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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Composition
 Degree Level: Master's
"Deborah": The Creation of a Chamber Oratorio in One Act

"Deborah": The Creation of a Chamber Oratorio in One Act

Date: May 2016
Creator: Mixter, Mary
Description: In comparing oratorio traits across history, three aspects of oratorio were found to be particularly applicable to the creation of "Deborah: A Chamber Oratorio in One Act." These aspects were: the selection of topic and the creation or adaptation of text; the differences between recitative and aria, in form and function; and the level of stylistic diversity within a given work.
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An Analysis of Du cristal…à la fumée by Kaija Saariaho and Axiom Unearthed, Original Composition

An Analysis of Du cristal…à la fumée by Kaija Saariaho and Axiom Unearthed, Original Composition

Date: May 2015
Creator: Allen, John Clay
Description: Beginning in the 1970s, and aided by the advancement and an increased prevalence of computers, spectral music emerged as an important development in twentieth century music. Spectral composers, as exemplified by Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail, took the harmonic spectra of sounds as the fundamental materials of composition. The resulting music placed an emphasis on texture and gradually evolving forms. The generation of composers immediately following the spectralists assimilated their techniques into distinct and varying styles. Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho uses spectral techniques to create an aesthetic that generates form and progression from a sound/noise axis. In her piece Du cristal…à la fumée, a number of pendulum and half-pendulum gestures build up texture and form. The accompanying original composition Axiom Unearthed employs similar pendulum gestures and uses spectral techniques to generate melody and harmony in an aesthetic divergent from traditional spectral pieces.
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The Nothingness of Presence: Sound, Ritual, and Encounter in the Music of Into Your Hands

The Nothingness of Presence: Sound, Ritual, and Encounter in the Music of Into Your Hands

Date: May 2015
Creator: Evans, Eric
Description: The ritual music written for the Compline service of the Liturgy of the Hours, Into Your Hands, is analyzed using an ontological and phenomenological approach, which seeks to answer how such sound/musical phenomena wed to the specific ritual dynamics of Compline in their own right can create a potential for encounter with the Divine. The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber’s understanding of encounter is used to show that the sound/musical phenomena in itself bears similarities with the nature of the Judeo/Christian God, and such a nature is revealed to be both irreducibly non-conceptual as well as an entity that establishes the ontological actuality of one’s being. Studies in the beginnings of humanity at large as well as the beginnings of the individual fetus reveal that an integrated expression of music and ritual can be said to have formed the impetus of such ontological beginnings through encounter. Therefore, one of the first sounds heard in the womb - that of water (or amniotic fluid) - constitutes what may be an archetypal sound of encounter. The phenomenological effects of such an archetype are analyzed in the music of Into Your Hands through topics such as the loss of aural perspective, immersion, dynamic swells, ...
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Violetting Through August’s End (Or the Sunset in Water, the Carillon-chime in Square): an Original Chamber Opera and a Critical Essay on the Trajectory of American Minimalist Opera

Violetting Through August’s End (Or the Sunset in Water, the Carillon-chime in Square): an Original Chamber Opera and a Critical Essay on the Trajectory of American Minimalist Opera

Date: December 2014
Creator: Doyle, James Joseph
Description: When the dust settles, John Adams’s Nixon in China and Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach may stand as the most important operas of the latter twentieth century. The critical essay portion of this thesis examines the trajectory of minimalist opera, from its beginnings with Glass’s Einstein on the Beach through the more romantic operas of John Adams, Steve Reich’s multimedia opera The Cave, David Lang’s musical-influenced The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, and finally the post-minimalist operas currently being staged by young composer Nico Muhly. It examines the differences between the more abstract trajectory established by the early Glass operas and the plot driven trajectory established by operas more commonly associated with John Adams, most significantly Nixon in China. Additionally, the aforementioned pieces are compared and contrasted with the author’s newly composed chamber opera Violetting through August’s End (or the sunset in water, the carillon-chime in square).
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“Before I Die…”: Original Composition with a Critical Essay Exploring the Techniques of Six Crossover Composers

