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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Composition
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Just Intonation and the Revitalization of Neoclassicism: Three Works for Baroque Instruments

Just Intonation and the Revitalization of Neoclassicism: Three Works for Baroque Instruments

Date: May 2008
Creator: Figg, Graham Elliot
Description: For a composer of today, the relationship between new music and music from many centuries past remains problematic. In order to create something new, it is necessary to go beyond previous techniques of composition in some way. At the same time, new music that has no connection with music of the past runs the risk of irrelevance. Just tuning offers one possibility for reconciling this problem. By effectively warping music of the past through the lens of altered tuning and contemporary composition techniques, music of the past may be understood in previously unknown ways. Part I, the critical essay, presents historical background and analysis of a cycle of three works in altered/just tuning. Part II presents scores of the works.
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Voci Lontani for flute, trumpet, percussion, piano, and string quartet: Critical essay and score.

Voci Lontani for flute, trumpet, percussion, piano, and string quartet: Critical essay and score.

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Date: August 2004
Creator: Goto, Yo
Description: This project consists of an original composition, Voci Lontani, and a critical essay about the composition. In this piece, the idea of musical simultaneity is explored. Therefore, the piece focuses on the idea of contrast: between measured rhythms and indeterminate rhythms, between tonality and atonality, and between musics in separate tempos. In order to explore the significance of musical simultaneity, four important compositional concepts-the simultaneous juxtaposition of different musics, polyrhythmic structure, controlled indeterminacy, and quotation-are discussed. Also, several examples of twentieth-century music that use these concepts are analyzed in the essay.
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The Surface: A Synthesis

The Surface: A Synthesis

Date: May 2001
Creator: Willis, Stephen
Description: This paper examines the speech-based musical realization of "The Surface" and its attempt to assimilate the poem at the structural, sonic, and expressive level. The software and analysis/re-synthesis techniques used to create timbres heard in the composition are discussed in detail. In addition to technical and structural issues, the common elements of the two art forms are considered within the context of the digital domain.
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Memento mori: Concert for Violoncello and Orchestra

Memento mori: Concert for Violoncello and Orchestra

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Date: December 2006
Creator: Fakhouri, Fouad K.
Description: Death, as a subject, has been treated extensively throughout history, both in literature as well as in music. The focus of Memento mori is to portray the inevitability of death through music. The first part of the document is an essay exploring the topic of death, its inevitability, unpredictability and the fragility of life. This section also includes a number of examples of composer's whose works have influenced the composition of the piece. The title of the work is meant to reflect that death catches up with all of us and that humans no matter how invincible they feel at certain stages of life will, eventually, succumb to death. The second part of the document is the notated orchestral score. The work is for full orchestra and solo violoncello. It is in three acts that loosely resemble three stages of life; Youth followed by life in adulthood and finally death. The work is not programmatic and the piece's formal structure varies from a traditional concerto, for although comprised of three distinct acts, there are no pauses between them. The entire work is meant to be dark and morbid and the specter of death looms throughout the piece.
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A Rhetorical Guide to Ebb

A Rhetorical Guide to Ebb

Date: May 2006
Creator: Zajicek, Daniel James
Description: In the essay A Rhetorical Guide to Ebb I explore the diverse array of influences in art, and music that guided the creation of the composition Ebb, for 13 musicians and electronics. Of those influences, the boxes of the American artist Joseph Cornell played a particularly important role. Having based the conceptual framework for Ebb on ideas taken from Cornell, the essay, instead of being driven by a single thesis, involves the creation of conceptual boxes. These conceptual boxes emphasize the influence of the artist Joseph Cornell, along with the composers Iannis Xenakis and Gérard Grisey. In addition, a time line documenting the stages in Ebb's creation is included.
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Aesthetic Models and Structural Features in Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band

Aesthetic Models and Structural Features in Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band

