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 Degree Discipline: Performance
The Formative Years: an Exploration of the Early Training and Song Juvenilia of Samuel Barber

The Formative Years: an Exploration of the Early Training and Song Juvenilia of Samuel Barber

Date: May 2013
Creator: Chester, Derek T.
Description: In the art of song composition, American composer Samuel Barber was the perfect storm. Barber spent years studying under superb instruction and became adept as a pianist, singer, composer, and in literature and languages. The songs that Barber composed during those years of instruction, many of which have been posthumously published, are waypoints on his journey to compositional maturity. These early songs display his natural inclinations, his self-determination, his growth through trial and error, and the slow flowering of a musical vision, meticulously cultivated by the educational opportunities provided to him by his family and his many devoted mentors. Using existing well-known and recently uncovered biographical data, as well as both published and unpublished song juvenilia and mature songs, this dissertation examines the importance of Barber's earliest musical and academic training in relationship to his development as a song composer.
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Aphorismen, Capriccio, and Heptameron for Piano Solo By Jürg Baur: a Performer's Guide

Aphorismen, Capriccio, and Heptameron for Piano Solo By Jürg Baur: a Performer's Guide

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Park, Esther
Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to give instruction regarding the performance of three important piano works by Jürg Baur (1918-2010). Aphorismen, Capriccio, and Heptameron stand out as his most significant piano works both because of their length and because of their pianistic complexity. Since Baur had a successful career as both teacher and composer during his lifetime, his acclaimed works received many honors in Germany. His works can be performed by intermediate to advanced students. Intermediate students can easily offer simpler pieces like Aphorismen in competitions, while pieces like Capriccio and Heptameron better are suited to a more advanced level. Although some of his compositions are difficult to perform compared with other modern German works, Baur's music is more accessible. In the article, "Auf der Spuren der alten Zeit" Baur is quoted to state that Paul Hindemith and Bela Bartok's music influenced his own compositional ideas. However, although Baur is a modern composer, he didn't write in a totally atonal style, but rather attempted to broaden tonality. While Heptameron is atonal, Aphorismen and Capriccio give the impression of tonality, thus they are more accessible to the audience. I was fortunate enough to study Aphorismen with Baur as well as ...
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Osvaldo Lacerda’s Sonata for Flute and Piano (1959): A Performance Guide with Historical Background of Brazilian Genres Embolada, Serestra, and Baião

Osvaldo Lacerda’s Sonata for Flute and Piano (1959): A Performance Guide with Historical Background of Brazilian Genres Embolada, Serestra, and Baião

Date: December 2012
Creator: Gimenes, Marilia Gabriela do Nascimento
Description: Osvaldo da Costa Lacerda (March 23, 1927-July 18, 2011), one of the most significant Brazilian composers of the twentieth century, wrote more than 250 compositions. The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a history and analysis of the Brazilian genres characterized in Osvaldo Lacerda’s, Sonata for Flute and Piano. Written in 1959, the sonata represents traditional Brazilian rhythms within a classical structure and modern harmony. The work provides a basis for the exploration of the embolada, the serestas, and the baião, examples of Brazilian typical song forms and rhythms. Analysis of the historical roots of these nationalistic elements will provide appropriate performance practice considerations when playing Brazilian rhythms; and because this sonata only exists in manuscript form, the historical analysis and performance guide will be of service to disseminate this important Brazilian work. As a basis for a critical edition of the Sonata for Flute and Piano, this initial effort will provide performers with a context for Brazilian flute music. Chapters include the Lacerda’s biography, a background of the nationalistic movement in Brazil and the composers who have influenced Osvaldo Lacerda. Definitions of embolada, serestas, and baião is also provided.
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The Creation of a Performance Edition of Gustav Mahler's Lieder Und Gesänge Aus Der Jungendzeit and Its Role in Bass Tuba Pedagogy

