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 Department: College of Music
"Between the Staves" - Adaptations of Debussy's Six épigraphes antiques and Creative Tasks of the Performer

"Between the Staves" - Adaptations of Debussy's Six épigraphes antiques and Creative Tasks of the Performer

Date: December 2007
Creator: Astilla, Christopher
Description: The Six épigraphes antiques represent a cross-section of Debussy's creative output that traces the composer's germ-seed from his original setting of the work in 1901 as incidental music to accompany the recitation of several poems, to the four-hand piano version of 1914, and its consequent reduction for solo piano. What can be gleaned by the methods of derivation from his original sketches to the final, mature works is an understanding of Debussy's use of musical metaphor and his connection to the poetry - the Chansons de Bilitis of Pierre Louÿs. Embedded literary procedures create a new musical expression of the work whereby text and music become integrated. Rather than serving as accompaniment to the poems, the Épigraphes function as the primary vessel for the conveyance of these ancient scenes. Several of Debussy's hallmark symmetrical and structural moulds, such as the whole-tone, chromatic, octatonic, and mirroring techniques reflect the omnipresent symmetry of Classical Greece. Various other artistic creations emanated from the Épigraphes, most significantly the orchestration of Ernest Ansermet in 1939. A look at the techniques used by Ansermet for the augmentation of the piano work serves to extrapolate the multifarious layers relevant in performance. In order to facilitate the four-hand ...
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Beyond the Human Voice: Francis Poulenc's Psychological Drama La Voix humaine (1958)

Beyond the Human Voice: Francis Poulenc's Psychological Drama La Voix humaine (1958)

Date: May 2000
Creator: Beard, Cynthia C.
Description: Francis Poulenc's one-character opera La Voix humaine (1958), a setting of the homonymous play by Jean Cocteau, explores the psychological complexities of an unnamed woman as she experiences the end of a romantic relationship. During the forty-minute work, she sings in a declamatory manner into a telephone, which serves as a sign of the unrevealed man at the other end. Poulenc uses musical motives to underscore the woman's changing emotional states as she recalls her past relationship. The musical dramaturgy in this work resignifies Debussy's impressionist symbolism by collapsing devices used in Pelléas et Mélisande in a language that shifts between octatonicism, chromaticism, harmonic and melodic whole tone passages, and diatonicism. This late work recontextualizes elements in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-56), and the end of the opera provides a theme for his Sonate pour Clarinet et Piano(1962), as Poulenc reflects on his youthful encounters with Cocteau, Erik Satie, and Les Six.
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Beyond the "Year of Song": Text and Music in the Song Cycles of Robert Schumann after 1848

Beyond the "Year of Song": Text and Music in the Song Cycles of Robert Schumann after 1848

Date: May 2007
Creator: Ringer, Rebecca Scharlene
Description: In recent years scholars have begun to re-evaluate the works, writings, and life of Robert Schumann (1810-1856). One of the primary issues in this ongoing re-evaluation is a reassessment of the composer's late works (roughly defined as those written after 1845). Until recently, the last eight years of Schumann's creative life and the works he composed at that time either have been ignored or critiqued under an image of an illness that had caused periodic breakdowns. Schumann's late works show how his culture and the artists communicating within that culture were transformed from the beginning to the middle of the nineteenth century. These late works, therefore, should be viewed in the context of Schumann's output as a whole and in regard to their contributions to nineteenth-century society. Schumann's contributions, specifically to the genre of the song cycle from 1849 to 1852, are among his late compositional works that still await full reconsideration. A topical study, focusing on three themes of selections from his twenty-three late cycles, will provide a critical evaluation of Schumann's compositional output in the genre of the song cycle. First, Schumann's political voice will be examined. The political events that led to the mid-nineteenth-century revolutions inspired crucial ...
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Birth of a Modern Concerto: An Explication of Musical Design and Intention in Journey: Concerto for Contrabass Tuba and Orchestra

Birth of a Modern Concerto: An Explication of Musical Design and Intention in Journey: Concerto for Contrabass Tuba and Orchestra

