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 Degree Discipline: Composition
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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“Sunken Monadnock”: a Composition for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, Violoncello, Electric Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Three Female Vocalists, and Computer

“Sunken Monadnock”: a Composition for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, Violoncello, Electric Guitar, Piano, Percussion, Three Female Vocalists, and Computer

Date: December 2013
Creator: Harris, Joshua Kimball
Description: Sunken Monadnock is a scripted combination of three modular musical surfaces. The word “surface” is borrowed from Morton Feldman, who compared the aural surface of music to the canvases of the action painters of the American Abstract Expressionists, and contrasted it with the work’s subject, or organizational structure. Composers’ transition toward a focus on surface through indeterminate compositional techniques, according to Feldman, parallels the development of modernist abstract art. “Sunken Monadnock: Composing with Visual Metaphors” is a companion critical essay that takes the surface/subject metaphor as a starting point for analyzing Sunken Monadnock.Other visual metaphors that inspired Sunken Monadnock, and are discussed in the essay, include Shakir Hassan Al Said’s mystical semiotics, Jasper Johns’s crosshatch prints, and Wassily Kandinsky’s theory of abstraction. The circle and spiral, especially, play influential roles in Sunken Monadnock as reflected by musical applications of repetition, rotation, compression/rarefaction, and endlessness. The void in the circle’s center also comes into play. The nature of the work’s formal counterpoint requires an innovative approach to the score, which consists of five sections, each of which reflects a different approach to the aural surface (i.e., to the traversal of time). The two outer sections are traditionally scored, but the three ...
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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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Mobiles

Mobiles

Date: August 1997
Creator: Whitworth, Clifford K. (Clifford Kirk)
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Persistence: for Wind Ensemble

Persistence: for Wind Ensemble

Date: August 1997
Creator: Rickwood, Christopher M.
Description: 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.
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Matador

Matador

Date: May 1998
Creator: Patino, Julio
Description: 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.
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A Wedding Ceremony: Processional, Kyrie, Alleluia!, Hosanna!, Recessional

A Wedding Ceremony: Processional, Kyrie, Alleluia!, Hosanna!, Recessional

Date: May 1998
Creator: Cieminski, Theresa
Description: A Wedding Ceremony is a composition of approximately 17 minutes in duration and is scored for horn in F, two trumpets in B-flat, trombone, two percussionists (timpani, roto toms, chimes, snare, triangle, suspended cymbal), 2-part boys choir, female soprano, and organ. The work consists of five parts of a mass, the Processional, Kyrie, Alleluia!, Hosanna!, and Recessional, with texted sections being taken from the Latin mass. The work is intended for a sacred wedding service of any denomination. The work was composed with the traditional aspects of the Latin mass in combination with a contemporary setting.
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In Nomine Domini

In Nomine Domini

Date: August 1995
Creator: Crowley, Timothy R. (Timothy Robert)
Description: In Nomine Domini is an eighteen-minute composition for two chamber orchestras with two soloists using real-time interactive signal processing techniques. The first chamber orchestra is scored for flute (piccolo), English horn, trumpet in C, trombone, two percussionists (cowbells, wood blocks, tenor drum, suspended cymbal, gongs, tam-tam, temple blocks, tambourine, snare drum, timbales, and bass drum), horn in F (soloist), viola, and string bass. The second chamber orchestra is scored for oboe, clarinet in Bb (bass clarinet in Bb), bassoon, tuba, two percussionists (crotales, two marimbas, vibraphone, chimes, and tom-toms), piano (soloist), violin, and cello. Real-time interactive signal processing techniques are achieved through the use of a stereo multiple-effects signal processor and a personal computer running MIDI interactive software. The work is based upon the four-hundred and seventy-five year old in nomine composition tradition begun by John Taverner in the Benedictus of his Mass Gloria tibi Trinitas (1520) and continued in over one-hundred and fifty Renaissance settings. In Nomine Domini consists of three movements: "Taverner* derived from the Benedictus of the Mass Gloria tibi Trinitas (1520), "Byrd" derived from the Benedictus of William Byrd's Five-voice Mass (1592), and "Tye" derived from Christopher lye's In Nomine XIII "Trust" (1578). In Nomine Domini ...
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Song of Pi-Pa

Song of Pi-Pa

Date: August 1994
Creator: Tseng, Yu-Chung, 1960-
Description: Sona of Pi-Pa is a composition set to a poem to be performed by soprano and mixed instrumental ensemble. The formal plan is through-composed and the organization of each individual piece is largely determined by the structure of the poetic text. The text, drawn from Song of Pi-Pa by Po Chu-i, depicts the story of how the poet became overwhelmed by the chance hearing of a virtuosic performance of a woman playing the pi-pa. The general characteristics of the work reflect the assimilation of certain non-western musical and philosophical influences. Traditional western compositional techniques are also employed in the treatment of thematic materials, musical form, instrumentation, and the developmental process. The total performance time for this composition is approximately twenty-six minutes.
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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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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