The Creation of a Performance Edition of Gustav Mahler's Lieder Und Gesänge Aus Der Jungendzeit and Its Role in Bass Tuba Pedagogy

Date: December 2012
Creator: Baker, Jeffrey T.
Description: When the tubist is first introduced to the bass tuba, Mahler's songs can be used as effective solo material. Through transcription, practice, and performance of art songs, novice bass tubists focus primarily on fundamental musical components such as tone quality, intonation, breathing, and musicianship. By identifying deficiencies in the current solo repertoire as related to the early stages of development on the bass tuba, I intend to address the need for more solo works through the transcription and performance of Mahler's Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit.
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A Performer's Guide to the First Two Movements of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Grand Sonata in G Major, Opus 37

A Performer's Guide to the First Two Movements of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Grand Sonata in G Major, Opus 37

Date: December 2012
Creator: Dorozhkina, Elena V.
Description: The Grand Sonata in G Major, Op.37, composed by Tchaikovsky, is a powerful large-scale composition and a piece of a symphonic scope. However, the sonata did not receive a desired acclaim in the modern repertoire partially due to an obvious lack of performance instructions in the existing editions, which makes the sonata challenging to perform. Thus, in order to reduce the technical challenges and to encourage more frequent performances of the sonata, this dissertation offers a performer's guide that addresses essential elements of pedal indications, phrasing and detailed dynamics, as well as suggestions on voice balancing, agogics, fingering, and hand redistribution. The guide consists of musical examples that are focused on the most challenging sections of the sonata, and is organized in the subsections according to a technique type proposed to facilitate a performance of the sonata. In addition to the examples on application of individual techniques presented in the main body of the dissertation, alternative and more elaborate versions of the suggestions are proposed in the appendices. The dissertation also provides a history of the sonata, and discusses its concept and symphonic principles. Additionally, the work highlights Tchaikovsky's piano style and describes his views on the art of piano ...
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From Ritual to Art in the Puritan Music of Colonial New England: the Anthems of William Billings

From Ritual to Art in the Puritan Music of Colonial New England: the Anthems of William Billings

Date: August 2012
Creator: Dill, Patrick W.
Description: The manner in which Billings’s music contrasts with the Puritan musical ideal clearly demonstrates his role in the transition from ritual to art in the music of eighteenth-century New England. The tenets of Puritan worship included the restriction that music should serve primarily as a form of communal prayer for the congregation and in a secondary capacity to assist in biblical instruction. Billings’s stylistic independence from Puritan orthodoxy began with a differing ideology concerning the purpose of music: whereas Calvin believed music merely provided a means for the communal deliverance of biblical text, Billings recognized music for its inherent aesthetic worth. Billings’s shift away from the Puritan musical heritage occurred simultaneously with considerable change in New England in the last three decades of the eighteenth century. A number of Billings’s works depict the events of the Revolutionary War, frequently adapting scriptural texts for nationalistic purposes. The composition of occasional works to commemorate religious and civic events reflects both the increase in society’s approval of choral music beyond its nominal use in worship, both in singing schools and in choirs. With his newfound independence from Puritan ritual, Billings seems to have declared himself one of the United States of America’s first ...
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Music of the Spheres: Astronomy and Shamanism in the Music of Urmas Sisask

