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An Analysis of Periodic Rhythmic Structures in the Music of Steve Reich and György Ligeti

An Analysis of Periodic Rhythmic Structures in the Music of Steve Reich and György Ligeti

Date: August 2002
Creator: Isgitt, David
Description: The compositions of Steve Reich and György Ligeti both contain periodic rhythmic structures. Although periods are not usually easily perceived, the listener may perceive their combinations in a hierarchy of rhythmic structures. This document is an attempt to develop an analytical method that can account for this hierarchy in periodic music. I begin with an overview of the features of Reich's and Ligeti's music that contribute to the property of periodicity. I follow with a discussion of the music and writings of Olivier Messiaen as a precedent for the periodic structures in the music of Reich and Ligeti. I continue by consulting the writings of the Israeli musicologist Simha Arom and describing the usefulness of his ideas and terminology in the development of my method. I explain the working process and terminology of the analytical method, and then I apply it to Reich's Six Pianos and Ligeti's Désordre.
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Consonance, Tertian Structures and Tonal Coherence in Wladimir Vogel's Dodecaphonic World

Consonance, Tertian Structures and Tonal Coherence in Wladimir Vogel's Dodecaphonic World

Date: December 2002
Creator: Hale, Jacquelyn
Description: Wladimir Vogel's (1896-1984) interest in twelve-tone composition began to develop in 1936 after hearing a series of lectures by Willi Reich, a music critic and supporter of the new music of the Second Viennese School. The transition for Vogel from a large-scale orchestral “classical” style, influenced by his study with Ferruccio Busoni in Berlin in the early 1920s, to a new technique involving dodecaphony is apparent in his instrumental writing, the third and fourth movements of the Konzert für Violine und Orchester (1937), as well as in his vocal writing, the Madrigaux for mixed a cappella choir (1938/39). Vogel's twelve-tone works exhibit tertian structures which are particularly emphasized by triads located as consecutive pitches within the rows. Emphasis on tertian structures are not limited to small-scale segmentation of the rows but can also be seen in the structural and tonal organization of complete movements and works. A primary example is the Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester (Cello Concerto) (1955) in which, on a smaller scale, the presentation of the row emphasizes both diminished and minor triads, and at the macro level, the structural triadic relationships unify passages within individual movements as well as the concerto as a whole. Since the ...
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The Segmentation Process and its Influence on Structure in the  Malheur Me Bat Masses of Obrecht and Josquin

The Segmentation Process and its Influence on Structure in the Malheur Me Bat Masses of Obrecht and Josquin

Date: December 2002
Creator: Jarzombek, Ralph
Description: This study examines in detail the various aspects of the segmentation process as applied by Obrecht and Josquin to the chanson Malheur me bat, especially the effect of this process on the structure of each composer's respective mass. Although musical aspects such as cadences and mode have varying degrees of influence on the structure of these two masses, the primary influence is the establishment of proportional relationships that occur as a result of the segmentation process. Sources of previous music research frequently point out that Obrecht's Mass utilizes both the Phrygian and Aeolian modes, while in Josquin's Mass the Phrygian mode is the firmly established mode throughout. Since segments in Obrecht's Mass are usually not connected to one another, strong cadences frequently occur at the end of the segments throughout. On the other hand, since the segments in Josquin's Mass are usually connected to one another, weak internal cadences frequently occur throughout, with strong cadences reserved for the end of sections.
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Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene, Op. 34: Evidence of Arnold Schoenberg's  musikalische Gedanke

Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene, Op. 34: Evidence of Arnold Schoenberg's musikalische Gedanke

Date: May 2004
Creator: Fukuchi, Hidetoshi
Description: Composition for Arnold Schoenberg is a comprehensible presentation of a musical idea (musikalische Gedanke); the totality of a piece represents the idea. For tonal works, he defines Gedanke as a process of resolving the "tonal relation" or "tonal problem." Contrary to the numerous tonal examples illustrating the notion of Gedanke, Schoenberg hardly expounds on the Gedanke principle for his atonal and twelve-tone repertoires. This study reevaluates Schoenberg's compositional philosophy and aesthetics including Gedanke, comprehensibility, Grundgestalt, and developing variation in light of his compositional practices in Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene, Op. 34. Although Schoenberg denies the existence of a tonal problem and hierarchy among pitches in twelve-tone compositions, the registral placement found in Op. 34 indicates certain functionality assigned to each pitch-class, producing a sense of "departure and return." The approach here elucidates the "idea" of Op. 34, in which the large-scale formal organization unfolds through contextually emphasized tonal relations. This study also explores Schoenberg's concept of the multi-dimensional presentation of a musical idea. Even though Schoenberg's discussion of musical coherence is usually limited to the immediate musical surface, I believe that he was also aware of an extended realization of foreground motives in the sense of Heinrich Schenker's "concealed motivic ...
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Sibelius's Seventh Symphony: Genesis, Design, Structure, and Meaning

