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- ...and one of time...: A Composition for Full Orchestra with Narration.
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‘...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.
- Andrejs Jurjāns as Symbol of Latvian Identity: Native Folk Songs in his Large-Scale Symphonic Works
- This thesis presents a study of Andrejs Jurjāns' significant symphonic works as informed by a native musicologist, Professor Jānis Torgāns, and illuminates Jurjāns' role within the cosmopolitan framework of nationalism in music.
- Applications of Reductive Analytical Techniques in the Phrygian Settings of the Orgelbüchlein by J.S. Bach
- This study aims to two problematic aspects of the Phrygian mode: a. the development of a harmonic pattern at the cadence that differs from that of the other modes and of the major and minor modes as well; b. the observation that the Phrygian scale inverts all of the intervallic properties of the Major scale. The result of these two observations is that when the reductive techniques of Heinrich Schenker are applied in the Phrygian repertory, melodic and harmonic properties are brought into conflict with each other. However, application of alternative models of the Ursatz developed by Lori Burns has certain benefits for demonstrating musical properties in the Phrygian repertory.
- An Argument for the Reassessment of Stravinsky's Early Serial Compositions
- Between 1952 and 1957, Igor Stravinsky surprised the world of music by gradually incorporating serialism into his style of composition. Although Stravinsky still used the neo-classical trait of making strong references to the music of earlier periods, musical analyses of this transitional period have focused on serial aspects to the exclusion of anachronistic elements. Evidence of Stravinsky's possible use of musical structures adapted from earlier times is found in his consistent use of musical figures that are closely related to the cadences of the late Medieval and Renaissance eras. By fully addressing these neo-classical traits in future analyses, music theorists will gain an additional perspective, which is helpful in understanding the music of Stravinsky's transitional period.
- Autographs 1928 : Four Songs for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble
- Autographs 1928: Four Songs for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble is a composition of approximately 16 minutes' duration and is scored for mezzo-soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn in F, viola, violoncello, one keyboardist (piano and celesta), and two percussionists (marimba, xylophone, chimes, timpani, bass drum, temple blocks, triangle, and slapstick). The work consists of four songs and four readings with texts from Walls's maternal grandmother's autograph book. The composition opens with a reading and alternates between readings and songs. The music is intended to reflect the playful, tender and humorous nature of the lyrics.
- Bohuslav Martinu: An Examination of Selected Chamber Music Involving the Clarinet, with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Rossini, Sutermeister, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Weiner, Bown, Beethoven, Brahms, and Others
- The discussion dealt with stylistic influences, compositional techniques, and performance considerations of chamber music involving clarinet composed by Bohuslav Martinu and included a performance of three of his works: Quartet. for clarinet, horn, cello, and side drum, Madrigals for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, and Sextet for flute, oboe, clarinet, two bassoons, and piano. The selections performed and discussed in the lecture show compositional growth of the composer through the three periods of his life in which he composed chamber music which included winds. These three time periods are 1923-40 during his residency in Paris, 1941-56 during his residency in the United States, and 1957 until his death in 1959 when he returned permanently to Europe.
- Boulez's Sonatine and the Genesis of His Twelve-tone Practice
- This dissertation proposes that the Sonatine broadly unfolds a kinetic structure that stems from the traditional tension-relief model and, consequently, its dependence on tradition proves much deeper than Boulez would acknowledge.
- A Capella Eletronnica
- The intent of A capella Eletronnica is to explore the possibility of the human voice as the most versatile of musical instruments. The voice, capable of melodic, harmonic, percussive and rhythmic effects, is also employed for spoken text and conversational elements as musical sources. My aim was to enlarge this array of vocal techniques with the use of electronic processing and amplification.
- Circumfusion: a Composition for Real-Time Computer Music Spatialization System
- Two of the leading methodologies for spatializing audio over multiple channels include non-real-time multi-track tape and variations of real-time systems that often involve complex configurations of hardware. Of the latter, composers relying on MIDI as a control source have used pairs of sound modules, effects units and automation capable mixers to achieve spatialization over four loudspeakers. These systems typically employ intensity panning, Doppler shifts and reverberation. The present research details the development of a compact spatialization system using a MAX patch controlling a Kurzweil K2500 sampler. This system supports real-time diffusion of up to six simultaneous sound files over eight loudspeakers while incorporating intensity panning, Doppler shifts, delays and filtering. The MAX patch allows composers to choose from several automatic sound spatialization trajectories or to use the mouse to draw and store their own trajectories for later playback. The piece, Circumfusion, is an eighteen-minute composition of electroacoustic music utilizing this spatialization system.
