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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 1990-1999
 Degree Discipline: Musicology
The Fourteen Seréstas of Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)

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

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

The Function of Oral Tradition in Mary Lou's Mass by Mary Lou Williams

Date: August 1996
Creator: Fledderus, France
Description: 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.
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Mail Order Music: the Hinners Organ Company in the Dakotas, 1879-1936

Mail Order Music: the Hinners Organ Company in the Dakotas, 1879-1936

Date: August 1997
Creator: Alcorn-Oppedahl, Allison A. (Allison Ann)
Description: Founded in 1879 by John L. Hinners, the Hinners Organ Company developed a number of stock models of small mechanical-action instruments that were advertised throughout the Midwest. Operating without outside salesmen, the company was one of the first to conduct all of its affairs by mail, including the financial arrangements, selection of the basic design, and custom alterations where required. Buyers first met a company representative when he arrived by train to set up the crated instrument that had been shipped ahead of him. Tracker organs with hand-operated bellows were easily repaired by local craftsmen, and were suited to an area that, for the most part, lacked electricity. In all, the company constructed nearly three thousand pipe organs during its sixty years of operation. Rapid decline of the firm began in the decade prior to 1936 during which the company sold fewer than one hundred instruments, and closed in that year when John's son Arthur found himself without sufficient financial resources to weather the lengthy depression. The studies of the original-condition Hinners organs in the Dakotas include extensive photographs and measurements, and provide an excellent cross section of the smaller instruments produced by the company. They are loud, excellently crafted, ...
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"Marvelous Accidents": The Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra of John Cage

"Marvelous Accidents": The Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra of John Cage

Date: December 1999
Creator: Boutwell, Brett N.
Description: John Cage’s Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1950-51) holds a unique position within the composer’s 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 Cage’s "Lecture on Nothing" (1950) and "Lecture on Something" (c. 1951-52), this thesis explores the aesthetic foundations of the concerto and examines Cage’s compositional methodology throughout its three movements. Special attention is paid to the procedure underlying the first movement, whose analysis is based largely on the composer’s manuscript materials for the work.
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Nobody's Fool: A Study of the Yrodivy in Boris Godunov

Nobody's Fool: A Study of the Yrodivy in Boris Godunov

Date: December 1999
Creator: Pollard, Carol J.
Description: 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.
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The Prologue in the Seventeenth-Century Venetian Operatic Libretto: its Dramatic Purpose and the Function of its Characters

The Prologue in the Seventeenth-Century Venetian Operatic Libretto: its Dramatic Purpose and the Function of its Characters

Date: August 1998
Creator: Miller, Robin A. (Robin Annette)
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Resurrexit from Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle (1825): A Case Study in Self-Borrowing

The Resurrexit from Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle (1825): A Case Study in Self-Borrowing

Date: December 1999
Creator: Gill, Sarah M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Transcendentalism and Intertextuality in Charles Ives's War Songs of 1917

Transcendentalism and Intertextuality in Charles Ives's War Songs of 1917

Date: December 1998
Creator: Brandt, R. Lynne (Rebecca Lynne)
Description: This thesis examines a collection of three songs, "In Flanders Fields," "He Is There!," and "Tom Sails Away," written by Charles Ives in 1917, from primarily a literary perspective involving Transcendentalism and intertextuality. Ives's aesthetic builds upon the principles of Transcendentalism. I examine these songs using the principles outlined by the nineteenth-century Transcendentalists, and Ives's interpretations of these beliefs. Another characteristic of Ives's music is quotation. "Intertextuality" describes an interdependence of literary texts through quotation. I also examine these songs using the principles of intertextuality and Ives's uses of intertextual elements. Familiarity with the primary sources Ives quotes and the texts they suggest adds new meaning to his works. Transcendentalism and intertextuality create a greater understanding of Ives's conflicting views of the morality of war.
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The Use of Jazz in Opera

The Use of Jazz in Opera

Date: December 1995
Creator: Ottervik, Jennifer
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries