Selected Songs of Dan Beaty: Background, Analysis, and Performance Guide

Selected Songs of Dan Beaty: Background, Analysis, and Performance Guide

Date: August 2009
Creator: Novak II, Richard A.
Description: Dan Beaty (1937-2002) was a prolific composer, pianist, researcher, educator, and writer. His large compositional output included chamber works, choral works, songs, orchestral pieces, electronic music, and keyboard works. Beaty was well versed in traditional Western music as well as the more avant-garde and perplexing idioms of the twentieth century. Beaty's compositions reflect the many fascinating, if not always popular, musical trends of his time. His music encompasses styles from serial to jazz, shows compositional influences from Arnold Schoenberg to Indonesian music, and demonstrates thought-provoking and highly intellectual craftsmanship. This document explores several of Beaty's songs through a discussion of the composer's life and compositional process. Songs included in this document are Three Weeks Songs, October, November, A Sappho Lyric, Love Song, That Night When Joy Began, and War Lyrics. This document was written to accompany the author's DMA Lecture-Recital at the University of North Texas. Unfortunately, Beaty's vocal music was never published and is mostly unknown. One goal of the project was to initiate interest in Beaty's songs. Through this document, Lecture-Recital, and additional performances, considerable strides have been made to bring Beaty's songs to new audiences throughout the United States. In addition, the author has received permission from ...
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The Influence of Renaissance Music in Ernst Krenek's Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae

The Influence of Renaissance Music in Ernst Krenek's Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae

Date: May 2011
Creator: Wirths, Jeremy R.
Description: Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae, Opus 68, composed by Ernst Krenek in 1941, is a musical work that is difficult to analyze and classify due to its fusion of contrasting musical styles. The pervasive dissonance of the work shows its modern twelve-tone organization, yet other aspects more closely resemble the sacred music of the early Renaissance. Analysis of Lamentatio solely in terms of the atonal twelve-tone system belies the work's full complexity and range of expression. While the twelve-tone system is the basis for the organization of the work, Krenek radically modifies the system to allow for more possible combinations of tones through an innovative technique he calls "rotation." The primary objective of this study is to consider the influence of early Renaissance sacred music, particularly that of Johannes Ockeghem, on certain aspects of Lamentatio, including the text, pitch organization, form and structure, rhythm and meter, and expressive markings. The study reveals that though the pitch organization is based on the twelve-tone system, Krenek uses the increased flexibility granted by his rotation technique to create implications of the modal system of the Renaissance. In the other aspects considered, the music of Lamentatio also bears clear Renaissance influences. A thorough understanding of these ...
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Carl Sandburg's Timeless Prairie:  Philip Wharton's Song Cycle, The Prairie Sings

Carl Sandburg's Timeless Prairie: Philip Wharton's Song Cycle, The Prairie Sings

Date: August 2008
Creator: Wunderlich, Kristen A.
Description: The connection of music and verse evident in the work of American poet, Carl Sandburg, is a topic that has received inadequate attention. Much preexisting research has focused on Sandburg's work with The American Songbag anthology; however little has been written about music composers' settings of his verse. The relevance of Sandburg's work as a poet has faded in today's society; the rural prairie subject matter and his poetic style are deemed archaic in an ever-evolving mechanistic society. Philip Wharton, a native of Sandburg's Midwest prairie, composes to create an evocative and image-laden world for the hearers of his music. This is what creates a semblance between both artists' works. This paper makes a connection between the work of the 20th century prairie poet and a current, 21st century American composer's musical setting of Sandburg's verse. Both artists are connected not only geographically, but also in their approach to an accessible art form for their audience. Negating current compositional trends and using text from Sandburg's poetry collections, Chicago Poems and Cornhuskers, Wharton melds the text into his evocative, imagistic musical language in his song cycle, The Prairie Sings. Using examples from the five movements of the cycle, I show the ...
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Scenen aus Goethes Faust: A performer's analysis.