- Comparative Study of the Bel Canto Teaching Styles and their Effects on Vocal Agility
- This thesis examines the historical significance of the vocal methods employed from the middle of the seventeenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century in what became known as the bel canto era. It provides further exploration into the pedagogical procedures of the bel canto technique through a study of the premier instructors and singers from this period. The resurgence of interest in this tradition is addressed along with its impact on current vocal pedagogy. The vital role that vocal agility played as one of its most distinguishing traits is the primary factor under investigation. A discussion of the bel canto teaching styles in relation to their approach to agility is a major point of inquiry. By maintaining a link between present artists and pedagogues and the old Italian school, it helps the singer understand the historical implications of vocal agility as an integral part of healthy vocal development.
- Concertino for Flute, Timpani and String Orchestra
- Concertino for Flute, Timpani, and String Orchestra is a three movement piece that blends Western European forms with Korean idioms. The following essay addresses pitch materials, melodic structure, rhythm, form, instrumentation, vertical structures, and developmental procedures used in the work.
- As Darkness Falls: A Composition for Wind Ensemble
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As Darkness Falls is a composition that explores our interaction with several aspects of darkness through the use of musical imagery. The imagery attempts to reflect the moods, feelings, and impressions of a person as he or she interacts with darkness. The non-programmatic character of the composition allows listeners to superimpose their own experiences onto the musical tapestry in order to manifest a personal connection between the listener and the music. As Darkness Falls is a composition scored for a minimum instrumentation of piccolo, 6 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 bassoons, 9 B-flat clarinets, B-flat bass clarinet, 2 E-flat alto saxophones, B-flat tenor saxophone, E-flat baritone saxophone, 4 B-flat trumpets, 4 horns in F, 3 tenor trombones, bass trombone, 2 euphoniums, 2 tubas, timpani, and 4 percussionists. The music consists of three movements (slow-slow-fast) lasting a total of approximately seventeen minutes. The duration of each of the three movements is six minutes, four and one-half minutes, and six and one-half minutes, respectively. The document also contains an analysis of the work by the composer. The analysis explores the compositional style of the work, focusing on musical aspects within each movement that were governing parameters in the compositional process.
- A Different Drummer: A Chamber Opera
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A Different Drummer is a chamber opera adaptation of Donald Davis's story "A Different Drummer" from his collection Listening for the Crack of Dawn, published by August House. The opera lasts about seventy minutes, and calls for a cast of three and an orchestra of sixteen players. It contains a prologue, epilogue and four scenes in a single act. The score is prefaced by a paper describing the musical strategies employed in setting the story as an opera. Three chapters describe the adaptation from short story to opera, the essential musical elements, and details of the application of the musical elements in each scene of the opera. The libretto is presented in the fourth chapter.
- An Examination of David Maslanka's Marimba Concerti: Arcadia II for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble and Concerto for Marimba and Band, A Lecture Recital, Together With Three Recitals of Selected Works of K.Abe, M. Burritt, J. Serry, and Others
- Although David Maslanka is not a percussionist, his writing for marimba shows a solid appreciation of the idiomatic possibilities developed by recent innovations for the instrument. The marimba is included in at least eighteen of his major compositions, and in most of those it is featured prominently. Both Arcadia II: Concerto for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble and Concerto for Marimba and Band display the techniques and influences that have become characteristic of his compositional style. However, they express radically different approaches to composition due primarily to Maslanka's growth as a composer. Maslanka's traditional musical training, the clear influence of diverse composers, and his sensitivity to extra-musical influences such as geographic location have resulted in a very distinct musical style. His exemplary attention to detail and sound timbres give his works an individualized stamp. The evolution of motivic gestures is the most distinctive characteristic of Maslanka's compositional process. Maslanka freely incorporates forms and structural principles of the baroque and classical periods, but these principles are not applied in a strict sense. These factors combine to produce two works that are both unique and significant in the literature for marimba. They exhibit a sensitivity to sound timbres while maintaining a mature approach to melody, harmony, and rhythm acknowledging the traditions of earlier eras. This study examines compositional techniques, aspects of formal structure, tonality, melodic content, and marimba technique found in David Maslanka's Arcadia II: Concerto for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble (1982), and Concerto for Marimba and Band (1990). Transcripts of personal interviews provide valuable insights into Maslanka's approach to composition and other issues pertinent to the study of his compositions for marimba. Biographical information and an overview of his works that include marimba will serve as background material.