Date: December 2005
Creator: Anderson, Stephen Reg
Description: Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band was commissioned by Staff Sergeant Rone Sparrow, a percussionist with the West Point Military Academy Band. Funding for the project was provided by the Barlow Foundation. The piece was premiered April 13, 2005 in the Eisenhower Hall Theater at West Point, New York. Rone Sparrow performed with the USMA band, and Colonel Thomas Rotondi Jr., Commander/Conductor, conducted the piece. The concerto consists of three movements, and each movement features a different instrument: the first features marimba, the second, vibraphone, and the third movement features the drum kit together with a rhythm section (piano, bass, and drums). In addition to the piece, the dissertation paper discusses important technical detail related to the piece, including: harmony, form, rhythm, programmatic ideas as they relate to motivic strands, and the process of generating and discarding material. The paper also focuses on a number of factors that were influential to the piece, such as postmodern philosophy.
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RevealingReveilingReveling

RevealingReveilingReveling

Date: May 2005
Creator: Colaruotolo, John
Description: This thesis explores the possibilities of communication in the context of a sound composition. In RevealingReveilingReveling, a series of questions concerning communication posed by John Cage, coupled with an extension of those questions posed by myself, are set to recorded sounds-in-the-world. The intention is to create a greater awareness of that which there is to listen in our world. The first part of this essay discusses influences of philosophical thought during the process of composing RevealingReveilingReveling. Two distinct twentieth-century thinkers that have impacted the creation of this piece and their areas of thought are Martin Heidegger: language and Being; and John Cage: sound, silence, and awareness. The second part of the essay is a structural analysis of the piece, discussing the recording of Cage's questions, sounds-in-the-world, sound-manipulation techniques and thought-processes, as well as periodic mention the aesthetic decisions made.
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The Secret Art of Science: An Aural-Based Analysis of Jonty Harrison's Acousmatic Work "Pair/Impair"

The Secret Art of Science: An Aural-Based Analysis of Jonty Harrison's Acousmatic Work "Pair/Impair"

Date: August 2004
Creator: Vega, Henry
Description: This paper observes the problems that impede meaningful analysis of form and structure in modern music, specifically electronic music. The premise of this research is to present methods, tools and practice for analyzing music whose visual interpretation, if any, do not represent the aural result of the composition. The means for suggesting a method are derived from documented observations in aural psychology, as well as composers' writings about musical perception. The result is an analytic model that focuses on the aural experience rather than the composers' compositional strategies which do not always agree with the resultant composition. The results from the analysis of music by Parmegiani, Harvey, Vega and Harrison help prove the general applicability of this research.
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Prayers of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication: A Composition for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble

Prayers of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication: A Composition for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble

Date: August 2004
Creator: Monroe, Deborah J.
Description: This paper examines the relationship between text and music in Prayers of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication - a four-movement composition, fourteen minutes in length, for soprano, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, violin, double bass, and percussion. The text of the composition is taken from the Psalms and The Book of Common Prayer. The names and themes of the movements follow an ancient pattern for prayer identified by the acronym, A.C.T.S. Compositional considerations are contrasted to those of Igor Stravinsky and Steve Reich, with special emphasis on the use of musical structures, motives, and text-painting to highlight the meaning of religious texts.
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UNRAVEL: Acoustic and Electronic Resynthesis

UNRAVEL: Acoustic and Electronic Resynthesis

Date: August 2004
Creator: McCulloch, Peter
Description: UNRAVEL, a work for alto saxophone and interactive electronics. Examines works for saxophone and electro-acoustic music. Analyzes modes of interactivity using Robert Rowe's guidelines, with sonogram, score, and programming examples. Investigates hybrid serial-parallel signal-processing networks, and their potential for timbral transformations. Explores compositional working methods, particularly as related to electro-acoustic music.
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Symphonic Fantasia  Han-Kook Oui Ja-Yeon (Nature in Korea): Score and Critical Commentary

Symphonic Fantasia Han-Kook Oui Ja-Yeon (Nature in Korea): Score and Critical Commentary

