An Analysis of Joseph Schwantner's Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra

An Analysis of Joseph Schwantner's Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra

Date: December 2008
Creator: Hart, Shawn Michael
Description: This analysis of Schwantner's Concerto is focused primarily on the pitch organization within the work, using terminology and concepts borrowed from those designed by Allen Forte in The Structure of Atonal Music. Discussion of pitch sets, their use, their derivation, their intervallic content, and their evolution throughout the piece are discussed. Additional discussion regarding Schwantner's style, orchestration techniques, textural manipulation with regard to form, are also discussed. Sources consist of the orchestral score, the two - piano reduction, and the solo percussion score. This document is in six chapters. The first discusses Schwantner's life and general musical style. The second is a brief discussion of terms in the field of pitch set organization. The third, fourth, and fifth chapters discuss in detail the musical materials themselves in each respective movement. Finally, the sixth chapter is a summary of the findings from the analysis.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The 1986 National Endowment for the Arts Commission: An introspective analysis of two marimba works, Reflections on the Nature of Water by Jacob Druckman and Velocities by Joseph Schwantner, together with three recitals of selected works by Keiko Abe, Christopher Deane, Peter Klatzow, Wayne Siegel, Gitta Steiner and others.

The 1986 National Endowment for the Arts Commission: An introspective analysis of two marimba works, Reflections on the Nature of Water by Jacob Druckman and Velocities by Joseph Schwantner, together with three recitals of selected works by Keiko Abe, Christopher Deane, Peter Klatzow, Wayne Siegel, Gitta Steiner and others.

Date: August 2005
Creator: Fang, I-Jen
Description: The marimba is rapidly achieving greater importance as a solo percussion instrument. Solo compositions for the marimba have been commissioned and performed only in the last sixty years. The 1986 National Endowment for the Arts Solo Marimba Commission is considered one of the most important commissioning projects in the history of marimba literature. Two compositions created through this project, Velocities by Joseph Schwantner and Reflections on the Nature of Water by Jacob Druckman have become two of the most influential works in contemporary marimba music. This thesis will focus on a historical perspective of the project, as well as theoretical aspects and performance issues related to these two compositions. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) issued a consortium commissioning grant through the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) in 1986 to three internationally renowned marimbists, William Moersch, Leigh Howard Stevens and Gordon Stout. Three Pulitzer Prize winners were brought together to compose three new works for the marimba. The resulting pieces were: Reflections on the Nature of Water by Jacob Druckman, Velocities by Joseph Schwantner, and Islands from Archipelago: Autumn Island by Roger Reynolds. A brief history of the classical concert marimba and the development of solo marimba literature is provided ...
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The Snare Drum as a Solo Concert Instrument: An In-Depth Study of Works by Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Dan Senn, and Stuart Saunders Smith, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Keiko Abe, Daniel Levitan, Askell Masson, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Others

The Snare Drum as a Solo Concert Instrument: An In-Depth Study of Works by Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Dan Senn, and Stuart Saunders Smith, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Keiko Abe, Daniel Levitan, Askell Masson, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Others

Date: December 2004
Creator: Baker, Jason Colby
Description: This dissertation discusses the potential of the snare drum as a solo concert instrument. Four pieces from a collection entitled The Noble Snare are used for demonstration ("Homily" by Milton Babbitt, "Composed Improvisation for Snare Drum" by John Cage, "Peeping Tom" by Dan Senn, and "The Noble Snare" by Stuart Saunders Smith). In the absence of many traditional musical devices (i.e. melody and harmony), alternative means of expression are used by the composer. Each piece is discussed with regard to its distinctive compositional approach and inherent performance issues. Information is also given pertaining to the background of the Noble Snare series. This includes: the inspiration for the project, editorial issues, and its influence on snare drum performance. Much of this research was completed through interviews by with author with Sylvia Smith, publisher of The Noble Snare and owner of Smith Publications.
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Selected works for solo frame drums by B. Michael Williams.