- Expectation as Narrative Strategy in Richard Wagner's Parsifal
- 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.
- Factors Relating to Student Participation in Public School String Programs
- This study explored factors relating to participation in public school orchestra programs and the relationship and predictability of such factors in accordance with Maehr's theory of personal investment.
- Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel : A Bridge between Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms
- This thesis is a study of four compositions written by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, older sister of Felix Mendelssohn. Her music is compared with four pieces composed by Felix. This study shows that Fanny was a gifted and creative composer, even surpassing Felix and predating Brahms with her compositional ideas and progressive uses of harmony. Despite her excellent education and recognition among those who knew her well, she did not publicize her talent in any way because of pressure from her father, Abraham, and Felix to stay within the prescribed societal confines of wife and mother.
- The Function of Oral Tradition in Mary Lou's Mass by Mary Lou Williams
- The musical and spiritual life of Mary Lou Williams (1910 - 1981) came together in her later years in the writing of Mary Lou's Mass. Being both Roman Catholic and a jazz pianist and composer, it was inevitable that Williams would be the first jazz composer to write a setting of the mass. The degree of success resulting from the combination of jazz and the traditional forms of Western art music has always been controversial. Because of Williams's personal faith and aesthetics of music, however, she had little choice but to attempt the union of jazz and liturgical worship. After a biography of Williams, discussed in the context of her musical aesthetics, this thesis investigates the elements of conventional mass settings and oral tradition found in Mary Lou's Mass.
- Harmonic Organization in Aaron Copland's Piano Quartet
- This thesis presents an analysis of Copland's first major serial work, the Quartet for Piano and Strings (1950), using pitch-class set theory and tonal analytical techniques.
- Harmony and Structure in Richard Strauss's Macbeth
- This study begins with a discussion of step theory. Included in this discussion is the basis of chord succession, the idea of fundamental representation, and the uses of reinterpretation technique. These concepts are then used to demonstrate the continuity and logic of the harmonic language found in Strauss's Macbeth.
- Hearing History: Musical Borrowing in the Percussion Ensemble Works, Duo Chopinesque and Chameleon Music
- Duo Chopinesque by Michael Hennagin and Chameleon Music by Dan Welcher represent two of the most significant percussion ensemble compositions written in the last twenty years. Both works are written for the mostly mallet type of percussion ensemble wherein the keyboard instruments predominate. However, the most unique aspect of these two pieces is their use of musical quotation. Duo Chopinesque borrows Chopin's Prelude in E minor in its entirety, while Chameleon Music borrows portions from four Mozart Sonatas. This paper places each work within the history of the percussion ensemble, and in the larger history of musical quotation in the twentieth century. In addition, the compositional characteristics of both works are examined with particular emphasis on each composer's use of borrowed material from the music of Mozart and Chopin. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between quoted material and newly composed rhythmic motives.
- An Investigation of Personal Investment Levels Among Nonmusic Major Piano Students Using Portfolio Assessment
- The purpose of this study was to compare personal investment levels among nonmusic major piano students in the contexts of portfolio and teacher-directed assessment. Three problems were addressed: 1) identifying students' perceptions of direction, persistence, continuing motivation, intensity, and performance in the context of teacher-directed goal setting, choice of instructional activities, and evaluation of performance; 2) identifying students' perceptions of the five personal investment behaviors in the context of portfolio assessment; and 3) comparing student perceptions as identified in problems one and two.
- An Investigation of the Influence of Evaluator Background on Appraisals of a Music Lesson Using the Texas Teacher Appraisal System
- This study's purpose was to investigate the differences in scores and written comments given by two appraisal groups in their evaluation of a music teacher using the Texas Teacher Appraisal System (TTAS). One appraiser group had musical training while the other group specialized in other subjects. Analyses of both group's appraisal scores showed no significant differences. An examination of the written comments revealed that both appraisal groups focused on the same aspects of the lesson and used similar vocabulary. The TTAS instrument was a consistent measure of generic teacher behaviors in the music lesson, but it did not measure specific music teaching behaviors or encourage suggestions for improving musical instruction.