“Before I Die…”: Original Composition with a Critical Essay Exploring the Techniques of Six Crossover Composers

Date: August 2014
Creator: Trusko, Robert
Description: Candy Chang developed a public art installation where people are given the opportunity to write their answers to "Before I Die I want to ________." in a public space. I created one of these walls in Denton, TX and set it to music in a 12 minutes and 42 second piece titled Before I Die..., which combines elements of South Indian carnatic music, gospel, R&B, jazz fusion, and minimalism. The composition was influenced by the music of several crossover artists Becca Stevens, Michael League (Snarky Puppy), Nico Muhly, Poovalur Sriji, Tigran Hamasyan, and James Blake. Crossover music, fusion, and third-stream are all synonymous terms used to describe music where multiple genres or styles are authentically combined. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the balance of musical elements in crossover works as well as how specific works composed by the artists mentioned have influenced the creation of the Before I Die... piece.
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Blueline Concerto: Critical Essay

Blueline Concerto: Critical Essay

Date: August 2013
Creator: Lamb, Christopher
Description: The purpose of this critical essay is two-fold. First, the essay presents a detailed critical analysis of my original composition, Blueline Concerto for bass trombone and wind ensemble. Second, using Blueline Concerto, the essay presents preliminary findings of my study to develop an approach to composing that takes into account the musicians' health, specifically regarding noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Through various hypothesized composition- and orchestral-based approaches, I test effectiveness on changes in NIHL risk while also noting that artistic merit and compositional integrity is preserved.
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Brass Band History and Idiomatic Writing in Brass Music

Brass Band History and Idiomatic Writing in Brass Music

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kahler, Elyse T.
Description: The purpose of this research was to explore historical perspective of brass music. There is a brief history of brass bands in Britain. Furthermore, the paper examines the differences between two brass band pieces in the repertoire, A Western Fanfare by Eric Ewazen and Brass Symphony by Jan Koetsier. Both of these pieces were compared and contrasted against the author's newly composed work for brass, Two Companion Pieces for Brass Ensemble. The paper covers different techniques commonly used in brass writing and points these techniques out in all three pieces.
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Some Soundwalks (Denton, Tx)

Some Soundwalks (Denton, Tx)

Date: May 2013
Creator: Jackson, Jonathan
Description: some soundwalks (Denton, TX) is an audio portrait of the Denton square - the area in downtown Denton bordered by the streets Oak, Hickory, Elm, and Locust. For three months (June - August, 2012), I went on soundwalks in this area, recording the soundscape and collecting material from each hour of the twenty-four hours of the day. The resulting work is presented as a layered montage of this gathered material that takes the listener on a twenty-four hour journey through the Denton square in about eighteen minutes. Ultimately, this sonic portrait of the Denton square is my subjective reaction to the daily soundscape of an area of Denton that embodies a strong sense of tradition combined with a newer presence of a growing population.
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Never Odd Or Even: Using Temporal Structures In Composing Music For Dance