Date: May 2008
Creator: Daussat, David M.
Description: John Stevens was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the Edward F. Schmidt Family Commissioning Fund to compose a concerto for its principal tubist, Gene Pokorny. The piece began with multiple conversations between composer and performer and from these meetings actualized the influences that shaped the work. The most important influences that the performer mentioned were his passions for American steam locomotives and the Three Stooges, both of which were used by Stevens in his rendering of the composition. This concerto was designed to be played on the famous CC York tuba that was played by the former principal tubist of the CSO, Arnold Jacobs, the same instrument used today. Insight into the history of the York tuba will be given as well as their influence on contemporary manufacturing and design. Focus is given to how Stevens writes the piece idiomatically to the CC tuba and potential performance problems when a performer uses tubas of a different key. Conversations with both gentlemen will display the non-musical influences on Journey and how this effects the composition. Stevens' compositional language is explored and discussed in respect to the challenges and idiosyncrasies within the work. Collegiate tuba professors provide explanation for ...
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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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Bohuslav Martinu: An Examination of Selected Chamber Music Involving the Clarinet, with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Rossini, Sutermeister, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Weiner, Bown, Beethoven, Brahms, and Others

Bohuslav Martinu: An Examination of Selected Chamber Music Involving the Clarinet, with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Rossini, Sutermeister, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Weiner, Bown, Beethoven, Brahms, and Others

Date: December 1997
Creator: Walzel, Robert L.
Description: The discussion dealt with stylistic influences, compositional techniques, and performance considerations of chamber music involving clarinet composed by Bohuslav Martinu and included a performance of three of his works: Quartet. for clarinet, horn, cello, and side drum, Madrigals for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, and Sextet for flute, oboe, clarinet, two bassoons, and piano. The selections performed and discussed in the lecture show compositional growth of the composer through the three periods of his life in which he composed chamber music which included winds. These three time periods are 1923-40 during his residency in Paris, 1941-56 during his residency in the United States, and 1957 until his death in 1959 when he returned permanently to Europe.
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Boulez's Sonatine and the Genesis of His Twelve-tone Practice

Boulez's Sonatine and the Genesis of His Twelve-tone Practice

Date: May 1998
Creator: Chang, Sangtae
Description: This dissertation proposes that the Sonatine broadly unfolds a kinetic structure that stems from the traditional tension-relief model and, consequently, its dependence on tradition proves much deeper than Boulez would acknowledge.
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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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A-Bu-GE: A Composition for Organ and Percussion

A-Bu-GE: A Composition for Organ and Percussion

Date: December 2010
Creator: Kim, Chol-Ho
Description: Keyphrases describe a document in a coherent and simple way, giving the prospective reader a way to quickly determine whether the document satisfies their information needs. The pervasion of huge amount of information on Web, with only a small amount of documents have keyphrases extracted, there is a definite need to discover automatic keyphrase extraction systems. Typically, a document written by human develops around one or more general concepts or sub-concepts. These concepts or sub-concepts should be structured and semantically related with each other, so that they can form the meaningful representation of a document. Considering the fact, the phrases or concepts in a document are related to each other, a new approach for keyphrase extraction is introduced that exploits the semantic relations in the document. For measuring the semantic relations between concepts or sub-concepts in the document, I present a comprehensive study aimed at using collaboratively constructed semantic resources like Wikipedia and its link structure. In particular, I introduce a graph-based keyphrase extraction system that exploits the semantic relations in the document and features such as term frequency. I evaluated the proposed system using novel measures and the results obtained compare favorably with previously published results on established benchmarks.
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Camille Saint-Säens'  Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Opus 103: An Analytical Study of Form, Compositional Techniques, and a Performance Perspective

Camille Saint-Säens' Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Opus 103: An Analytical Study of Form, Compositional Techniques, and a Performance Perspective

Date: December 2004
Creator: Yoo, Seung Won
Description: The majority of books about Saint-Säens cover his life, compositions, contemporaries, and French music in general. Although his life is well documented, most sources present only brief analyses of his works; there is not one single comprehensive and exhaustive study of the Piano Concerto in F Major, Opus 103, available in the current literature. This study aims at filling the gap by providing other musicians interested in performing this piece with an initial study-guide. The research for this study focuses on several aspects of Saint-Säens' music. The currently available literature and past research is thoroughly examined, appraised, and quoted when relevant to the discussion. The original score of the concerto is analyzed regarding its form, compositional style, and performance indications. Diagrams, charts, and musical examples are presented to illustrate and substantiate the researcher's conclusions. Chapter I presents the topic and purpose of this study, a brief biography of Saint-Säens, a chronological overview of his five piano concertos, and the historical background of the Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Opus 103. Chapter II presents a formal analysis and a compositional analysis of Opus 103. Chapter III presents a perspective of Saint-Säens playing style and performance recommendations by the author. ...
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