Scenen aus Goethes Faust: A performer's analysis.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Paoletti Jr., Karl
Description: Robert Schumann's dramatic music remains, for the most part, undiscovered and therefore performed infrequently. Genoveva, Das Paradies und die Peri, Manfred, and Scenen aus Goethes Faust are comprised of some of Schumann's most beautiful music from his last stylistic period. Schumann envisioned a national German opera that had a complete union of text and music and a plot based upon the supernatural and mythical German legends. His lofty aspiration was to raise the dramatic music of his time to the high standards of the literary culture. Composing dramatic music for Goethe's Faust was a challenging endeavor for Schumann. Scenen aus Goethes Faust was a project that he struggled with from 1844-1853 because of both the text and the grand scale of the piece. One purpose of an analysis of the structure and content of Schumann's Scenen aus Goethes Faust and Goethe's poetry is to facilitate the solo vocal performer's interpretation. Utilizing selected scenes from Scenen aus Goethes Faust; "Scene im Garten" from Part I, "Sonnenaufgang," and "Mitternacht" from Part II and "Hier ist die Aussicht frei" from Part III, this research paper will define important recurring musical motives, assess Schumann's usage of contrasting vocal genres and their relationship to the ...
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Choral resonance: Re-examining concepts of tone and unification.

Choral resonance: Re-examining concepts of tone and unification.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Quist, Amanda Renee
Description: Resonant singing creates possibilities with dynamic shading, subtlety of phrasing, and rich vibrant tone that astonishes listeners. Choral singing that employs resonance as a fundamental ensemble virtue yields impressive results that lend themselves well to the varying demands of any choral score. Fortunately, choruses of every level can benefit from an increased understanding of the basic principles of resonance in the singing voice. Research on issues of upper partial energy and the presence of the singer's formant in a choral ensemble has been limited in approach. Many published studies regarding upper partial energy in the choral ensemble are based on what the ensemble is already doing, which is linked to the teaching of that specific director and that specific choir. Research must include a wider range of aesthetic choices with regard to choral unification. Through examining spectrograms that represent the sound of some of the most renowned choirs, it is possible to see that many of these ensembles are producing tone that contains a high level of upper formant energy. Interviews with established conductors reveal approaches and teaching methodologies that reinforce this type of singing. It is possible to teach the individuals in a choir to increase the level of ...
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John Harbison's The Flight into Egypt: An Analysis for Performance

John Harbison's The Flight into Egypt: An Analysis for Performance

Date: May 2008
Creator: Galante, Brian Edward
Description: John Harbison's status as a significant contemporary American composer is confirmed by his numerous appointments, honorary degrees, and awards. He is the recipient of nearly every major composition award, with works performed by major orchestras and in important opera houses spanning the world. This paper examines in detail Harbison's most acclaimed choral work, the 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Flight into Egypt. This study of the score is a "conductor's analysis," offering a musical guide for the conductor who seeks to perform this work. To provide a context for the discussion, Chapter 1 offers a brief biographical sketch of Harbison's life and career. Chapter 2 provides the analysis of the work and includes a history from commission to premier, a discussion of Harbison's selection of text, and an examination of the pitch organization which informs the piece. In Chapter 3, I present important rehearsal and performance implications to consider when undertaking a performance of the work. Interviews with two well-regarded conductors who have performed The Flight into Egypt, David Hoose and Patrick Gardner, and the composer himself, provide valuable insight into this discourse.
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"The Rainy Fragrance Musical”: Wintter Watts’ Song Cycle Vignettes Of Italy With Poetry By Sara Teasdale

"The Rainy Fragrance Musical”: Wintter Watts’ Song Cycle Vignettes Of Italy With Poetry By Sara Teasdale