Never Odd Or Even: Using Temporal Structures In Composing Music For Dance

Date: May 2012
Creator: Bernardo, Daniel
Description: This study engages the collaboration of dance and music, focusing primarily on experiences in the production of a large scale collaborative concert entitled Never Odd or Even. Famous historical collaborations offer archetypal collaborative models, the more unconventional of which are applied to the pieces of the concert. Issues and observations regarding cross-influence, project evolution, and application of the collaborative models are engaged to determine effective means of collaboration given different circumstances. The key focus of the study, the temporal relationship between music and dance, is explored in great detail to determine three models for relating time between music and dance. These temporal relationship models are applied to the pieces and evaluated on effectiveness and potential strengths when applied to dance.
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Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Date: December 2010
Creator: Lucas, Stephen
Description: Pleroma is a digital drama: a work composed of digital animation combined with electroacoustic music, presenting an original dramatic narrative. Pleroma's dramatic elements evoke both the classical form of tragedy and the concept of perceptual paradox. A structural overview of the drama and its characters and a plot synopsis are given to provide context for the critical discussion. Analytical descriptions of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture Op.62 and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 are provided to give background on tragic form and Platonic allegory in music. An investigation into the elements discussed in the analysis of the instrumental works reveals several layers of possible interpretation in Pleroma. Dramatic elements allow for tragic narratives to be constructed, but they are complemented by character associations formed by pitch relationships, stylistic juxtapositions, and instrumentation. A copy of the dramatic text is included to supplement the multimedia production.
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Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Date: December 2010
Creator: Lucas, Stephen
Description: Pleroma is a digital drama: a work composed of digital animation combined with electroacoustic music, presenting an original dramatic narrative. Pleroma's dramatic elements evoke both the classical form of tragedy and the concept of perceptual paradox. A structural overview of the drama and its characters and a plot synopsis are given to provide context for the critical discussion. Analytical descriptions of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture Op.62 and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 are provided to give background on tragic form and Platonic allegory in music. An investigation into the elements discussed in the analysis of the instrumental works reveals several layers of possible interpretation in Pleroma. Dramatic elements allow for tragic narratives to be constructed, but they are complemented by character associations formed by pitch relationships, stylistic juxtapositions, and instrumentation. A copy of the dramatic text is included to supplement the multimedia production: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33228/
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Source-bonding as a Variable in Electroacoustic Composition: Faktura and Acoustics in Understatements

Source-bonding as a Variable in Electroacoustic Composition: Faktura and Acoustics in Understatements

Date: December 2010
Creator: Rostovtsev, Ilya Y.
Description: Understatements for two-channel fixed media is a four-movement study of the sonic potential of acoustic instruments within the practice of electroacoustic studio composition. The musical identity of the entire composition is achieved through consistent approaches to disparate instrumental materials and a focused investigation of the relationships between the various acoustic timbres and their electroacoustic treatments. The analytical section of this paper builds on contemporary research in electroacoustic arts. The analysis of the work is preceded by a summary of theoretical and aesthetic approaches within electroacoustic composition and the introduction of primary criteria of sonic faktura (material essence) used in the compositional process. The analyses address the idiosyncratic use of the concept of faktura to contextualize and guide the unfolding of the work. The reconciliation of the illusory electronic textures and the acoustic sources that parented them may be considered the ultimate goal of Understatements.
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Fractus I for Trumpet in C and Electronic Sound: A Critical Examination of the Compositional Process

Fractus I for Trumpet in C and Electronic Sound: A Critical Examination of the Compositional Process

Date: May 2010
Creator: Fieldsteel, Eli Mulvey
Description: Fractus I is a composition for trumpet in C and live electronic sound. The electronics were primarily created using SuperCollider, an environment and programming language for real time audio synthesis. This project investigates SuperCollider's pattern and task functionality as a means of supporting and enriching the compositional process. Fractus I develops several different code architectures in order to randomize as well as synchronize various musical elements. The piece exploits SuperCollider as both an audio synthesis tool and a performance conduit. Additionally, the nature of SuperCollider's patterns and tasks influences the form and content of the composition. The project underscores SuperCollider as a powerful, versatile and open-ended tool for musical composition and examines future directions and improvements.
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This Creature, Bride of Christ

This Creature, Bride of Christ

Date: May 2010
Creator: Bober, Nicholas Bradburn
Description: This Creature, Bride of Christ is a composition for soprano, alto flute, viola, marimba, and computer running custom software for live interactive performance in the Max/MSP environment. The work is a setting of excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe, an early autobiographical manuscript depicting the life of a Christian mystic. The thesis discusses the historical, sociological, and musical context of the text and its musical setting; the use of borrowed materials from music of John Dunstable, Richard Wagner, and the tradition of change ringing; and the technologies used to realize the computer accompaniment. A score of the work is also included in the appendix.
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GranCloud: A real-time granular synthesis application and its implementation in the interactive composition Creo.

