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 Language: English
 Degree Discipline: Music Theory
Algorithmic Music Analysis: a Case Study of a Prelude From David Cope’s “From Darkness, Light”

Algorithmic Music Analysis: a Case Study of a Prelude From David Cope’s “From Darkness, Light”

Date: May 2015
Creator: Krämer, Reiner
Description: The use of algorithms in compositional practice has been in use for centuries. With the advent of computers, formalized procedures have become an important part of computer music. David Cope is an American composer that has pioneered systems that make use of artificial intelligence programming techniques. In this dissertation one of David Cope’s compositions that was generated with one of his processes is examined in detail. A general timeline of algorithmic compositional practice is outlined from a historical perspective, and realized in the Common Lisp programming language as a musicological tool. David Cope’s compositional output is summarized with an explanation of what types of systems he has utilized in the analyses of other composers’ music, and the composition of his own music. Twentieth century analyses techniques are formalized within Common Lisp as algorithmic analyses tools. The tools are then combined with techniques developed within other computational music analyses tools, and applied toward the analysis of Cope’s prelude. A traditional music theory analysis of the composition is provided, and outcomes of computational analyses augment the traditional analysis. The outcome of the computational analyses, or algorithmic analyses, is represented in statistical data, and corresponding probabilities. From the resulting data sets part of ...
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Tonality and the Extended Common Practice in the Music of Thad Jones

Tonality and the Extended Common Practice in the Music of Thad Jones

Date: May 2015
Creator: Rogers, Michael A
Description: Tonality is a term often used to describe the music of the common practice period (roughly 1600-1900). This study examines the music of mid twentieth-century jazz composer Thad Jones in light of an extended common practice, explicating ways in which this music might be best understood as tonal. Drawing from analyses of three of Jones’s big band compositions: To You, Three and One, and Cherry Juice, this study examines three primary elements in detail. First is Jones’s use of chord-scale application techniques in the orchestration over various chordal qualities represented by the symbols, revealing traditional as well as innovative methods by Jones. Second is Jones’s use of harmonic progressions, demonstrating his connection to past practice as well as modern jazz variations. Third is Jones’s use of contrapuntal connections and their traditional relationship to functional tonality, but in a chromatic scale-based environment. Jones’s music is presented in this study to demonstrate a tonal jazz common practice that represents an amalgamation of traditions including twentieth-century scale-based procedures, Renaissance and early twentieth-century modality, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century voice leading schemas, and Baroque and Classical descending-fifth progressions. Also included as an appendix is a list of possible note errors in the published scores of To ...
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Ligeti’s Early Experiments in Compositional Process: Simple Structures in Musica Ricercata

Ligeti’s Early Experiments in Compositional Process: Simple Structures in Musica Ricercata

Date: December 2014
Creator: Grantham, Daniel
Description: This study examines the formation of a unique chromatic and formal language in Musica Ricercata by György Ligeti. The study begins by examining statements from an interview with Ligeti conducted by Ove Nordwall in 1979. The interview discusses his compositional experiments from the early 1950s, the period in which Musica Ricercata was composed. Working from Ligeti’s words, “simple structures” are defined as repeating formations of rhythms and intervals with easily discernable features. These features must be salient such that when the structure is altered, it is still clearly and audibly recognizable. The musical and political environment in Hungary at the time is established, providing context for this early experimentation with compositional parameters. The analysis begins with an overview of the entire work, outlining developments of pitch-class density, symmetrical pitch-class structures, and notated accelerandi over the course of the multi-movement work. Analyses of simple structures in each movement elucidate both Ligeti’s experimental approaches to chromaticism, along with more traditional aspects, with special reference to Bartók’s compositional style.
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Theorizing Atonality: Herbert Eimert’s and Jefim Golyscheff’s Contributions to Composing with Twelve Tones

Theorizing Atonality: Herbert Eimert’s and Jefim Golyscheff’s Contributions to Composing with Twelve Tones

