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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Composition
 Degree Level: Doctoral
Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Date: August 2016
Creator: Robin, Bradley G.
Description: This dissertation explores the analysis and creation of compositions from the standpoint of texture and momentum. It is comprised of four chapters. The first presents a number of concepts as tools for analysis, including textural typography and transformation, perception of time and psychological engagement of an audience, and respiration as a metaphor for musical momentum. The second and third chapters apply these tools to Gerard Grisey's "Periodes" and "Partiels," and Brian Ferneyhough's "Lemma-Icon-Epigram." The fourth explores specific methodologies used in composing my dissertation piece, "Phase," including the application of number systems ranging from formal to local levels.
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Compositional approaches within new media paradigms.

Compositional approaches within new media paradigms.

Date: May 2016
Creator: Oliveiro, Mark A
Description: "Compositional Approaches to New Media Paradigms" is the discursive accompaniment to the original composition BoMoH, (a new media chamber opera. A variety of new media concepts and practices are discussed in relation to their use as a contemporary compositional methodology for computer musicians and digital content producers. This paper aligns relevant discourse with a variety of concepts as they influence and affect the compositional process. This paper does not propose a new working method; rather it draws attention to a contemporary interdisciplinary practice that facilitates new possibilities for engagement and aesthetics in digital art/music. Finally, in demonstrating a selection of the design principals, from a variety of new media theories of interest, in compositional structure and concept, it is my hope to provide composers and computer musicians with a tested resource that will function as a helpful set of working guidelines for producing new media enabled art, sonic or otherwise.
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The Sound-Poetry of the Instability of Reality: Mimesis in Music, Literature, and Visual Art

The Sound-Poetry of the Instability of Reality: Mimesis in Music, Literature, and Visual Art

Date: May 2016
Creator: Underriner, Charles Francis
Description: This paper uses the concept of mimesis to clarify the debate concerning the representation of reality in music. Specifically, this study defines the audio reality effect and the three main practices of realism as a way of understanding mimetic practices in multiple artistic media, in particular regarding the multimedia works of the "Landscape series." After addressing the historical debates concerning mimesis, this study develops a framework for the understanding of mimesis in sound by addressing the writings of Weiss, Baudrillard, Barthes, Deleuze, and Prendergast and by examining mimetic practices in 19th-century European painting and multimedia performance works. The audio reality effect is proposed as a meaningful translation of Roland Barthes' literary reality effect to the sonic realm. The main trends of realist practice are applied to electroacoustic music and soundscape composition using the works and writings of Emmerson, Truax, Wishart, Risset, Riddell, Smalley, Murray Schafer, Fischman, Young, and Field. Lastly, this study mimetically analyzes "2 seconds / b minor / wave" by Michael Pisaro and Taku Sugimoto and the works of the "Landscape series" in order to demonstrate the relevance of mimesis for understanding current musical practice.
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Ta/v\am: Real-time Audio/video Scrubbing Tools for Analysis of Multimedia and G®¡nd

Ta/v\am: Real-time Audio/video Scrubbing Tools for Analysis of Multimedia and G®¡nd

Date: May 2015
Creator: Tramte, Daniel Albert
Description: tA/v\Am (the Audio/Video Analysis Machine) is an interactive analysis engine optimized for audio/visual mediums, such as film, video games, and music. I designed tA/v\Am to allow users to pace the playback speed of videos containing sub-title style analytical text, without affecting the pitch content of the audio. The software affords writers the opportunity to display the relevant sensory data (i.e., analytical text and sound/visual media) more efficiently than the paper format. It also serves as a flexible medium; the writer may, for example, compress extensive text into a short amount of time, causing the reader to pause or slow down the rate of the video and thus suspending him/her in the sensorial moment which the writer describes. G®¡ND for Alto Saxophone, Percussion & Electronics is an exploration of the tipping point between signal and noise. Through tablature notation, MIR tools, granular synthesis, and the deconstruction of the saxophone, I have assembled a palette of inordinately contrasting sounds and threaded them together based on action profiles obtained by computer assisted analysis. With them, I have set varying physical conditions of friction that dictates whether the sonic energy is to become focused to one resonant point, or distributed equally/randomly throughout the spectrum ...
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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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Transfantasies for Flauto Traverso, Computer Music, and Dance