GranCloud: A real-time granular synthesis application and its implementation in the interactive composition Creo.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Lee, Terry Alan
Description: GranCloud is new application for the generation of real-time granular synthesis in the SuperCollider programming environment. Although the software was initially programmed for use in the interactive composition Creo, it was implemented as an independent program for use in any computer music project. GranCloud consists of a set of SuperCollider classes representing granular clouds and parameter objects defining control data for the synthesis. The software is very flexible, allowing users to create their own grain synthesis definitions and control parameters. Cloud objects encapsulate all of the control data and methods necessary to render virtually any type of granular synthesis. Parameter objects provide several simple methods for mapping grain parameters to complex changing data sets or to external data sources. GranCloud simplifies the complex task of generating granular synthesis, allowing composers to focus less on technological issues and more on musical considerations during the compositional process.
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Rete Mirabile: An Installation

Rete Mirabile: An Installation

Date: August 2009
Creator: Rivera, Philip Andrew
Description: Rete Mirabile is my new installation piece combining scientific principles with live computer generated music. The title is a Latin term meaning "Wonderful Net," which I use to refer to the highly convoluted network of biological data that drives my installation. The sonification of data, computer modeling of biological processes, kinetic sculptures, and user interactivity are central parts of the installation. The paper is organized as follows: First, brief history of the forerunners that inspired my work is given. This includes a short discussion on how John Cage and David Tudor influenced current artists works, and how those works have influenced my own work. Then I review current installation works that share similarities with my own. Finally, a detailed discussion and analysis of the construction and function concludes the paper.
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Perspectives on The Passion According to the Gospels of Matthew and John

Perspectives on The Passion According to the Gospels of Matthew and John

Date: December 2008
Creator: Fryklund, Aaron
Description: My thesis covers the materials and methods of my composition, The Passion According to the Gospels of Matthew and John. It features an extensive analysis of Penderecki's Passio et mors Domini nostri Iesu Christi secundum Lucam. The research also covers some history of the Passion genre and its development. The second half of the paper presents a background and analysis of my work. It details many of the creative processes and methods I employed.
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Clestrinye [El Carnaval del Perdón]: Traditional Rituals in Intermedia Composition.

Clestrinye [El Carnaval del Perdón]: Traditional Rituals in Intermedia Composition.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Salazar, Camilo
Description: In Part I of this thesis, I examine the use of Latin American rituals, ceremonies, and traditional folklore as conceptual and compositional material; studying and re-contextualizing concepts, cultures, and ideologies, and introducing them to foreign audiences. I explore issues such as laptop improvisation, interaction with other performance forces, and the utilization of the social elements of non-western celebrations, as explored in Clestrinye, a work for live and fixed electronics, mixed ensemble, dancers, and painters.
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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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Syncretisms for wind quintet and percussion: A study in combining organizational principles from Southeast Asian music with western stylistic elements.

Syncretisms for wind quintet and percussion: A study in combining organizational principles from Southeast Asian music with western stylistic elements.

Date: May 2008
Creator: Seymour, John
Description: Syncretisms is an original composition scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and marimba (2-mallet minimum, 4 recommended) with an optional percussion part requiring glockenspiel and chimes, and has an approximate duration of 6 min. 45. sec. The composition combines modern western tuning, timbre, and harmonic language with organizational principles identified in music from Southeast Asia (including music from cultures found in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia). The accompanying paper describes each of these organizational principles, drawing on the work of scholars who have performed fieldwork, and describes the way in which each principle was employed in Syncretisms. The conclusion speculates on a method for comparing musical organizational systems cross-culturally.
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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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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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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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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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