Date: December 2011
Creator: Kwon, Hye-Ryung
Description: Wintter Watts (1884-1962) was one of the most admired composers of American art song in the early twentieth century. The history of great singers who performed his songs at that time attests to the reputation of Watts as a song composer. Unfortunately the songs of Watts have become largely neglected by singers from later generations. The song cycle Vignettes of Italy (1919) for high voice is regarded by many as Watts♠ best-known composition. Vignettes of Italy was frequently performed by many famous singers in America in his day, but is little known in the current repertoire of American art song and rarely performed today. Vignettes of Italy is worthy of reintroduction to contemporary audiences and singers. This study explores the significant contributions Wintter Watts made to the body of American art song in the early twentieth century and presents a thorough investigation of Watts♠ compositional techniques of Sara Teasdale♠s texts in his song cycle Vignettes of Italy. These techniques include the use of carefully tailored rhythms, modulations, harmonic progressions, and accompaniment figures to give unique treatment to the musical setting of individual words, poetic ideas, and broader moods. I hope this research provides a foundation of understanding of this cycle, ...
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The Vocal Pedagogy of Frederic Woodman Root

The Vocal Pedagogy of Frederic Woodman Root

Date: May 2010
Creator: Grogan, David Christopher
Description: Frederic Woodman Root was a vocal pedagogue and writer of the late nineteenth century. He wrote over eighteen books on vocal pedagogy, and numerous articles on singing. Since his death, most of his works have fallen into obscurity. The purpose of this document was to codify the vocal pedagogy of Frederic Woodman Root, discussing his particularly thorough methodology, and to bring his methods back into the public eye. His method is broken down into the various components of basic musicianship, the General Principle, the Three Vowel Forms, registers, breathing, and agility. Examples from Root's exercises are included and discussed.
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A Performer's Analysis of Dominick Argento's Miss Havisham's Wedding Night

A Performer's Analysis of Dominick Argento's Miss Havisham's Wedding Night

Date: May 2010
Creator: Mott, Jammieca D.
Description: Dominick Argento's Miss Havisham's Wedding Night is the least explored of his artistic output. A monodrama in one act for soprano, Miss Havisham's Wedding Night contains some of Argento's most beautiful and challenging music of his compositional output. The purpose of a detailed analysis of the structure and content of Argento's Miss Havisham's Wedding Night is to facilitate the solo vocal performer's interpretation. Argento's setting of Miss Havisham's Wedding Night is unique in that he musically translates the manic psychological state of the literary character. Argento structured the one act opera in such a manner that the music would illuminate the text and the audience might connect with the unstable psychological episodes and outbursts demonstrated by Miss Havisham. To that end, each section and phrase has its own psychological motivation, which in turn demands a varied musical and dramatic interpretation. Utilizing selected scenes from Miss Havisham's Wedding Night, the researcher will analyze Argento's musical manifestation of Dickens's literary work. This research will include an investigation into the manner in which Argento uses the shape of melody and the musical phrase along with the harmonic materials to enhance the text and dramatic content. The author will explore the musical nuances Argento ...
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Uniting Commedia Dell’arte Traditions with the Spieltenor Repertoire

Uniting Commedia Dell’arte Traditions with the Spieltenor Repertoire

Date: May 2012
Creator: Trahan, Corey
Description: Sixteenth century commedia dell’arte actors relied on gaudy costumes, physical humor and improvisation to entertain audiences. the Spieltenor in the modern operatic repertoire has a similar comedic role. Would today’s Spieltenor benefit from consulting the commedia dell’arte’s traditions? to answer this question, I examine the commedia dell’arte’s history, stock characters and performance traditions of early troupes. the Spieltenor is discussed in terms of vocal pedagogy and the fach system. I reference critical studies of the commedia dell’arte, sources on improvisatory acting, articles on theatrical masks and costuming, the commedia dell’arte as depicted by visual artists, commedia dell’arte techniques of movement, stances and postures. in addition, I cite vocal pedagogy articles, operatic repertoire and sources on the fach system. My findings suggest that a valid relationship exists between the commedia dell’arte stock characters and the Spieltenor roles in the operatic repertoire. I present five case studies, pairing five stock characters with five Spieltenor roles. Suggestions are provided to enhance the visual, physical and dramatic elements of each role’s performance. I conclude that linking a commedia dell’arte stock character to any Spieltenor role on the basis of shared traits offers an untapped resource to create distinctive characterizations based on theatrical traditions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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