Transfantasies for Flauto Traverso, Computer Music, and Dance

Date: May 2013
Creator: Fick, Jason
Description: TransFantasies is an interdisciplinary composition for Baroque flute (flauto traverso), computer music, and dance. A crucial component of the work is an interactive hardware and software environment that provides the opportunity for the players to shape aspects of the work during the performance. This essay discusses the influences that inspired the work and presents an in-depth analysis of notable elements of the composition. Primary issues include compositional models for gesture-based composition, historical performance practices, interactivity, and relationships between music and dance. The final component of the essay details the software component designed to create the composition. It also discusses music technology in current practice and its role in this particular work. At its core, TransFantasies is concerned with those moments where computer-influenced decisions and human behaviors collide.
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Fidget, Sway, and Swerve: Three Works Inspired By Movement From the Intricate Maneuvers Series

Fidget, Sway, and Swerve: Three Works Inspired By Movement From the Intricate Maneuvers Series

Date: December 2012
Creator: Summar, Sarah Page
Description: Intricate Maneuvers is a series of musical works that were composed using movement as a model for compositional processes and forms. This essay presents in-depth analyses of three works from the series; Fidget, Sway: The Mildest Form of Falling, and Swerve for Chamber Ensemble. The analysis of each work highlights correlations between the musical characteristics of that work and the temporal, spatial, contextual, and psychological implications of the motion after which it was modeled. The third chapter also demonstrates the ways in which the creation of Sway was influenced by materials and processes taken from Ruth Crawford's String Quartet 1931. In order to investigate the question of how life experiences can function as models for compositional processes, the essay examines precedents for the compositional modeling of extra-musical ideas and images in the works of Bed?ich Smetana, Elliott Carter and Roger Reynolds. It also discusses approaches to modeling movement in music created for dance. Throughout the Intricate Maneuvers series, movement is modeled not merely to create an association between a musical work and a particular movement pattern, but rather to infuse the compositions with the dynamism that defines a particular kinetic experience.
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Ocean of Forms: for Soprano and Computer

Ocean of Forms: for Soprano and Computer

Date: May 2012
Creator: Price, Lee Scott
Description: Ocean of Forms is a cycle of five songs for solo soprano voice and electronic/computer music accompaniment on poems by noted Bengali poet, musician, philosopher, and author Rabindranath Tagore. This work approaches the song cycle as a vehicle for expressing and highlighting the poet's words. Word and syllabic stress, text painting, melodic development, and formal structure all function in relation to the text and its meaning. the replacement of the traditional piano accompaniment with electronic accompaniment provides further possibilities for new timbral structures and transformations, expressive microtonal intonation, algorithmic and aleatoric formal structures, acousmatic and spatialized sound, and a broad sonic palette. This work strives to provide a more fully developed expression of the text as afforded by these expanded musical means. the critical essay primarily explores the interaction between text and music in the work. the first chapter explores the historical precedents for the genre of the song cycle and other texted music as well as specific influences on the work. the following chapters explore the connections between the text and the vocal line and electronic/computer music, respectively. the final chapter deals with the formal structure of the work, especially the justly-tuned harmonic scheme and its relation to the ...
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Relent: a Composition for Alto Saxophone, Double Bass, Two Percussion, and Interactive Electronics

Relent: a Composition for Alto Saxophone, Double Bass, Two Percussion, and Interactive Electronics