- Jonah's Prayer: a Composition for Solo Tenor, Mixed Chorus and Two Pianos
- Jonah's Prayer is a choral work for solo tenor, a mixed choir of not fewer than 30 members, two pianos and a few percussion instruments to be played by choir members. The piece lasts about 13 minutes; it is a work intended for church choir use but could be performed in other venues as well.
- "Marvelous Accidents": The Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra of John Cage
- John Cages Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1950-51) holds a unique position within the composers oeuvre as the first work based in part on chance-derived compositional procedures. Cage entered into such practice gradually, incrementally abandoning subjective taste and personal expression through the course of the work. Drawing from the philosophical framework provided by Cages "Lecture on Nothing" (1950) and "Lecture on Something" (c. 1951-52), this thesis explores the aesthetic foundations of the concerto and examines Cages compositional methodology throughout its three movements. Special attention is paid to the procedure underlying the first movement, whose analysis is based largely on the composers manuscript materials for the work.
- Matador is an opera scored for orchestra, mixed chorus and soloists (mezzosoprano, 3 tenors, 2 baritones). The work is in one act divided into two main sections. Each of these sections is divided into subsections. The libretto is aphoristic in nature and dictates the form of each of these subsections. The division into two parts also serves as a means to evoke a sense of hopelessness of emotions in the first and a transforming disposition that culminates in a jubilant song in the second.
- Mobiles is a composition for an ensemble consisting of 12 instruments. The piece, in one movement, incorporates intuition, chance, and twelve tone techniques and reflects the relationship between motion and rest or tension and release. The structure is modeled according to principles of growth and decay, starting off slowly, building, and then dying away. Much of the material is inspired by mental images invoked from modern theories concerning chaos. Mobiles' character stems from the principal use of two motives, the chaos motif and the echo motif. Primarily, the chaos motif is representative of a state of motion while the echo motif represents a state of rest. Mobile architecture is usually characteristic of symmetry, balance, and proportion, but because of uncertainty in a natural environment, this proportion often falls short of a perfect symmetrical balance as in the case of a crystal or a fractal design. It is this kind of architecture that Mobiles portrays in its form and developmental process.
- I Never Saw Another Butterfly: A Composition for SATB Choir and Chamber Orchestra
- ...I never saw another butterfly... is a twelve movement chamber work scored for SATB choir, narrator, percussion I [vibraphone, and tomtoms (4)], percussion II [timpani (4), tam-tam, snare drum, and bass drum], guitar, violins I and II, viola, and cello and is based on the book of the same name. It contains a variety of compositional techniques, forms and genres.
- Nobody's Fool: A Study of the Yrodivy in Boris Godunov
- Modest Musorgsky completed two versions of his opera Boris Godunov between 1869 and 1874, with significant changes in the second version. The second version adds a concluding lament by the fool character that serves as a warning to the people of Russia beyond the scope of the opera. The use of a fool is significant in Russian history and this connection is made between the opera and other arts of nineteenth-century Russia. These changes are, musically, rather small, but historically and socially, significant. The importance of the people as a functioning character in the opera has precedence in art and literature in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth-century and is related to the Populist movement. Most importantly, the change in endings between the two versions alters the entire meaning of the composition. This study suggests that this is a political statement on the part of the composer.
- Olympic Dances by John Harbison, a Lecture Recital together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of D. Holsinger, P. Granger, K. Husa, B. Rands, R. Vaughan Williams, and Others
- John Harbison's Olympic Dances was composed in 1996 and premiered in February 1997. The work was written as a piano score before it was orchestrated for a wind ensemble of 25 winds and two percussionists.The first section of the paper focuses on the various influences that have affected Harbison's compositional style. The composer's educational background includes several prominent teachers whose instruction had great impressions. Special emphasis is placed on those characteristics of Harbison's style that are most prominent in the work with which this paper is concerned, Olympic Dances. Olympic Dances was commissioned by the College Band Directors National Association and premiered at the CBDNA Twenty-ninth National Conference in Athens, Georgia, in a collaborative performance of the University of North Texas Wind Symphony and Pilobolus Dance Theatre. The second part of the paper presents an historical overview of CBDNA commissioning projects along with a summary of the genesis of the commissioning of Olympic Dances. The primary focus of the study appears in the third section of the paper. An analysis of the four movements of Olympic Dances is presented with attention to the objective elements of harmonic and melodic structures along with a focus on orchestration and scoring. This section considers the composer's thoughts on aesthetic concerns, suggested through his written program notes, and elucidated by way of an interview with the author. Special performance concerns related to rehearsal and conducting conclude this chapter. The paper also includes a transcription of the author's interview with John Harbison, a bibliography and a select discography of recent recordings of his works that are currently available.