Date: August 2004
Creator: Han, Sang-Eun
Description: The Symphonic Fantasia Han-Kook oui Ja-Yeon (Nature in Korea ) is a single-movement orchestral piece, which is divided into 5 characteristic sections - each section has programmatic subtitles (Rocks, River, Sea, Wind, and Mountain) and its own idée fixe motive. The degree of texture (homophonic/polyphonic), dynamics (strong/weak), density (thick/thin), velocity (fast/slow), and orchestration (emphasizing various sections of the orchestra) is determined by depiction of the subtitles. The critical commentary of the Symphonic Fantasia Han-Kook oui Ja-Yeon (Nature in Korea ) includes a discussion of form, pitch content (melodic and harmonic), and texture of the piece. The commentary also includes a discussion of the use of programmatic subtitles (Rocks, River, Sea, Wind, and Mountain) and depiction of these concepts in the orchestration of the work. A comparison with other orchestral works is added for explanation and support of the composer's concept. Some of the other composers who are discussed in this paper include Richard Strauss (Alpine Symphony), Gustav Holst (The Planets), Frank Bridge (The Sea), Aaron Copland (Billy the Kid), and Joseph Klein (Pathways: Interior Shadows).
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Clockwork Plums

Clockwork Plums

Date: May 2004
Creator: Bradford, Joshua
Description: Based on a story by Joshua Forehand with additional lyrics by Joshua Bradford, Clockwork Plums is an original musical work that integrates techniques and ideas from composers and different cultures. The accompanying essay about the work includes a summary of the story, "Clockwork Plums," some historical background covering 30 years of pop music, an analysis focusing on the use of African and Reichian compositional devices, and discussion about controlled improvisation and use of the voice as compositional tools. The music consists of three sections scored for 5 voices (lead male vocalist and SATB), flute (doubling tenor saxophone), Bb clarinet (doubling baritone saxophone), violin, cello, piano, electronic keyboard, electric guitar, electric bass, drum set, and percussion.
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Systematic Composition and Intuition in a Concerto for Organ and Orchestra

Systematic Composition and Intuition in a Concerto for Organ and Orchestra

Date: August 2003
Creator: Worlton, James Timbrel
Description: Historically, composers have used methods in addition to inspiration in writing music. Regardless of the source materials they used, composers ultimately rely on their musical sensitivity to inform the compositional decision-making. Discuses the rotational aspects of decimals that are created from certain prime-number denominators, and focuses on the prime number 17. Shows how these decimals can be transformed by converting them to different number bases. Looks at the Golden Proportion and its use in creating formal structures. Examines compositional and aesthetic issues arising from using number series to generate the pitches, rhythms, and sections in the Concerto for Organ and Orchestra. This process of composition reveals musical gestures that may not have been discovered using more intuitively based approaches to composition. Shows how musical sensitivity was necessary in shaping the numerically derived material in order to create aesthetically satisfying music.
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Tele: Using Vernacular Performance Practices in an Eight-Channel Environment

Tele: Using Vernacular Performance Practices in an Eight-Channel Environment

Date: August 2003
Creator: Welch, Chapman
Description: Examines the use of vernacular, country guitar styles in an electro-acoustic environment. Special attention is given to performance practices and explanation of techniques. Electro-acoustic techniques-including sound design and spatialization-are given with sonogram analyses and excerpts from the score. Compositional considerations are contrasted with those of Mario Davidovsky and Jean-Claude Risset with special emphasis on electro-acoustic approaches. Contextualization of the piece in reference to other contemporary, electric guitar music is shown with reference to George Crumb and Chiel Meijering.
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Till Millennial Kingdom: A Composition for Trumpet, Three Percussionists, and Tape

Till Millennial Kingdom: A Composition for Trumpet, Three Percussionists, and Tape

Date: August 2003
Creator: Stegall, Jermaine Edward
Description: Till Millennial Kingdom is a single-movement composition, eleven minutes in length, combining a trumpet, three percussionists, and tape. Throughout this text, use of the word "tape" will refer to pre-recorded audio on compact disk. This is also a programmatic composition, in that it uses music to depict a non-musical event. The form and instrumentation of Till Millennial Kingdom create a musical depiction of natural and supernatural events as they relate to biblical prophecy. The trumpet makes a significant thematic contribution throughout the work and particularly during the end of the piece. The use of percussion grants an element of rhythmic agitation, and the tape part provides a musical canvas upon which all sonic elements of the work are arranged. The combination of percussion and electro-acoustic gestures represents the programmatic concept of wrath and tribulation. Ironically, the closing stages of this work musically represent the beginning of eternity.
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The Prayer of Daniel: for flute (with alto flute), clarinet (with bass clarinet), violin, cello, doumbek, percussion, piano, bass-baritone voice, and men's chorus

