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 Department: College of Music
Korean Traditional Elements and Contemporary Compositional Techniques in Hyowon Woo’s Choral Music As Reflected in Gloria

Korean Traditional Elements and Contemporary Compositional Techniques in Hyowon Woo’s Choral Music As Reflected in Gloria

Date: August 2012
Creator: Chang, Yoonchung
Description: Among native Korean choral composers, Hyowon Woo has emerged as one of the most significant representatives of choral genre, both in Korea and internationally. She has created a new style of choral music that combines traditional Korean musical elements with contemporary Western compositional techniques, in a synthesis that generates new sonorities and effects. Her choral music falls into three basic categories: music employing direct quotation of Korean folk tunes or other elements, which produce typical Korean sonorities; music using Western practices, which produce modern and Western flavors; and music combining Korean traditional methods with modern Western concepts. Hyowon Woo’s unique contribution to contemporary Korean choral music is ideally represented by her Gloria, which will form the basis for this study. Because traditional Korean music culture has such a strong presence and influence on her choral compositions, detailed knowledge of these elements are essential for the study and performance of her work. The combination of traditional Korean music and Western contemporary techniques lies at the core of her compositional style, and is the principal focus of this study. A detailed understanding of these stylistic elements, both Korean and Western, and how they work together to achieve the composer’s purpose and vision, ...
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Lind, James Meyer the Trumpet Concertos of Anthony Plog: a Performer’s Guide

Lind, James Meyer the Trumpet Concertos of Anthony Plog: a Performer’s Guide

Date: August 2012
Creator: Lind, James Meyer
Description: Anthony Plog (b. 1947) has contributed several notable works for brass instruments. He is known for writing extremely technically challenging works that contain angular melodies, fast rhythms and a large degree of chromaticism. Though his music is difficult, it also conveys intense emotions. His music for trumpet, specifically Concerto no. 1 for Trumpet, Brass Ensemble and Percussion and Concerto no. 2 for Trumpet and Orchestra, represents a zenith in his compositional development. This dissertation examines Concerto no. 1 and Concerto no. 2 from a performer’s perspective to better understand the stylistic characteristics and challenges encountered in his music. Each concerto is examined in terms of rhythmic structure, intervallic structure, thematic material, motivic material and form.
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“A Metaphor for the Impossibility of Togetherness”: Expansion Processes in Gubaidulina’s First String Quartet

“A Metaphor for the Impossibility of Togetherness”: Expansion Processes in Gubaidulina’s First String Quartet

Date: August 2012
Creator: Stroud, Cara
Description: This thesis illustrates how I hear processes of expansion organizing musical materials in the First String Quartet. By employing a flexible approach to expansion and developing models of wedge and additive expansions beyond the bounds of specific voice-leading or rhythmic augmentation procedures, expansion processes can be understood in each of the varied episodes of the quartet. Gubaidulina’s use of expansion processes, embodied organically in pitch, rhythm, form, and physical space, unifies the episodic materials of the First String Quartet and provides an inevitable conclusion to the work’s loose narrative.
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Music of the Spheres: Astronomy and Shamanism in the Music of Urmas Sisask

Music of the Spheres: Astronomy and Shamanism in the Music of Urmas Sisask

Date: August 2012
Creator: Edmonds, David Michael
Description: In 1619, Johannes Kepler published his magnum opus Harmonices mundi in which the astronomer derived distinct pitches and scales for each known planet in the solar system from calculations of various aspects of their orbital motions. This was the first theoretical realization of the ancient tradition of musica universalis (also called musica mundana), or music of the celestial bodies. It was not until the Estonian composer Urmas Sisask (b. 1960) began his compositional career by deriving his own “planetary scale,” however, that the theoretical musica universalis came into audible existence. Sisask’s work represents a distinctive musical voice among today’s choral composers, and although he is steadily gaining attention for his unique compositional style, only limited information exists about the specifics of his background, his interest in astronomy and shamanism, and the subsequent influence these interests have had on his choral music. At once traditional and modern, he bridges the gap between ancient Estonian folk song and the present. Through an application of exotic techniques including extreme repetition, ritualistically driving rhythms and sudden changes in timbre and texture; coupled with his own peculiarly crafted “planetary scale,” Urmas Sisask has created a completely unique body of work which is examined in this ...
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Performing the “Classical”: the Gurukula System in Karnatic Music Society

