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 Department: College of Music
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: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33228/
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Defining the Contralto Voice Through the Repertoire of Ralph Vaughan Williams

Defining the Contralto Voice Through the Repertoire of Ralph Vaughan Williams

Date: May 2014
Creator: Daniels, Sarah M.
Description: At the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of the contralto voice type had reached its apex in England. Throughout the remainder of the century, the number and popularity of recorded contraltos has decreased alongside the rise of the mezzo-soprano voice type. Due to the contralto’s decline and the lack of repertoire composed specifically for the voice, the definition of “contralto” remains somewhat ambiguous. The large contralto repertoire of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams displays a unique sensitivity to the contralto, particularly with regards to vocal range, flexibility, tessitura, and sustainability. These works thus suggest a new perspective for the voice type. The scope of Vaughan Williams’s oeuvre examined includes each of his operatic roles for contralto and choral works featuring the contralto. Also examined will be the compositional techniques implemented within these pieces which demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the contralto voice. A workable definition of the voice type for the pedagogue and performer is included.
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Études: Five Compositional and Technical Studies for Solo Organ

Études: Five Compositional and Technical Studies for Solo Organ

Date: May 2014
Creator: Lloyd, S. Andrew
Description: Études was composed as a set of five interrelated movements in the followingorder: Prelude, Introduction and Fugue, Triptych, Chorale, and Response. The pieces are compositional as well as technical studies. The movements specifically explore certain styles and forms unique to organ music, and reintroduce these elements in creative ways. As in the traditional étude, each movement contains virtuosic technical studies, which are designed to enhance manual and pedal facility and prepare the performer for advanced repertoire.
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A Pedagogical and Methodical Approach to Unaccompanied Euphonium Literature Through Performance and Analyses of Original Works by Torstein Aagaard-nilsen

A Pedagogical and Methodical Approach to Unaccompanied Euphonium Literature Through Performance and Analyses of Original Works by Torstein Aagaard-nilsen

Date: August 2013
Creator: Nyren, Patrick J.
Description: Original unaccompanied literature currently stands as one of the most understudied bodies of music in the euphonium repertory. This is largely due to a lack of access to reference recordings, live performances, and study/performance guides. Many of the commissioning projects for new euphonium music in the late 20th and early 21st centuries have promoted the composition of large scale works for euphonium and large ensembles, but very few have generated new unaccompanied pieces for euphonium. Many of the most recent commissions for unaccompanied euphonium music have been for competitions such as the Lieksa Brass Festival (Finland) and Leonard Falcone International Festival (USA). These competitions are also where many students get their only exposure to the unaccompanied repertoire. Unfortunately, there is a small number of standard unaccompanied works that are continuously recycled for these competitions and the exposure to new pieces in the repertoire is further diminished for many developing euphoniumists. This study will examine the three works for unaccompanied euphonium by Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen and provide solutions for many common technical challenges and pose suggestions for approaching and preparing this genre of music. Connections are made throughout the study to specific etudes and other unaccompanied solos that can be used as ...
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Harold Shapero’s Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano: the Influence of Idiomatic Jazz Elements on a Prominent Mid-20th Century Neo-classical Composer

Harold Shapero’s Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano: the Influence of Idiomatic Jazz Elements on a Prominent Mid-20th Century Neo-classical Composer

Date: August 2013
Creator: Whalen, Kevin Patrick
Description: Harold Shapero’s Sonata for Trumpet in C and Piano is a significant work that it is rarely performed and studied. Shapero’s composition contains musical attributes that demand artistically accurate choices if the style of this jazz-influenced sonata is to be achieved. Written in 1940 in dedication to Aaron Copland, the Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano makes use of a variety of stylistic influences, blending those of early 20th century jazz with Stravinsky-influenced neo-classicism. The intent of this study is to examine the unique performance practice implications and musical considerations of Harold Shapero’s Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano in correlation to the composer’s implementation of jazz idiomatic elements within the constructs of neo-classicism. The first section of this study examines the historical context necessary for understanding the social and musical conditions of the early to mid 1940s. The second section addresses the musical elements that characterize this work; the primary focus of this section is an exploration of Harold Shapero’s implementation of jazz idioms into his first composition for trumpet. The final section of the study interprets the utilization of idiomatic jazz elements within the work so as to allow the trumpet player with little jazz experience to accurately ...
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Utilizing North American Art Song Settings of Psalm Texts in Worship Services: an Annotated Guide for Singers, Voice Instructors, and Music Ministers

Utilizing North American Art Song Settings of Psalm Texts in Worship Services: an Annotated Guide for Singers, Voice Instructors, and Music Ministers

Date: May 2014
Creator: Siddons, Kyle
Description: This dissertation provides a guide for appropriate use of North American art song settings of biblical psalms for solo voice written after 1950 in the worship services of Christian faiths. The songs analyzed are for all voice parts and a variety of accompanying ensembles. The placement of each song on a specific calendar day is guided by the individual church calendars and lectionaries, on the prevalent themes of the text, and the characteristics of the musical setting. Performance of these songs only in a concert setting limits their usefulness for singers, voice teachers, and music directors alike. A new and worthy performing context can be established by analyzing the text and musical settings.
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Britten’s Op 47, Five Flower Songs: Breaking Trends in Analysis