Date: May 2012
Creator: Johansen, Benjamin David
Description: relent is a sacred work within the genre of interactive electronic music. the 20-minute composition is a multi-movement piece for four instrumentalists (saxophone, double bass, and two percussion) and computer that is inspired by the gospel message. relent is specifically about the gospel message that Christ died for man’s sins, rose from the dead, and through faith in him man can be reconciled to God. This project was an experiment in creating a work with a programmatic extramusical structure. in preparation for writing a piece based on Christian programmatic content, this paper presents an overview of research conducted on the intersection between art and Christianity referencing authors such as Harold Best, Nikolai Berdyaev, Hans Rookmaaker, Calvin Seerveld, Daniel Seidell, A. W. Tozer, Steve Turner, and Cornelius Van Til. This work was an experiment in trying to make very direct and specific musical ties to the narrative of the Gospel. Another highly experimental aspect of relent was in the way interactive electronics were used. Each acoustic instrument in the work has its own input and module within the Max patch, extending each acoustic instrument rather than adding an electronic accompaniment component. Additionally, non-traditional notation, both codified and real-time computer generated, improvisation, ...
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Galileo's Eyeglass: An Orchestral Work Celebrating the Discovery of the Moons of Jupiter and the Rings of Saturn

Galileo's Eyeglass: An Orchestral Work Celebrating the Discovery of the Moons of Jupiter and the Rings of Saturn

Date: August 2011
Creator: Walls, Jay Alan
Description: Galileo's Eyeglass is a celebratory work for full orchestra with standard instrumentation commemorating Galileo Galilei's discoveries of the four largest moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn in 1610. The composition is approximately 14 minutes in duration, and although divided thematically into four parts, the music is continuous. The work exhibits primarily a blend of contemporary styles and compositional elements, yet it is rooted in traditional tonality; furthermore, the piece is interspersed with references to Galileo's life and times, including quotations of a toccata composed by the scientist's brother, Michelangelo Galilei, transcribed from lute tablature. Chapter 1 of Part 1 investigates relevant historical threads extracted from the backdrop of Galileo's life, from reflections on the events that shape the musical program, to the selection and preparation of the period music composed by Galileo's brother. Chapter 2 discusses specific musical components of Galileo's Eyeglass, including form, musical quotations, motivic and thematic material, harmonic language, orchestration, and notation. Chapter 3 examines the principal philosophical themes behind the composition, including expressions of victory of a life well lived in spite of many obstacles. Part 2 contains the orchestral score.
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Dream of a Thousand Keys: A Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

Dream of a Thousand Keys: A Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

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Date: May 2011
Creator: Choi, Da Jeong
Description: Dream of a Thousand Keys is a concerto for piano and orchestra, which consists of four movements presenting multiple dimensional meanings as suggested by the word "key." I trace the derivation of Korean traditional rhythmic cycles and numerical sequences, such as the Fibonacci series, that are used throughout the work, and explore the significant role of space between the soloist and piano that are emphasized in a theatrical aspect of the composition. The essay addresses the question of musical contrasts, similarities, and metamorphosis. Lastly, I cover terms and concepts of significant 21st-century compositional techniques that come into play in the analysis of this work.
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Aesthetic and Technical Analysis on Soar!

Aesthetic and Technical Analysis on Soar!

Date: August 2010
Creator: Wang, Hsiao-Lan
Description: Soar! is a musical composition written for wind ensemble and computer music. The total duration of the work is approximately 10 minutes. Flocking behavior of migratory birds serves as the most prominent influence on the imagery and local structure of the composition. The cyclical nature of the birds' journey inspires palindromic designs in the temporal domain. Aesthetically, Soar! portrays the fluid shapes of the flocks with numerous grains in the sounds. This effect is achieved by giving individual parts high degree of independence, especially in regards to rhythm. Technically, Soar! explores various interactions among instrumental lines in a wind ensemble, constructs overarching symmetrical structures, and integrates a large ensemble with computer music. The conductor acts as the leader at several improvisational moments in Soar! The use of conductor-initiated musical events in the piece can be traced back through the historic lineage of aleatoric compositions since the middle of the twentieth century. [Score is on p. 54-92.]
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Characterizing Noise and Harmonicity: The Structural Function of Contrasting Sonic Components in Electronic Composition

Characterizing Noise and Harmonicity: The Structural Function of Contrasting Sonic Components in Electronic Composition