Performing the “Classical”: the Gurukula System in Karnatic Music Society

Date: August 2012
Creator: Harris, Myranda Leigh
Description: Recent scholarship has revealed that the representation of Karnatic music as a “classical” art form in South Indian society was a complicated process bound to the agendas of larger early twentieth-century nationalist projects in India. This thesis explores the notions of classicalness as they are enacted in Karnatic music society through the oral transmission process from guru to shishya, or disciple. Still considered one of the most important emblems of the “classical,” the gurukula (lit. “guru-family”) system has been transformed to accommodate more contemporary lifestyles and reinscribed within many other social and musical processes in South Indian classical music society. This thesis examines the everyday interactions between members of Karnatic music society, particularly the clapping of t?la during a Karnatic music concert and the musical exchanges between percussionists onstage during the tani ?vartanam (Karnatic percussion solo), as public performances reminiscent of the relationship between guru and shishya.
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“Sounds for Adventurous Listeners”: Willis Conover, the Voice of America, and the International Reception of Avant-garde Jazz in the 1960S

“Sounds for Adventurous Listeners”: Willis Conover, the Voice of America, and the International Reception of Avant-garde Jazz in the 1960S

Date: August 2012
Creator: Breckenridge, Mark A.
Description: In “Sounds for Adventurous Listeners,” I argue that Conover’s role in the dissemination of jazz through the Music USA Jazz Hour was more influential on an educational level than what literature on Conover currently provides. Chapter 2 begins with an examination of current studies regarding the role of jazz in Cold War diplomacy, the sociopolitical implications of avant-garde jazz and race, the convergence of fandom and propaganda, the promoter as facilitator of musical trends, and the influence of international radio during the Cold War. In chapter 3 I introduce the Friends of Music USA Newsletter and explain its function as a record of overseas jazz reception and a document that cohered a global network of fans. I then focus on avant-garde debates of the 1960s and discuss Conover’s role overseas and in the United States. Chapter 4 engages social purpose and jazz criticism in the 1960s. I discuss Conover’s philosophy on social responsibility, and how his contributions intersected with other relevant discourses on race on the eve of the civil rights movement. I argue that Conover embodied two personas: one as jazz critic and promoter in the United States, and the other as an international intermediary. In chapter 5 I ...
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Toward a Descriptive Eidetics of Atonality: a Phenomenological Analysis of Webern Op 3, No 1

Toward a Descriptive Eidetics of Atonality: a Phenomenological Analysis of Webern Op 3, No 1

Date: August 2012
Creator: Schnitzius, Michael P.
Description: David Lewin, in his 1986 article “Music Theory, Phenomenology, and Modes of Perception,” offers a promising methodological approach for the analysis of tonal music from a phenomenological perspective. Lewin’s phenomenological method has a propensity to render seemingly contradictory readings in such a way that their respective validities can be preserved by articulating them within differentiated contexts. Expanding upon Lewin’s phenomenological work with analyzing tonal music, I propose that a phenomenological investigation of an atonal song, Webern op. 3, no. 1, from within a variety of differentiated contexts can shed light upon what it means to perceive a piece of music as being “not in a key.” This thesis will open with an introduction to Lewin’s phenomenological work and the writings of Edmund Husserl and Izchak Miller that Lewin used as a point of departure. The analysis of Webern op. 3, no. 1, that follows will regard the voice and piano parts as differentiated musical contexts in order to investigate the interaction between these contexts as they generally undermine the perception of tonality in the song. Finally, the notion of a “musical context” as an organizing factor of musical perception will be expanded to include the different analytical approaches of Olli ...
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Transformation of Themes, Controlled Pianistic Textures, and Coloristic Effects in Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos 6, 10, and 12

