are accomplished in the representation of the extensive travels of the main character. Stage directions involve a stylized set, several scenes requiring minimal set changes, magical effects to represent that facet of Blavatsky's life, and onstage costume changes for several characters. Approximate duration is one hour.
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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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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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Breaking Through: A Composition for Symphony Orchestra

Breaking Through: A Composition for Symphony Orchestra

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Dribus, John Alexander
Description: Breaking Through is a single-movement composition for symphony orchestra based on a fourteen-note melody. Every harmonic and melodic figure except the bass line is derived from this source melody. The structure of the work is based on a number of musical dichotomies that work on both local and large-scale levels. The local dichotomies contrast consonance with dissonance and ambiguity with clarity (in respect to texture and rhythm). The dichotomy of two-part form versus three-part form and the dichotomy of simplicity versus complexity operate on the large scale. The unity lended by the single source melody coupled with the contrasts furnished by the aforementioned dichotomies allow Breaking Through to be both coherent and interesting.
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Cenotaph: A Composition for Computer-Generated Sound

Cenotaph: A Composition for Computer-Generated Sound

Date: August 1990
Creator: Rogers, Rowell S. (Rowell Seldon)
Description: Cenotaph is a work of fifteen minutes duration for solo tape realized on the Synclavier Digital Music System at the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia. All of the sound materials in the work consist of resynthesized timbres derived from the analysis of digital recordings of seven different human voices, each speaking the last name of one of the Challenger astronauts. The work's harmonic resources are derived in a unique way involving partitioning of the octave by powers of the Golden Section. The work is in a single movement divided into three sections which function as prologue, action, and epilogue, respectively. This formal structure is reinforced by differentiation of harmonicmaterials and texture. Although Cenotaph cannot be performed "live" and exists only as a recording, a graphic score is included to assist analysis and study.
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Chaos, Cosmos, and Communion: Three Movements for String Quartet

Chaos, Cosmos, and Communion: Three Movements for String Quartet

Date: August 1994
Creator: Moran, David W. (David Wayne)
Description: The three movements of this piece are related proportionally in that movements one and two represent three-fifths of the length of the whole. Movement three represents two-fifths of the length of the whole. Another proportional relationship exists between movements one and two. Movement one represents two-fifths of the length of the first two movements, while movement two represents three-fifths of the length of the two. An additional link between the three movements is pitch content. Movements one and two have little in common in this regard, but movement three combines elements of the first two. The duration of the entire piece is approximately fifteen minutes.
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Characterizing Noise and Harmonicity: The Structural Function of Contrasting Sonic Components in Electronic Composition

Characterizing Noise and Harmonicity: The Structural Function of Contrasting Sonic Components in Electronic Composition

Date: May 2010
Creator: Dribus, John Alexander
Description: This dissertation examines the role of noise in shaping the form of several recent musical compositions. This study demonstrates how the contrast of noisy sounds and harmonic sounds can impact the structure of compositions. Depending on context, however, the specific use and function of noise can vary substantially from one work to the next. The first portion of this paper describes methods for quantifying noise content using FFT analysis procedures. A number of tests on instrumental and synthetic sound sources are described in order to demonstrate how the analysis system may react to certain sounds. The second part of this document consists of several analyses of whole musical works. Works for acoustic instruments are examined first, followed by works for electronic media. During these analyses, it becomes clear that while the use of noise in each work is based largely upon context, some common patterns do exist across different works. The final portion of the paper examines an original work which was written with the function of noise specifically in mind. The original work is put through the same analysis procedures as works seen earlier in the paper, and some conclusions are drawn regarding both the possibilities and limitations of ...
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Clestrinye [El Carnaval del Perdón]: Traditional Rituals in Intermedia Composition.

Clestrinye [El Carnaval del Perdón]: Traditional Rituals in Intermedia Composition.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Salazar, Camilo
Description: In Part I of this thesis, I examine the use of Latin American rituals, ceremonies, and traditional folklore as conceptual and compositional material; studying and re-contextualizing concepts, cultures, and ideologies, and introducing them to foreign audiences. I explore issues such as laptop improvisation, interaction with other performance forces, and the utilization of the social elements of non-western celebrations, as explored in Clestrinye, a work for live and fixed electronics, mixed ensemble, dancers, and painters.
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Clockwork Plums

Clockwork Plums

Date: May 2004
Creator: Bradford, Joshua
Description: Based on a story by Joshua Forehand with additional lyrics by Joshua Bradford, Clockwork Plums is an original musical work that integrates techniques and ideas from composers and different cultures. The accompanying essay about the work includes a summary of the story, "Clockwork Plums," some historical background covering 30 years of pop music, an analysis focusing on the use of African and Reichian compositional devices, and discussion about controlled improvisation and use of the voice as compositional tools. The music consists of three sections scored for 5 voices (lead male vocalist and SATB), flute (doubling tenor saxophone), Bb clarinet (doubling baritone saxophone), violin, cello, piano, electronic keyboard, electric guitar, electric bass, drum set, and percussion.
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Compositional approaches within new media paradigms.

Compositional approaches within new media paradigms.