Date: August 2014
Creator: Weaver, Jennifer L.
Description: In 1924, Herbert Eimert’s Atonale Musiklehre was the first published text to describe a systematic approach to composing atonal music. It contains significant contributions to the discourse on the early development of twelve-tone composition. While Eimert uses the term “atonal” to describe his compositional approach, his definition of atonality demands that all twelve tones be present with none repeated, and that they present as complexes not ordered rows. Eimert’s discussion of atonality differs from others of the same period because he focuses on vertical sonorities and introduces “interlocking complexes”, wherein two separate statements of the aggregate can overlap by one pitch or by a set of pitches. Interlocking complexes are an important feature of Eimert’s string quartet Fünf Stücke für Streichquartett, which was published in 1925 and composed at the same time as Atonale Musiklehre was written. In the foreword to Atonale Musiklehre, Eimert clarifies that he is not the originator of the concept of atonality, rather that he absorbed the ideas of Josef Matthias Hauer and Jefim Golyscheff. Twelve-tone complexes appear first in Golyscheff’s 1914 String Trio. He refers to them as “twelve-tone duration complexes” and labels them in the score. As the name “duration complexes” implies, there are ...
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Gualterio Armando's 34 Canciones Hispanoamericanas Para Canto Y Piano: a Comprehensive Edition and an Analytical Study of the Work’s Thematic Unity, Chromaticism, and Use of Musical Quotations

Gualterio Armando's 34 Canciones Hispanoamericanas Para Canto Y Piano: a Comprehensive Edition and an Analytical Study of the Work’s Thematic Unity, Chromaticism, and Use of Musical Quotations

Date: May 2014
Creator: Pérez Torres, René
Description: During the 1930s, German-born music critic and composer Gualterio Armando (1887-1973), formerly known as Walter Dahms, set to music thirty-four poems by some of the most important Hispano-American poets from the latter part of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. In these songs, Armando tries to capture the spirit and idiosyncrasy of Hispano-American cultures while incorporating his own musical aesthetics. Armando’s 34 Canciones Hispanoamericanas para Canto y Piano (34 Hispano-American songs for voice and piano) display an original sound and style full of rhythms, shapes, colors, and textures found in the music of various Hispanic cultures. Nevertheless, the essence of these songs is deeply rooted in nineteenth-century German musical traditions. This eclecticism results in unique works that developed and evolved as reflections of their creator’s musical psyche. This dissertation presents an analytical study of selected songs from the 34 Canciones. The study focuses on three compositional aspects: unity within song cycles, chromaticism, and the use of pre-existing musical material. Since only one of the 34 Canciones has ever been published, this document also includes a complete edition of the thirty-four songs. Additionally, a significant part of the research incorporates a biographical sketch of the composer.
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Thematic and Formal Narrative in Respighi’s Sinfonia Drammatica

Thematic and Formal Narrative in Respighi’s Sinfonia Drammatica

Date: May 2014
Creator: Amato, Alexander G.
Description: Respighi’s scarcely-known orchestral work Sinfonia Drammatica lives up to its title by evoking a narrative throughout the course of its three movements. In this dissertation, I argue how the work’s surface, subsurface, and formal elements suggest this narrative which emerges as a cycle of rising and falling dramatic tension. I explain how Respighi constructs the work’s narrative in the musical surface through a diverse body of themes that employ three motives of contour. The disposition and manipulation of these motives within the themes suggest frequent fluctuations of the level of conflict throughout the symphony as a whole. To show the involvement of musical forms in the work’s narrative, I employ an approach which integrates harmony and thematic behavior. I utilize analytical methods from the current Formenlehre, including terms from James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy’s sonata deformation theory and William Caplin’s theories of formal functions to elucidate ties between the forms of the Sinfonia Drammatica’s movements and those of conventional sonata forms of the late-eighteenth century. This dissertation also employs Heinrich Schenker’s theories of structures, voice leading, and reduction to illustrate large-scale aspects of the Sinfonia Drammatica’s narrative. The resulting analyses show Respighi’s elaborations of common structural paradigms which serve to ...
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Redeeming the Betrayer: Elgar’s Portrayal of Judas in the Apostles