Selected works for solo frame drums by B. Michael Williams.

Date: August 2009
Creator: Nicholson, Jason Eugene
Description: In 1993, American percussionist and composer B. Michael Williams published Four Solos for Frame Drums. This collection is considered the first work written exclusively for solo frame drum in Western notation. Williams primarily modeled his solos around traditional rhythms and techniques from Middle Eastern musical traditions as well as Glen Velez's virtuosic style of playing frame drums. He also drew influence from the music of South India and Sub-Saharan Africa. Williams intentionally combines the aforementioned elements as a means to expose his students and audience members to the music and drumming of these regions. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed analysis of select compositions for solo frame drum by B. Michael Williams in order to assist future performers in making well-informed interpretive decisions. The analysis will highlight the compositional style, structural components, technical demands and important performance considerations of four pieces by Williams: Quatrinity, Etude in Arabic Rhythms, Another New Riq and Rhythmic Journey no. 1: (From Conakry to Harare).
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The Khan Variations for Solo Marimba by Alejandro Viñao: Musical Analysis and Performance Practice.

The Khan Variations for Solo Marimba by Alejandro Viñao: Musical Analysis and Performance Practice.

Date: May 2010
Creator: Roberts, John Francis
Description: The Khan Variations is the first work for solo marimba by Argentinean composer Alejandro Viñao (b.1951). Since publication in 2001, Khan Variations has been performed at many international percussion festivals and is often a repertoire choice for performers in the final round of numerous marimba competitions. This thesis and accompanying lecture recital provide a supplemental guide to Alejandro Viñao's Khan Variations, focusing on analytical and structural theory, as well as performance practice, thus filling the void of information on this piece in the percussion community. Khan Variations was jointly commissioned by twelve of the world's prominent marimba performers and educators, including: Michael Burritt, Jack Van Geem, William Moersch, Robert Van Sice, and Nancy Zeltsman. The project organizer of the Khan Variations commission was Nancy Zeltsman, Chair of the Percussion Department at the Boston Conservatory and a leader in the field of commissioning new marimba works. Utilizing William Moersch's organization New Music Marimba as the financial conduit, Zeltsman and her group issued this commission in 1999. Alejandro Viñao studied composition with the Russian composer Jacobo Ficher in Buenos Aires, and Viñao later went on to complete his doctorate in composition from City University in London. His works span the genres of ...
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A Performance Guide and Theorical Study of Keiko Abe's Marimba d'Amore and Prism Rhapsody for Marimba and Orchestra

A Performance Guide and Theorical Study of Keiko Abe's Marimba d'Amore and Prism Rhapsody for Marimba and Orchestra

Date: December 2008
Creator: Àlamo Santos, Juan Manuel
Description: Keiko Abe's contributions to the contemporary marimba repertoire have been a milestone in the development of the marimba as a solo concert instrument. Besides the creation of a new repertoire through commissions and her own compositions, Abe's contributions to the marimba include the improvement of the sound quality of the marimba and the establishment of the five octave instrument as the standard concert marimba. During the last four decades, Abe's compositions have been performed and studied worldwide and become standard literature for the marimba. Abe has written more than sixty compositions for marimba, including concertos, duets and solo pieces. The goal of this dissertation is to provide a comprehensive method for the performance and preparation of two major Keiko Abe's compositions, Marimba d'Amore composed by Abe in 1998 and Prism Rhapsody for Marimba and Orchestra composed in 1996. This dissertation will discuss theoretical as well as performance issues related to these two compositions. Each piece is discussed with regard to its distinctive compositional approach and inherent performances issues. In order to provide the reader an explanation of the compositional procedures used by Abe, specific directions for the performance and preparation of these two works are offered.
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Primary Compositional Characteristics in the Instrumental Music of Paul Lansky as Demonstrated in Hop (1993)