Date: May 2016
Creator: Oliveiro, Mark A
Description: "Compositional Approaches to New Media Paradigms" is the discursive accompaniment to the original composition BoMoH, (a new media chamber opera. A variety of new media concepts and practices are discussed in relation to their use as a contemporary compositional methodology for computer musicians and digital content producers. This paper aligns relevant discourse with a variety of concepts as they influence and affect the compositional process. This paper does not propose a new working method; rather it draws attention to a contemporary interdisciplinary practice that facilitates new possibilities for engagement and aesthetics in digital art/music. Finally, in demonstrating a selection of the design principals, from a variety of new media theories of interest, in compositional structure and concept, it is my hope to provide composers and computer musicians with a tested resource that will function as a helpful set of working guidelines for producing new media enabled art, sonic or otherwise.
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Concertino for Tuba, Winds, and Percussion

Concertino for Tuba, Winds, and Percussion

Date: August 1985
Creator: Potter, David
Description: Concertino for Tuba, Winds, and Percussion is a work for solo tuba and an ensemble consisting of two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, bass clarinet, bassoon, four horns, two trumpets, two trombones, bass trombone, and three percussionists. The percussionists play small, medium, and large suspended cymbals, triangle, tam tam, metal wind chimes, five tom toms, snare drum, tenor drum, bass drum, two sets of two timbales, five temple blocks, maracas, glockenspiel, vibraphone, chimes, xylophone, marimba, and five timpani. The three movements of the work follow the arrangement of the standard concerto format (fast-slow-fast). The lengths of the movements are approximately four minutes and fifteen seconds, two minutes and twenty-five seconds, and four minutes and ten seconds respectively. The total duration of Concertino is about eleven minutes.
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Contours

Contours

Date: August 1994
Creator: Hughes, Russell M., 1954-
Description: Contours is scored for full wind ensemble and percussion, and is approximately nine minutes in length. The title refers to the way melodic shape or contour is used to create unity and variety in the piece. Contours is a single-movement work containing three sections that are unified by thematic and harmonic materials. The melodic material is generated by three twelve-tone rows, which are then used in combination with freely composed material. The first and last sections are highly contrapuntal and rhythmically disjunct. Both sections share common rhythmic and melodic patterns. These sections are contrasted with a slower and more lyric middle section. This section is made of a series of episodes that create an overall A-B-A structure.
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Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Date: August 2016
Creator: Robin, Bradley G.
Description: This dissertation explores the analysis and creation of compositions from the standpoint of texture and momentum. It is comprised of four chapters. The first presents a number of concepts as tools for analysis, including textural typography and transformation, perception of time and psychological engagement of an audience, and respiration as a metaphor for musical momentum. The second and third chapters apply these tools to Gerard Grisey's "Periodes" and "Partiels," and Brian Ferneyhough's "Lemma-Icon-Epigram." The fourth explores specific methodologies used in composing my dissertation piece, "Phase," including the application of number systems ranging from formal to local levels.
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The Creative Process in Cross-Influential Composition

The Creative Process in Cross-Influential Composition

Date: May 2010
Creator: Anderson, Jonathan Douglas
Description: This dissertation describes a compositional model rooted in cross-influential methodology between complementary musical compositions that share generative source material. In their simultaneous construction, two composition pairs presented challenges that influenced and mediated the other's development with respect to timbre, transposition, pitch material, effects processing, and form. A working prototype first provides a model that is later developed. The first work Thema is for piano alone, and the companion piece Am3ht is for piano and live computer processing via the graphical programming environment Max/MSP. Compositional processes used in the prototype solidify the cross-influential model, demanding flexibility and a dialectic approach. Ideas set forth in the prototype are then explored through a second pair of compositions rooted in cross-influential methodology. The first work Lusmore is scored for solo contrabass and Max/MSP. The second composition Knockgrafton is scored for string orchestra. The flexibility of the cross-influential model is revealed more fully through a discussion of each work's musical development. The utility of the cross-influential compositional model is discussed, particularly within higher academia.
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Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Date: December 2010
Creator: Lucas, Stephen
Description: Pleroma is a digital drama: a work composed of digital animation combined with electroacoustic music, presenting an original dramatic narrative. Pleroma's dramatic elements evoke both the classical form of tragedy and the concept of perceptual paradox. A structural overview of the drama and its characters and a plot synopsis are given to provide context for the critical discussion. Analytical descriptions of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture Op.62 and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 are provided to give background on tragic form and Platonic allegory in music. An investigation into the elements discussed in the analysis of the instrumental works reveals several layers of possible interpretation in Pleroma. Dramatic elements allow for tragic narratives to be constructed, but they are complemented by character associations formed by pitch relationships, stylistic juxtapositions, and instrumentation. A copy of the dramatic text is included to supplement the multimedia production.
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Cultural and Technical Perspectives on Winter Landscape

Cultural and Technical Perspectives on Winter Landscape

Date: December 2009
Creator: Wang, Jing
Description: Winter Landscape is an interactive composition for erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle), flute, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. The total duration of the piece is approximately 15 minutes. Winter Landscape serves to demonstrate one particular approach to exploring the possibilities afforded in an interactive paradigm within a cross-cultural context. The work is intended to convey my personality and identity as a contemporary Chinese composer through diverse cultural and musical influences drawn to this particular piece while creating a balance between traditional and modern sounds. The influences of Chinese philosophy (especially Chán) and the essence of Chinese traditional music play a prominent role as demonstrated in the formation of structures, expressions, and concept of Yun in the work; these influences also play a great role in determining the instrumentation and basic pitch structures of the work. However, this work is equally influenced by techniques and practices of modern Western classical music. These diverse influences hopefully have resulted in a unique work that truly does represent a cross-synthesis of these varying influences. In Winter Landscape, the interaction that takes place between the computer and the live musician is intended to reveal the responsive human/machine relationships. The computer constantly shifts its roles ...
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