Sibelius's Seventh Symphony: Genesis, Design, Structure, and Meaning

Date: May 2004
Creator: Pavlak, F. William
Description: This study explores Sibelius's last and, perhaps, most enigmatic Symphony from historical (source-critical), Schenkerian, and transtextual perspectives. Through a detailed study of its genesis, musical architecture, and meaning, the author maintains that the Seventh, its composer, and its generative process, can best be understood as a series of verges: conceptual points of interaction between two or more forces. Verges between Sibelius's nature mysticism and the dramatic biographical circumstances of the period (1914-1924), between inspired and reasoned modes of composition, between genres (symphony and fantasy), between various form types, between tragic despair and hopeful yearning, between innovation and classicism, and between a host of other seeming oppositions, all define the Seventh Symphony and illuminate various facets of the composer's life and thought.
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Bach's Mass in B minor: An Analytical Study of Parody Movements and their Function in the Large-Scale Architectural Design of the Mass

Bach's Mass in B minor: An Analytical Study of Parody Movements and their Function in the Large-Scale Architectural Design of the Mass

Date: December 2005
Creator: Pérez Torres, René
Description: Most studies of the Mass in B Minor deal with the history of the work, its reception history, primary sources, performance practice issues, rhetoric, and even theological and numerical symbolism. However, little research focuses on an in-depth analysis of the music itself. Of the few analytical studies undertaken, to date only a limited number attempt to explain Bach's use of parody technique or unity in the whole composition. This thesis focuses on understanding three primary concerns in regards to the Mass in B minor: to comprehend how preexistent material was adapted to the context of the Mass, how this material functions in the network of the entire composition, and how unity is achieved by means of large-scale voice leading. The results of this study not only provide new information about this monument of Western music, but also provide insight to the deep sense of large-scale structure in Bach's work.
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The Influence of Fredrik Melius Christiansen on Six Minnesota Conductor-Composers

The Influence of Fredrik Melius Christiansen on Six Minnesota Conductor-Composers

Date: May 2006
Creator: Armendarez, Christina Marie
Description: F. Melius Christiansen was very influential in the a cappella choral tradition. He started his career in Norway and brought his expertise to the American Midwest. Christiansen established a name for himself while working at St. Olaf Lutheran College as the head of the music department. It was the blended choral sound and precision he was able to achieve and display with his new choir in 1912 that caught everyone's ear. He continued to succeed with national and international tours, allowing him to spread his new "St. Olaf" choral sound through his music, compositions, and conducting school. This study explores the influence of F. Melius Christiansen (1871-1955) and the Minnesota choral tradition on six subsequent conductor-composers' compositions and conducting styles, including: Olaf Christiansen (1901-1984), Paul J. Christiansen (1914-1997), Kenneth Jennings (b. 1925), Robert Scholz (b. 1940), René Clausen (b. 1953), and Kenneth Hodgson (b. 1939) using Schenkerian analysis.
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Missa Papae Marcelli: A Comparative Analysis of the Kyrie and Gloria Movements of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and an Adaptation by Giovanni Francesco Anerio

Missa Papae Marcelli: A Comparative Analysis of the Kyrie and Gloria Movements of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and an Adaptation by Giovanni Francesco Anerio

Date: May 2006
Creator: Moore, Michael J.
Description: Missa Papae Marcelli: A Comparative Analysis of the Kyrie and Gloria Movements of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and an Adaptation by Giovanni Francesco Anerio
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The Opening Section of Isang Yun's My Land My People: A Cross-Section of Korean and Western Musical Features

The Opening Section of Isang Yun's My Land My People: A Cross-Section of Korean and Western Musical Features

Date: May 2006
Creator: Choi, Woohyuk
Description: Isang Yun's oratorio My Land My People is organized in four movements, and is scored for orchestra, solo voice and choir. Movements are titled as follows: Rjoksa (History), Hyon-Shil I (Presence I), Hyon-shil II (Presence II), and Mi-rae (Future). This document only covers from measures 1-38 of the first section of the first movement of this work. Even though this work is atonal, the composer emphasizes a harmonically moving, tonal sonority: interval class five includes perfect 4th and 5th, quintal-quartal harmony and authentic cadence moving dominant to tonic. Also, in this document, a comparison with Korean traditional music elements is included to support Isang Yun's musical features.
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Reevaluating twelve-tone music: analytical issues in the second movement of Anton Webern's Quartet for Violin, Clarinet, Tenor-Saxophone and Piano, Op. 22.

Reevaluating twelve-tone music: analytical issues in the second movement of Anton Webern's Quartet for Violin, Clarinet, Tenor-Saxophone and Piano, Op. 22.

Date: August 2006
Creator: Lin, Tzu-Hsi
Description: Twelve-tone music illustrates many characteristics relative with those of conventional tonal form, though works are based on a different composition method. The fundamental question of twelve-tone music arises in debate on terminology between tonal and atonal as well as methodology of musical analysis. Certain theorists try to approach twelve-tone music by traditional harmonic views rather than by pitch-class set theory. Conventional harmonic aspects arise from the fact that both tonal and twelve-tone music share similar narrative strategies. This point is explored in examining Anton Webern's Quartet for Violin, Clarinet, Tenor-Saxophone and Piano, Op. 22, which displays connection to tonal music. The present study seeks to examine certain features of the composer's working in pitch materials; i.e., the dispositions of pitch classes and the characteristics of the matching dyads, and thereby to disclose the connection between twelve-tone methods and conventional harmony.
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