Primary Compositional Characteristics in the Instrumental Music of Paul Lansky as Demonstrated in Hop (1993)

Date: December 2010
Creator: Willie, Eric Jason
Description: This dissertation provides insight into the compositional characteristics of Paul Lansky's instrumental works as demonstrated in Hop (1993). As well, this document intends to make Hop more approachable to performers through a structural, harmonic, and rhythmic analysis. This dissertation presents a brief overview of Lansky's biographical information, discusses background information about Marimolin (the ensemble that premiered the piece), and provides an analysis of Hop. Hop is analyzed with regard to form, harmony, and rhythm. The analysis was conducted through a tonal approach, and harmonies are identified with a lead sheet analysis. Personal interviews with Paul Lansky and marimbist Nancy Zeltsman provided significant insight into Lansky's influences, musical characteristics, as well as other elements pertaining to Hop.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Extended performance techniques and compositional style in the solo concert vibraphone music of Christopher Deane.

Extended performance techniques and compositional style in the solo concert vibraphone music of Christopher Deane.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Smith, Joshua D.
Description: Vibraphone performance continues to be an expanding field of music. Earliest accounts of the presence of the vibraphone and vibraphone players can be found in American Vaudeville from the early 1900s; then found shortly thereafter in jazz bands as early as the 1930s, and on the classical concert stage beginning in 1949. Three Pieces for Vibraphone, Opus 27, composed by James Beale in 1959, is the first solo concert piece written exclusively for the instrument. Since 1959, there have been over 690 pieces written for solo concert vibraphone, which stands as evidence of the popularity of both the instrument and the genre of solo concert literature. Christopher Deane has contributed to solo vibraphone repertoire with works that are regarded as staples in the genre. Deane's compositions for vibraphone consistently expand the technical and musical potential of the instrument. Performance of Deane's vibraphone works requires a performer to utilize grips and specific performance techniques that are departures from standard performance practices. Many of the performance techniques needed to successfully execute these pieces are not routinely found in either percussion pedagogy courses or performance ensemble situations. As a result, most percussionists are not familiar with these techniques and will require additional assistance, ...
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An Analysis and Comparison of Four Rotations Pour Marimba, A Solo Marimba Suite, by Eric Sammut

An Analysis and Comparison of Four Rotations Pour Marimba, A Solo Marimba Suite, by Eric Sammut

Date: May 2011
Creator: Suen, Ming-Jen
Description: Four Rotations Pour Marimba (1996) by Eric Sammut has become one of the most important marimba compositions in serious concert solo marimba literature. Four Rotations Pour Marimba is a suite of four short pieces; each of them demonstrates a different musical character while incorporating similar compositional components and techniques. The goal of this thesis project is to create a stylistic analysis for providing the concert marimbist with insight into the interpretation of these four pieces and also giving composers a more in-depth understanding of Sammut's compositional method. This thesis includes a formal analysis and comparisons of compositional elements used in Four Rotations. A brief biography of Sammut and historical significance of Four Rotations Pour Marimba are also included.
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Innovations in Musical Texture and Aural Perspective: Steven Mackey's See Ya Thursday for Solo Marimba

Innovations in Musical Texture and Aural Perspective: Steven Mackey's See Ya Thursday for Solo Marimba

Date: August 2013
Creator: Hall, David Porter
Description: This dissertation and accompanying lecture recital explore the unique textural features in the works of Steven Mackey as exhibited in See Ya Thursday (1993).A rigorous formal, harmonic, and motivic analysis will highlight the compositional characteristics of textural structure and aural perspective that exist in the work. Illumination of these compositional elements can help to identify and minimize the technical complexities that exist within this piece for the performer. In addition, this document provides brief biographical information on Steven Mackey and his works, and on See Ya Thursday as it relates to other pieces in the advanced marimba literature. Finally, it is the aim of the author to add a resource to the relatively limited amount of research on Steven Mackey with this analysis of See Ya Thursday.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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