Britten’s Op 47, Five Flower Songs: Breaking Trends in Analysis

Date: August 2013
Creator: Jackson, Christopher Michael
Description: Benjamin Britten’s life and music have been the subject of study from early in his musical career. Current trends in psychological analysis of Britten’s music tend to focus on common themes, such as homosexuality, pacifism, the sense of the outsider, and the loss of innocence. Similarly, theoretical analyses tend either to provide general categorizations of the technical elements in Britten’s music or to apply a singular preconceived concept as a tool for understanding his compositions. These approaches have yielded significant information but leave aspects of Britten’s personality and music unilluminated. Britten’s Op. 47, Five Flower Songs, are a collection of five part songs for a cappella chorus that are often included within the canon of 20th century choral literature. This paper examines a new perspective on Britten’s music by examining the relationship between Britten’s friendships and their influence on his compositions. Through the examination of these relationships information is revealed that allows for a new method of analysis that is particularly relevant to the Five Flower Songs. The opus was dedicated to two botanists for the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. Contained within specific movements are extra-musical references to scientific characteristics of the flowers that are the subjects of ...
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The Effect of Head Flexion/extension on Acoustic Measures of Singing Voice Quality

The Effect of Head Flexion/extension on Acoustic Measures of Singing Voice Quality

Date: August 2013
Creator: Knight, Elizabeth Johnson
Description: A study was undertaken to identify the effect of head flexion/extension on singing voice quality. The amplitude of the fundamental frequency (F0), and the singing power ratio (SPR), an indirect measure of singer’s formant activity, were measured. F0 and SPR scores at four experimental head positions were compared with the subjects’ scores at their habitual positions. Three vowels and three pitch levels were tested. F0 amplitudes and low frequency partials in general were greater with more extended head positions, while SPR increased with neck flexion. No effect of pitch or vowel was found. Gains in SPR appear to be the result of damping low frequency partials rather than amplifying those in the singer’s formant region. Raising the amplitude of F0 is an important resonance tool for female voices in the high range, and may be of benefit to other voice types in resonance, loudness, and laryngeal function.
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From Germany to Palestine: a Comparison of Two Choral Works by Paul Ben-haim – “Joram” and “Kabbalat Shabbat”

From Germany to Palestine: a Comparison of Two Choral Works by Paul Ben-haim – “Joram” and “Kabbalat Shabbat”

Date: August 2013
Creator: Dalrymple, Holly
Description: The choral music of Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim (1897-1984) falls clearly into two distinct compositional periods. Born in Munich, Germany as Paul Frankenburger, the composer received formal, classical training at the Munich Academy of Music. His compositions from this period are an amalgamation of many styles, and they include influences of Bach, Handel, Mahler, Debussy, and Strauss. In 1933, Ben-Haim, along with other trained artists and composers, immigrated to Palestine as part of the Fifth Aliyah. Prior to this wave of immigration, Palestine had not yet received any serious composers, and musically, was still in its infancy. Eager to divorce themselves from the West and identify with their new home in the East, Ben-Haim and his fellow transplant composers sought a new musical language and a unique voice for Israel. Enamored with the exotic sounds of his new environment, Ben-Haim began to absorb elements of Eastern Mediterranean music into his compositions. As a Westerner, he was not familiar with these Eastern traditional folk song melodies, modes, and scales, and he required outside source materials from which to draw. This document examines two choral works, one from each of Paul Ben-Haim’s style periods, Joram (1933) and Kabbalat Shabbat (1968), and identifies ...
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Using Baroque Vocal Music to Introduce Horn Students to the Musical Concepts of Expression, Articulation, Phrasing, and Tempo

Using Baroque Vocal Music to Introduce Horn Students to the Musical Concepts of Expression, Articulation, Phrasing, and Tempo

Date: May 2014
Creator: Winter, Angela K.
Description: Baroque music is an area largely neglected in the music education of young horn students and wind players in general. Baroque horn repertoire is very demanding primarily due to the range. Baroque composers wrote for horn using the uppermost register of the instrument. In this range the partials are closer together, allowing for more melodic writing. This music requires an advanced level of technique, endurance, and ability. Often this repertoire is not suitable for students until they are well into their collegiate years of study. Frequently this music is performed on descant horns. Since only a small number of middle school and high school horn students continue to play after they leave their school band programs, they many never get first hand experience performing Baroque music. Vocal students are often introduced to Baroque arias early in their training. Purcell’s songs and arias are an excellent example of the literature that young voice students use. These arias and songs can be the perfect portal to Baroque music for horn students as well. Here I have created an edition of Henry Purcell’s songs and arias for young horn students. Each aria used the text as a guide for the “affect” and its ...
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