- Paintings and Palaces, or The Lament of the Burger Flipper
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The opera is scored for chamber orchestra consisting of one oboe, two Bb clarinets, two horns in F, one trumpet in C, one tenor trombone, two percussionists (playing snare drum, bass drum, tambourine, wood block, triangle, suspended cymbal, crash cymbal, agogo bells, cow bell, brake drum, metal whistle, whip, large gong, Glockenspiel, chimes, timpani in F (low) and C), eight or more violins in two parts, six or more violas in two parts, and eight or more cellos in two parts. The characters are Alejandro Jiminez, a dramatic tenor; the Manager of Burger Palace, a baritone; the Suits 1/Fast Food Workers, a choir (SATB) and the Suits 2/Customers, a second choir (SATB), each ideally consisting of eight vocalists for a total of sixteen; the Daydream Figures, which are mimed parts; the Man with Gun, which is a spoken part. The opera, in one act consisting of six scenes and an interlude, is based on a libretto by the composer. There is only one scene change: from an essentially empty stage to a fast food restaurant in Scene 4. The length of the work is approximately sixty to sixty-five minutes.
- Persistence: for Wind Ensemble
- Persistence is a composition scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 bassoons, E-flat clarinet, 3 1st B-flat clarinets, 3 2nd B-flat clarinets, 3 3rd B-flat clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 E-flat alto saxophones, B-flat tenor saxophone, E-flat baritone saxophone, 3 B-flat trumpets, 4 French horns in F, 2 trombones, bass trombone, baritone, tuba, timpani, and 4 auxiliary percussionists. The music consists of three movements, fast-slow-fast, lasting approximately eleven and one-half minutes. The three movements last three minutes and twenty seconds, five minutes and thirty seconds, and three minutes and ten seconds respectively.
- Piano Quintet
- The thesis is a traditional piano quintet in the manner of Bartok, incorporating compositional techniques such as golden ratio and using folk materials. Special effects on strings are limited for easy conversion to wind instruments. The piece is about 15 minutes long.
- The Prologue in the Seventeenth-Century Venetian Operatic Libretto: its Dramatic Purpose and the Function of its Characters
- The Italian seicento has been considered a dead century by many literary scholars. As this study demonstrates, such a conclusion ignores important literary developments in the field of librettology. Indeed, the seventeenth-century operatic libretto stands as a monument to literary invention. Critical to the development of this new literary genre was the prologue, which provided writers with a context in which to experiment and achieve literary transcendence. This study identifies approximately 260 dramatic works written in Venice between the years 1637 and 1682, drawn together for the first time from three sources: librettos in the Drammaturgia di Leone Allacci accresciuta e continuata fino all'anno MCDDLV; the musical manuscripts listed in the Codici Musicali Contariniani; and a chronological list of seventeenth-century Venetian operas found in Cristoforo Ivanovich's Minerva al Tavolino. Of the 260 Venetian works identified, over 98 begin with self-contained prologues. This discovery alone warrants a reconsideration of the seventeenth-century Italian libretto and the emergence of the dramatic prologue as a new and important literary genre.
- Reconstructions: nine movements for solo soprano, chorus, and wind ensemble
- Reconstructions is a nine-movement composition for solo soprano, chorus, and wind ensemble using texts from several of Emily Dickinson's poems. The soloist represents the main character in this dramatic work, and the narrative structure portrays abstract moments in this character's life. While the narrative structure of the reconstructed fragments is important to the form of the composition, other elements are also significant. Pitch structures generated from set theoretical systems, in addition to cyclic and palindromic structures are utilized throughout. Timbre also delineates the form, as various combinations of instruments and chorus create an evolving environment in which the soloist resides.