The Prayer of Daniel: for flute (with alto flute), clarinet (with bass clarinet), violin, cello, doumbek, percussion, piano, bass-baritone voice, and men's chorus

Date: August 2003
Creator: Gutierrez, Jason
Description: The Prayer of Daniel is a chamber piece in the style of an oratorio for vocal bass-baritone soloist, flute doubling on alto flute, B flat clarinet doubling on bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion on vibraphone and marimba, doumbek (a middle eastern drum), and men's chorus (TTBB). The approximate duration is thirty minutes. The text comes from the Old Testament book of Daniel, Chapter 9 verses 4 through 19. In these passages the prophet Daniel rends from his heart a prayer of repentance, mercy and forgiveness on the behalf of a fallen nation. The harmonic language of the composition combines both classical contemporary and jazz sonorities. The rhythmic language is drawn from the meter of the text, and is used to underscore the emotion of the prayer. These elements combine to form a rich music experience that conveys the penitent heart of the prophet Daniel.
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Now All the Fingers of This Tree

Now All the Fingers of This Tree

Date: May 2003
Creator: Wood, Kelly Thomas
Description: Now All the Fingers of This Tree is a work in two movements based upon a poem of the same name by E. E. Cummings. It is divided into two movements: The first movement is scored for nine part solo soprano, where one performer records each of the nine vocal lines. The second movement is an electro-acoustic work derived from four phrases of the original recording of the first movement. Total duration of the work is approximately 19 minutes. The paper provides a detailed analysis of both movements as well as a discussion on usage of text, problems addressed with traditional notation techniques, and technology utilized in the production of the work.
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jn4.gesture: An interactive composition for dance.

jn4.gesture: An interactive composition for dance.

Date: May 2003
Creator: Holmes, Douglas B.
Description: jn4.gesture is an interactive multimedia composition for dancer and computer designed to extend the possibilities of artistic expression through the use of contemporary technology. The software produces the audiovisual materials, which are controlled by the movement of the dancer on a custom rug sensor. The software that produces the graphic and sonic material is created using a modular design. During run-time, the software's modules are directed by a scripting language developed to control and adjust the audiovisual production through time. The visual material provides the only illumination of the performer, and the projections follow the performer's movements. The human form is isolated in darkness and it remains the focal point in the visual environment. These same movements are used to create the sonic material and control the diffusion of sound in an eight channel sound system. The video recording of the performance was made on April 22, 2002. The work was produced in a specialized performance space using two computer projectors and a state of the art sound system. Arleen Sugano designed the costumes, choreographed and performed the composition in the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theatre (MEIT) at the University of North Texas. The paper focuses on the design of the ...
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The Light, for Two Narrators and Chamber Ensemble

The Light, for Two Narrators and Chamber Ensemble

Date: May 2003
Creator: Feezell, Mark Brandon
Description: The Light is a twenty-four minute composition for two narrators and chamber orchestra. The two narrators perform the roles of the Apostle John and Moses. After an overview of the piece and a brief history of pieces incorporating narrators, the essay focuses on my compositional process, describing how orchestration, drama, motive, and structure work together in the piece. The Light is organized as a series of five related scenes. In the first scene, God creates light. In the second scene, God places Adam and Eve into the Garden of Eden to tend it, allowing them to eat from any tree except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent appears, Adam and Eve succumb to his evil influence, and God banishes them from the Garden of Eden. Many generations have passed when Scene Three begins. Moses relates a story from Israel's journey in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. The people had become frustrated with Moses and with God. When God sent serpents among them as punishment, they appealed to Moses to pray for them. God's answer was for Moses to make a bronze serpent and place it on a pole. Whoever looked at the serpent would live. ...
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Latin Mass for Choir, Orchestra, Soprano and Mezzo-Soprano Soloists