Date: May 2010
Creator: Dribus, John Alexander
Description: This dissertation examines the role of noise in shaping the form of several recent musical compositions. This study demonstrates how the contrast of noisy sounds and harmonic sounds can impact the structure of compositions. Depending on context, however, the specific use and function of noise can vary substantially from one work to the next. The first portion of this paper describes methods for quantifying noise content using FFT analysis procedures. A number of tests on instrumental and synthetic sound sources are described in order to demonstrate how the analysis system may react to certain sounds. The second part of this document consists of several analyses of whole musical works. Works for acoustic instruments are examined first, followed by works for electronic media. During these analyses, it becomes clear that while the use of noise in each work is based largely upon context, some common patterns do exist across different works. The final portion of the paper examines an original work which was written with the function of noise specifically in mind. The original work is put through the same analysis procedures as works seen earlier in the paper, and some conclusions are drawn regarding both the possibilities and limitations of ...
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The Creative Process in Cross-Influential Composition

The Creative Process in Cross-Influential Composition

Date: May 2010
Creator: Anderson, Jonathan Douglas
Description: This dissertation describes a compositional model rooted in cross-influential methodology between complementary musical compositions that share generative source material. In their simultaneous construction, two composition pairs presented challenges that influenced and mediated the other's development with respect to timbre, transposition, pitch material, effects processing, and form. A working prototype first provides a model that is later developed. The first work Thema is for piano alone, and the companion piece Am3ht is for piano and live computer processing via the graphical programming environment Max/MSP. Compositional processes used in the prototype solidify the cross-influential model, demanding flexibility and a dialectic approach. Ideas set forth in the prototype are then explored through a second pair of compositions rooted in cross-influential methodology. The first work Lusmore is scored for solo contrabass and Max/MSP. The second composition Knockgrafton is scored for string orchestra. The flexibility of the cross-influential model is revealed more fully through a discussion of each work's musical development. The utility of the cross-influential compositional model is discussed, particularly within higher academia.
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Cultural and Technical Perspectives on Winter Landscape

Cultural and Technical Perspectives on Winter Landscape

Date: December 2009
Creator: Wang, Jing
Description: Winter Landscape is an interactive composition for erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle), flute, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. The total duration of the piece is approximately 15 minutes. Winter Landscape serves to demonstrate one particular approach to exploring the possibilities afforded in an interactive paradigm within a cross-cultural context. The work is intended to convey my personality and identity as a contemporary Chinese composer through diverse cultural and musical influences drawn to this particular piece while creating a balance between traditional and modern sounds. The influences of Chinese philosophy (especially Chán) and the essence of Chinese traditional music play a prominent role as demonstrated in the formation of structures, expressions, and concept of Yun in the work; these influences also play a great role in determining the instrumentation and basic pitch structures of the work. However, this work is equally influenced by techniques and practices of modern Western classical music. These diverse influences hopefully have resulted in a unique work that truly does represent a cross-synthesis of these varying influences. In Winter Landscape, the interaction that takes place between the computer and the live musician is intended to reveal the responsive human/machine relationships. The computer constantly shifts its roles ...
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Augeries, for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Tape: Aesthetic Discussion and Theoretical Analysis

Augeries, for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Tape: Aesthetic Discussion and Theoretical Analysis

Date: May 2009
Creator: Gedosh, David
Description: Augeries is a multi-channel electro-acoustic composition for flute, clarinet, percussion, and tape. It is intended to be diffused through an 8-channnel playback system. Inspired by the first four lines of William Blake's Augeries of Innocence, Augeries captures the qualitative aspects of Blake's poetry by presenting the listener with an equally aperspectival aesthetic experience. The small-scale structure reflected on the large-scale form - the infusion of vastness and expansiveness into the fragile and minute. Augeries incorporates techniques of expansion and contraction, metonymic relationships, dilation and infolding of time, and structured improvisation to create an experience that is designed to explore the notion of musical time, and to bring to the listener the sense of time freedom. The critical analysis suggests that the increase in the notions of musical time, the aesthetics with which they conform, and the new time forms created, encapsulate communicative significance. This significance exists within a horizon of meaning. Semiotics illuminates an understanding of the structuring techniques used to render time as an area of artistic play. Understanding the aesthetics and mechanisms through which these techniques can be used constitutes a shared horizon of meaning. The concepts of cultural phenomenologist Jean Gebser, as explicated in The Ever-Present Origin, ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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