Redeeming the Betrayer: Elgar’s Portrayal of Judas in the Apostles

Date: December 2013
Creator: Taycher, Ryan
Description: Despite its generally agreed importance, very little has been written about The Apostles. Even among the extant publications that address The Apostles, scholars have focused on its history and development, its reception, or analytical descriptions of its surface themes. The aim of this study will therefore be to provide neither a biography of Elgar, nor an account of the genesis of the work, but to analyze The Apostles in a manner that will achieve a deeper understanding of the oratorio. Chapter 1 explores the complexities that surround Judas and the different ways in which he was perceived throughout history. Then, through my analysis of the surface motives in Chapter 2 and their significance in relation to the large-scale harmonic structure in Chapter 3, I will suggest that Elgar does not denigrate Judas as the betrayer of Christ in The Apostles, but rather depicts him as a tragic yet crucial figure in achieving the redemption of mankind, and through this Judas himself is redeemed.
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Deconstructing Webern's Op 25, Drei Lieder: a Multidimensional Assessment

Deconstructing Webern's Op 25, Drei Lieder: a Multidimensional Assessment

Date: August 2013
Creator: Morgeson, Paul Taylor
Description: Webern scholarship has not comprehensively examined op. 25, drei lieder. If the selection of text for op. 25 is viewed as one work in three movements they create a ternary form (A-B-A1). To show how this form is developed in the music the author creates a new analytical system based on Schoenberg's Grundgestalt which is defined by three basic ideas: symmetry, liquidation, and variation. The relationship between the voice and accompaniment and Webern's deliberate manipulation of the text is used to reveal the use of a program which is then tied to the numerical symbolism of 2 and 3.
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Arvo Pärt and Three Types of His Tintinnabuli Technique

Arvo Pärt and Three Types of His Tintinnabuli Technique

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kongwattananon, Oranit
Description: Arvo Pärt, an Estonian composer, was born in 1935. Most of the works at the beginning of his career were for piano in the neo-classical style. After that, he turned his interest to serial music and continued creating works with serial techniques throughout the 1960s. After his "self-imposed silence" period (during the years 1968-1976), Pärt emerged with a new musical style, which he called tintinnabuli. Although, this technique was influenced by music from the medieval period, the texture and function of its musical style cannot be described easily in terms of any single musical technique of the past. This study explores the evolution of Arvo Pärt's tintinnabuli technique in its first decade 1976-1985, which is divided into three different types. It provides musical examples from the scores of selected works, Für Alina, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Cantate Domino canticum novum, Missa Sillabica, Stabat Mater and Es sang vor langen Jahren, and their analyses with supporting interpretative sketches. The goal of this thesis is to provide the reader a basis for understanding and recognizing the different types of Pärt's tintinnabuli technique.
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Jacques Ibert: an Analytical Study of Three Movements From Histoires

Jacques Ibert: an Analytical Study of Three Movements From Histoires

Date: August 2012
Creator: Waldroup, William Allan
Description: Although many biographical studies are available on Jacques Ibert, few contain significant analytical commentary. In this study I examine three movements from Ibert’s Histoires for piano which was composed between 1920 and 1921 and was premiered in 1923. The three movements are “La menuese de tortues d’or,” “Le petit âne blanc,” and “La marchande d’eau fraîche.” I primarily use Schenkerian analysis to identify characteristics of Ibert’s compositional language. Significant aspects of impressionism and Debussian influence are also identified as related elements to my analysis. Many expected elements of Schenkerian theory are absent in Histoires. The conclusions of this study are consistent with those of other analysts who apply Schenkerian methodology to impressionist music such as Richard Parks, Adele Katz, Felix Salzer, and Edward Laufer.
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