Music of the Spheres: Astronomy and Shamanism in the Music of Urmas Sisask

Date: August 2012
Creator: Edmonds, David Michael
Description: In 1619, Johannes Kepler published his magnum opus Harmonices mundi in which the astronomer derived distinct pitches and scales for each known planet in the solar system from calculations of various aspects of their orbital motions. This was the first theoretical realization of the ancient tradition of musica universalis (also called musica mundana), or music of the celestial bodies. It was not until the Estonian composer Urmas Sisask (b. 1960) began his compositional career by deriving his own “planetary scale,” however, that the theoretical musica universalis came into audible existence. Sisask’s work represents a distinctive musical voice among today’s choral composers, and although he is steadily gaining attention for his unique compositional style, only limited information exists about the specifics of his background, his interest in astronomy and shamanism, and the subsequent influence these interests have had on his choral music. At once traditional and modern, he bridges the gap between ancient Estonian folk song and the present. Through an application of exotic techniques including extreme repetition, ritualistically driving rhythms and sudden changes in timbre and texture; coupled with his own peculiarly crafted “planetary scale,” Urmas Sisask has created a completely unique body of work which is examined in this ...
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Transformation of Themes, Controlled Pianistic Textures, and Coloristic Effects in Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos 6, 10, and 12

Transformation of Themes, Controlled Pianistic Textures, and Coloristic Effects in Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos 6, 10, and 12

Date: August 2012
Creator: Vidovic, Silvije
Description: Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies are uniformly considered highly challenging in terms of technical execution. However, their artistic value is frequently questioned. This dissertation examines the compositional elements that are often overlooked in these virtuoso works, and provides a viewpoint into their interpretative characteristics. Furthermore, it pursues a claim that besides being excellent performance pieces, these works also make an intriguing contribution to Liszt scholarship, and deserve meaningful consideration in terms of their artistic quality. Following the Introduction (Chapter 1), Chapter 2 provides a brief historical perspective of the critical affirmation Liszt the composer encountered from the musical society. It also includes a short background on Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, as well as the general reactions these works evoked from pianists, audiences, and scholars, during the time they were composed to the present day. As the main body of the dissertation, Chapter 3 investigates the three primary compositional concepts found in Rhapsodies Nos. 6, 10, and 12. These concepts are divided into three subchapters: Transformation of Themes, Controlled Pianistic Textures, and Coloristic Effects. Each of these subchapters provides explanatory information, as well as some of the most characteristic passages presented.
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The Impact of the Development of the Fortepiano on the Repertoire Composed for It From 1760–1860

The Impact of the Development of the Fortepiano on the Repertoire Composed for It From 1760–1860

Date: August 2012
Creator: Lin, Chao-Hwa
Description: The relationship between piano manufacturer and composer is interactive, and consequently both compositions and performance styles evolved organically due to this relationship. Early on, the instrument had more influence on the composer, whereas with the instrument’s establishment, composers began to exert more influence on the subsequent development of the instrument through their requests of manufacturers. The relationship between pianist-composers and manufacturers is important for pianists to study and understand, as well as the actual sound of a composer’s fortepiano and the way he performed on it. Through studying the development of the piano and the relationship between manufacturers and composers, pianists can reinterpret compositions before the mid nineteenth century, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Dussek, Chopin, and Liszt, using their knowledge of the aforementioned to bring a different perspective to their performances on the modern piano. There are numerous manufacturers and composers who made important contributions to the development of the piano. This dissertation focuses on selected pianist-composers and fortepiano manufacturers, and the impact of their relationship on piano literature before 1860.
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Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Transcriptions of Beethoven´s Symphony No 2, Op 36: a Comparison of the Solo Piano and the Piano Quartet Versions

Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Transcriptions of Beethoven´s Symphony No 2, Op 36: a Comparison of the Solo Piano and the Piano Quartet Versions

Date: August 2012
Creator: Kim, Aram
Description: Johann Nepomuk Hummel was a noted Austrian composer and piano virtuoso who not only wrote substantially for the instrument, but also transcribed a series of important orchestral pieces. Among them are two transcriptions of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36- the first a version for piano solo and the second a work for piano quartet, with flute substituting for the traditional viola part. This study will examine Hummel’s treatment of the symphony in both transcriptions, looking at a variety of pianistic devices in the solo piano version and his particular instrumentation choices in the quartet version. Each of these transcriptions can serve a particular purpose for performers. The solo piano version is an obvious virtuoso vehicle, whereas the quartet version can be a refreshing program alternative in a piano quartet concert.
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