- The Resurrexit from Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle (1825): A Case Study in Self-Borrowing
- Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle, his first publicly performed work, was important to his establishment in Paris as a composer. Although he later destroyed the Mass, he reused parts of the Resurrexit movement in three of his later works: Benvenuto Cellini (1836), the Grand messe des morts (1837), and the Te Deum (1849). This study examines the Resurrexit and its subsequent borrowings. In each instance that Berlioz borrowed from the Resurrexit, he extracted large sections and placed them in the context of later works. Each time that borrowing occurred, Berlioz constructed the surrounding music so that portions from the Resurrexit would fit stylistically and a seamlessly into the texture. In each borrowing, he left the melody unaltered, changing harmony and orchestration instead. This pattern of borrowing demonstrates that Berlioz developed his concept of melody early in his career, and that his method of self-borrowing was consistent in each subsequent use of the Resurrexit.
- Schoenberg, Polyphony, and Mode : A Reception of the Composer's Twelve-tone Method in American Publications, c. 1925-1950
- Although Schoenberg viewed his twelve-tone method as an extension of the Germanic musical evolution from Bach to Brahms, one group of writers in America identified twelve-tone antecedents with Medieval and Renaissance polyphony. Such a correlation of Schoenberg's practice with this textural orientation of the past was part of a larger movement (what I term "neopolyphony") recognizing twentieth-century musical developments as the genesis of a polyphonic epoch reviving both the technical and aesthetic concerns of the former era. With Schoenberg's practice applied to this analogical context, other writers (Hill, Krenek, Perle) advanced certain modal theories based in various degrees on the internal organization and functional role of the Church modes.
- A Study of Franz Liszt's Concepts of Changing Tonality as Exemplified in Selected "Mephisto" Works
- The purpose of this study is to analyze four late solo piano works of Franz Liszt that all bear the name "Mephisto" in their titles, in order to examine, identify and trace the development in the use of harmonic and melodic idioms that produced non-tonal or "omnitonic" effects, on the one hand, and to emphasize the need to duly accord Liszt a recognition of historical position as the nineteenth century's most influential avant garde composer whose attitude and approach had helped to shape much of the ideal of the atonal composition of this century, on the other. Chapter One presents the issues and the purpose of this study; Chapter Two investigates the principal forces that shaped Liszt's mature compositional style; Chapter Three identifies and discusses the requisites for tonal and atonal compositions; Chapter Four analyzes the four "Mephisto" dances: Waltz no.1 (1860); Polka (1883); Waltz no.3 (1883); and Bagatelle (1885). Chapter Five summarizes the findings from this study and attempts to identify in these late works of Liszt a pattern of conscientious, continuous, purposeful and progressive use of devices toward creating musical effect that would defy the established tonal requisites and undermine the tonal orientation in the composition. This study submits that it was Liszt who had first shown a way to free music from the shackles of prescribed idiomatic constraints, and to force us the listeners to approach and appreciate music for its own sound's sake. Additionally, this study submits that this effort of Liszt should be understood and appreciated in terms of programmatic association; that is, Liszt found in the persona of Mephisto the Diablo the ideal imagery for depicting the nature of the "music of the future" where tonality would be freed from any prescribed procedural requisites.
- Symmetrical Features of Nikolai Medtner's Language: The Grzovaya Sonata, Opus 53 No. 2
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Nikolai Medtner's works evidence an intense interest in symmetrical designs. This concern is manifest at all levels, from the large scale proportions of his numerous ingenious sonata forms to the symmetrically constructed themes and motives. Medtner's works include several instances of palindromic themes and periods. Some palindromic contours are achieved through immediate inversion, creating expansive, symmetrical waves. One of Medtner's thumbprints, symmetrical contrary voice-leading, consists of two or more voices which systematically expand or contract in exact mirror fashion. The contrary movement is usually stepwise, and may be either chromatic or diatonic. Occasionally even larger intervals, such as thirds and fourths, are subjected to this favourite mirroring technique. Such symmetrical expansion and contraction often controls the harmonic progression of several consecutive bars. One of the most striking aspects of Medtner's music is his sophisticated harmonic language. He was fascinated with symmetrical harmonic designs, such as the tritone, the French sixth chord, and the octatonic scale, and made endless and increasingly intricate explorations into these stuctures and the ways in which these apparently nontonal, non-hierarchical forms could be coordinated with the fundamental hierarchy of asymmetrical tonal forms, including triads, major and minor scales, and tonic-dominant relations. Medtner's late work, the Grozovaya Sonata, Opus 53 No.2, is the most concentrated and abstract of his works. The themes are built from highly lapidar motives, giving this work an intensely angular, rigorously mathematical character. All the symmetrical hallmarks of Medtner's language are in abundant evidence in this great work. Features include the extensive symmetrical mirroring of the opening section, frequent use of contrary voice leading as a generator of harmonic progression, and constant tritone shifting. Medtner also builds sequential chains based on two more symmetrical forms, the diminished seventh and the augmented triad. Finally, the design of this unique single movement sonata may be a hybrid of sonata form with palindrome. The Grozovaya Sonata is a microcosm of the symmetrical features of Medtner's language.