Transformation of Themes, Controlled Pianistic Textures, and Coloristic Effects in Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos 6, 10, and 12

Date: August 2012
Creator: Vidovic, Silvije
Description: Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies are uniformly considered highly challenging in terms of technical execution. However, their artistic value is frequently questioned. This dissertation examines the compositional elements that are often overlooked in these virtuoso works, and provides a viewpoint into their interpretative characteristics. Furthermore, it pursues a claim that besides being excellent performance pieces, these works also make an intriguing contribution to Liszt scholarship, and deserve meaningful consideration in terms of their artistic quality. Following the Introduction (Chapter 1), Chapter 2 provides a brief historical perspective of the critical affirmation Liszt the composer encountered from the musical society. It also includes a short background on Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, as well as the general reactions these works evoked from pianists, audiences, and scholars, during the time they were composed to the present day. As the main body of the dissertation, Chapter 3 investigates the three primary compositional concepts found in Rhapsodies Nos. 6, 10, and 12. These concepts are divided into three subchapters: Transformation of Themes, Controlled Pianistic Textures, and Coloristic Effects. Each of these subchapters provides explanatory information, as well as some of the most characteristic passages presented.
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Analysis of Roger-ducasse’s Pastorale Pour Orgue

Analysis of Roger-ducasse’s Pastorale Pour Orgue

Date: May 2012
Creator: Kim, Jung-Won
Description: Pastorale pour Orgue (1909) is Jean Jules Aimable Roger-Ducasse’s only solo organ composition, which demonstrates skillful use of organ colors and demands a virtuoso technique for performance. Writing Pastorale in 1909, Roger-Ducasse synthesized compositional styles and techniques of two very different compositional approaches – impressionism and classicism. This study examines the stylistic characteristics of Pastorale by Roger-Ducasse as examples of both of these influences. the synthesis in Pastorale is primarily evident in the combination of classical forms and generic references with impressionist harmony and color. Thus, examining these musical elements provides hitherto unexplored insights into Pastorale as a master solo organ work of the early twentieth century. the dissertation is divided into four chapters. the first chapter presents the purpose, the significance, and the state of research of the piece. in the second chapter, I examine the traits of classicism through genre, form, thematic variation and other classicist elements of the composition. the third chapter presents the traits of impressionism including harmonic parallelism, extended chords, pedal points, ostinatos, and whole-tone scales. in the fourth chapter, I summarize the study and make a suggestion for further research of the piece.
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The Choral Music of Ola Gjeilo: a New Vision of the Choral Instrument in the 21St Century

The Choral Music of Ola Gjeilo: a New Vision of the Choral Instrument in the 21St Century

Date: May 2012
Creator: Schmidt, Brian A.
Description: The choral music of Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (pronounced “yay-loh”) is gaining international acclaim and is widely performed and commissioned by prominent high school, university, and professional choirs. It represents a philosophical approach and vision of the choral instrument for which the conductor must have a clear understanding in order to prepare a meaningful performance. in particular, his music merges diverse musical influences, which results in a product of unique character among choral compositions in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Gjeilo draws inspiration from a text but then uses its sonic qualities (the sounds of vowels and consonants) to create an atmosphere of sound instead of following the traditions in choral and vocal music of using musical mechanisms (melody, rhythm, and harmony) to reinforce the text poetically. This study provides an overview of Gjeilo’s background, in Chapter 1, and discusses its influence on his compositional philosophy. Chapter 2 contains musical examples from selected works, which are used to illuminate unique attributes found in Gjeilo’s music. Chapter 3 presents important implications to consider aiding choral conductors in their preparation of future performances of Gjeilo’s music.
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