Latin Mass for Choir, Orchestra, Soprano and Mezzo-Soprano Soloists

Date: May 2003
Creator: Bonneau, Paul G.
Description: The Latin Mass is a musical composition in five movements, scored for large choir, standard orchestra, and two soloists. The movements are the standard parts of the Roman Catholic Mass Ordinary. The language is set mainly in Latin with two exceptions: the Kyrie movement is set in Greek (which is the standard Roman Catholic setting), and the Credo is simultaneously recited in English and sung in Latin. The work is scored using conventional notation techniques and employs rather conservative technical demands on both the choir and orchestra. No extended techniques are required of any of the performers. It is set in a modal harmonic language.
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Snow Spell: An Interactive Composition for Erhu, Flute, Piano, Cello, and Max/MSP

Snow Spell: An Interactive Composition for Erhu, Flute, Piano, Cello, and Max/MSP

Date: August 2007
Creator: Cheng, Chien-Wen
Description: Snow Spell is an interactive composition for erhu, flute, cello, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. This one-movement piece, Snow Spell, is intended to depict the beauty of a snow scene by presenting four different impressions of snow envisioned by the composer through music. The definition, history, and significance of interactive music are explored. Various modes of interactivity to control signal processing modules, and technical considerations for signal routing and level control in the interactive computer music system are also explored. Chinese music elements in Snow Spell including pentatonic scales, glissandi, and quotations from the Chinese folk tune River of Sorrow are investigated.
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Germinal Ideas and Processes within  plies (2002): A Chamber Work for Eleven Players

Germinal Ideas and Processes within plies (2002): A Chamber Work for Eleven Players

Date: December 2002
Creator: Stecher, David
Description: The piece is a twenty minute work discoursing the integration and eventual dissolution of two separate musical strands. The pitch material of each strand is determined from synthetic scales whose intervalic content duplicates at the following intervals: Perfect 12th, Diminished 12th, Minor 9th, Perfect 8ve, and Major 7th. A proportional means of temporal compression is generated through the use of the factor, 11/15 (e.g. Event 2 is 11/15 the duration of Event 1). Various elements of jazz music informed the construction of plies, including the instrumentation of the ensemble and the means by which the performers interact throughout the piece. Internal cueing and performer decisions are meant to eliminate the need of a conductor in favor of increased interpretive freedom by the performers.
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Breaking Through: A Composition for Symphony Orchestra

Breaking Through: A Composition for Symphony Orchestra

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Date: August 2002
Creator: Dribus, John Alexander
Description: Breaking Through is a single-movement composition for symphony orchestra based on a fourteen-note melody. Every harmonic and melodic figure except the bass line is derived from this source melody. The structure of the work is based on a number of musical dichotomies that work on both local and large-scale levels. The local dichotomies contrast consonance with dissonance and ambiguity with clarity (in respect to texture and rhythm). The dichotomy of two-part form versus three-part form and the dichotomy of simplicity versus complexity operate on the large scale. The unity lended by the single source melody coupled with the contrasts furnished by the aforementioned dichotomies allow Breaking Through to be both coherent and interesting.
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Pilgrim Carnival

Pilgrim Carnival

Date: August 2002
Creator: House, Kayli
Description: This thesis explores an experimental music approach to writing autobiography. As a composition, Pilgrim Carnival took place as a travelling series of events. The central event was a sound installation for a blindfolded audience. This essay is a description of that series of events as well as a discussion of similar precedents in interdisciplinary art. Beginning with Luigi Russolo and Marcel Duchamp, aspects of autobiography are examined in both noise music and the concept of the ready-made artwork. Body Art of the 1970s, particularly the work of Marina Abramovic, is also tied into the idea of the ready-made artwork as an explicitly autobiographical example. The hybrid form of Pilgrim Carnival and the concept of ready-made autobiographical music create ongoing potential for new work.
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