- Techniques of Sensual Perception: The Creation of Emotional Pathways
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Some artists strive to create artwork that has aesthetic value. If a piece of artwork has the ability to capture the attention of an audience, it must contain strong sensual attributes. Thus, understanding how to design an art form to contain strong sensual attributes may increase the possibility of an aesthetic experience. Since aesthetics is an experience of sensations perceived when in contact with a creative form in any artistic discipline, it is necessary for an artist to understand the nature of the sensual experience. In understanding the sensual experience, artists may be able to create techniques to enhance the aesthetic experience of their work. My video piece, entitled Ararat is a study of methods to enhance the sensual experience. I hope to accomplish this by means of using techniques that optimize an audience's perceptual experience.
- Three Motivic Topics in Beethoven's Piano Quintet, Op. 16
- The first movement of the Piano Quintet, Op. 16 of Ludwig van Beethoven works out three significant motivic "topics": a chromatically filled-in second, appearing first as 5 - #5 - 6 (Bb - B - C in Eb major); the emphasis om the submediant, both as vi in Eb major and as the tonal region of C minor; and the melodic interval of the sixth, which, when inverted to become a descending third, determines the structure of tonal regions at crucial points in the movement. These three motivic topics are introduced in the opening measures of the piece and are subsequently unfolded throughout the movement; the focus of the thesis will be to trace the unfolding of these three topics.
- The Use of Jazz in Opera
- Methods of incorporating jazz in opera range from using simple blue notes and fox-trot rhythms, to utilizing jazz instruments, to employing elaborate passages of improvisation. Current definitions of "jazz opera" do not consider variations in the genre, which, because of their evolving nature and the varied background of their composers, are diverse. This study attempts to collectively discuss these third-stream works. Jazz rhythms and harmonies first appeared in the 1920s in the works of Gershwin, Harling, Krenek, and Freeman. In 1966, Gunther Schuller was the first composer to use improvisation in an opera, which has become the primary distinguishing factor. There has since been a tremendous interest in this genre by such jazz musicians as Dave Burrell, Anthony Davis, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Anthony Braxton, George Gruntz, and Jon Faddis.
- The Use of the Clarinet in Selected Viennese Operas, 1786-1791, With Three Recitals of Selected Works by Brahms, Muczynski, Benjamin, Widor, Hindemith, and Others
- In an appendix section, three notable arias have been transcribed for two clarinets, voice, and piano. A further evaluation of Classical period opera orchestration will aid modern performers and musicologists in their understanding of what clarinets and clarinetists were able and expected to do.
- The Wanderer
- The Wanderer is an orchestra piece 18'42" in duration. The purpose of this project is to provide the composer an opportunity to express through music his experience with God, rebellion, and returning as the wanderering son did in the Bible's parable.
- The War Poems: An Intermedia Composition for Chamber Orchestra and Chorus
- Expanding on the concept of Richard Wagner's Gesamptkunstwerk, The War Poems was written to combine various elements for an intermedia composition, including music, five slide projectors, lighting, and costume. Text used in the piece was taken from the writings of the English World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon.
- The Warp and Weft of Fabric : A Composition for Strings
- The six-movement work is scored for two violins, a viola, and a violoncello. A new approach toward the decision making of the compositional process is revealed which structures the parameters of the composition along an arbitrary frame of reference. This reference is selected prior to composition and influences every aspect of the work. The reference chosen is an existing musical work used in quotation and for stylistic modeling, paraphrase, and variation. Consonance, dissonance, and thematic development are defined in terms of this source.