Yoon-Seong Cho's Jazz Korea: A Cross-cultural Musical Excursion

Yoon-Seong Cho's Jazz Korea: A Cross-cultural Musical Excursion

Date: May 2008
Creator: Joo, Hwajoon
Description: This thesis examines Yoon-Seong Cho's critically acclaimed recording Jazz Korea, in which Cho unites Korean folk music and American jazz into a single form of expression. By reinterpreting Korean folk music through jazz, Cho stimulated interest in the Korean jazz scene and a renewed interest in Korean traditional folk songs. The goal of the thesis, the first musicological essay about Yoon-Seong Cho, is to understand how Cho's diasporic experiences affected his music by leading to a process of self-discovery that allowed Cho to interpret his own identity. Through musical analysis, the study proposes a cultural interpretation of two of Cho's pieces that have achieved popularity not only among Koreans but also internationally: "Arirang" and Han-O-Baek-Nyun.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Sounding sacred: Interpreting musical and poetic trances.

Sounding sacred: Interpreting musical and poetic trances.

Date: May 2006
Creator: Mickey, Samuel Robert
Description: This essay investigates the relationship between trance and various musical and poetic expressions that accompany trance when it is interpreted as sacred. In other words, the aim of this investigation is to interpret how experiences of the entrancing power of the sacred come to expression with the sounds of music and poetry. I articulate such an interpretation through the following four sections: I) a discussion of the basic phenomenological and hermeneutic problems of interpreting what other people experience as sacred phenomena, II) an account of the hermeneutic context within which modern Western discourse interprets trance as madness that perverts the rational limits of the self, III) an interpretation of the expressions of trance that appear in the poetry of William Blake, and IV) an interpretation of expressions of trance that appear in the music of Afro-Atlantic religions (including Vodu in West Africa, Santería in Cuba, and Candomblé in Brazil).
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"Being" a Stickist:  A Phenomenological Consideration of "Dwelling" in a Virtual Music Scene

"Being" a Stickist: A Phenomenological Consideration of "Dwelling" in a Virtual Music Scene

Date: May 2010
Creator: Hodges, Jeff
Description: Musical instruments are not static, unchanging objects. They are, instead, things that materially evolve in symmetry with human practices. Alterations to an instrument's design often attend to its ergonomic or expressive capacity, but sometimes an innovator causes an entirely new instrument to arise. One such instrument is the Chapman Stick. This instrument's history is closely intertwined with global currents that have evolved into virtual, online scenes. Virtuality obfuscates embodiment, but the Stick's world, like any instrument's, is optimally related in intercorporeal exchanges. Stickists circumvent real and virtual obstacles to engage the Stick world. Using an organology informed by the work of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, this study examines how the Chapman Stick, as a material "thing," speaks in and through a virtual, representational environment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Otha Turner Family Picnic: Occupying Musical and Social Space In-Between Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

The Otha Turner Family Picnic: Occupying Musical and Social Space In-Between Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Date: May 2011
Creator: Vermilyea, Carl P.
Description: This thesis concerns African-American fife and drum band music, a pre-blues genre that was a fixture at summer picnics in the Mississippi hill country from the late nineteenth century through most of the twentieth century. The picnics held a unique place in African-American life, a crossroads of juke joints and churches, blues and gospel, individuality and family. Using the African-American paradigm of a Saturday night / Sunday morning people, I describe the Otha Turner Family Picnic, the last picnic to feature fife and drum band music, locating it and the music in-between the secular and sacred aspects of African-American life from both a musical and a social standpoint.
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The Creation of a Performance Edition of Gustav Mahler's Lieder Und Gesänge Aus Der Jungendzeit and Its Role in Bass Tuba Pedagogy

The Creation of a Performance Edition of Gustav Mahler's Lieder Und Gesänge Aus Der Jungendzeit and Its Role in Bass Tuba Pedagogy

Date: December 2012
Creator: Baker, Jeffrey T.
Description: When the tubist is first introduced to the bass tuba, Mahler's songs can be used as effective solo material. Through transcription, practice, and performance of art songs, novice bass tubists focus primarily on fundamental musical components such as tone quality, intonation, breathing, and musicianship. By identifying deficiencies in the current solo repertoire as related to the early stages of development on the bass tuba, I intend to address the need for more solo works through the transcription and performance of Mahler's Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Native American Elements in Piano Repertoire by the Indianist and Present-Day Native American Composers

Native American Elements in Piano Repertoire by the Indianist and Present-Day Native American Composers

Date: May 2010
Creator: Thomas, Lisa Cheryl
Description: My paper defines and analyzes the use of Native American elements in classical piano repertoire that has been composed based on Native American tribal melodies, rhythms, and motifs. First, a historical background and survey of scholarly transcriptions of many tribal melodies, in chapter 1, explains the interest generated in American indigenous music by music scholars and composers. Chapter 2 defines and illustrates prominent Native American musical elements. Chapter 3 outlines the timing of seven factors that led to the beginning of a truly American concert idiom, music based on its own indigenous folk material. Chapter 4 analyzes examples of Native American inspired piano repertoire by the "Indianist" composers between 1890-1920 and other composers known primarily as "mainstream" composers. Chapter 5 proves that the interest in Native American elements as compositional material did not die out with the end of the "Indianist" movement around 1920, but has enjoyed a new creative activity in the area called "Classical Native" by current day Native American composers. The findings are that the creative interest and source of inspiration for the earlier "Indianist" compositions was thought to have waned in the face of so many other American musical interests after 1920, but the tradition has ...
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It's Not Fusion: Hybridity in the Music of Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa

It's Not Fusion: Hybridity in the Music of Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa

Date: December 2012
Creator: Govind, Arathi
Description: This thesis concerns the performance of identity in the music of Indian American jazz musicians Rudresh Mahanthappa and Vijay Iyer. In combining the use of Indian classical music elements with jazz, Iyer and Mahanthappa create music that is inextricably tied to their multifaceted identities. Traditional musicological analysis is juxtaposed with a theoretical framework that draws on postcolonial theory and the history of Asian immigrant populations to the U.S. I chronicle the interactions between Indian and Western music and link it to larger issues of Asian American identity formation and activism through music. Through interviews and transcriptions of studio recordings, I identify specific compositional and improvisational strategies of the musicians. I emphasize the role of individual agency in the formation of second-generation identities, drawing attention to the distinct ways that Iyer and Mahanthappa approach their music. Finally, I connect this research to a larger discourse on Indian American artistic identity.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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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Expectation as Narrative Strategy in Richard Wagner's Parsifal

Expectation as Narrative Strategy in Richard Wagner's Parsifal

Date: August 1997
Creator: Straughn, Greg, 1972-
Description: The story of Parsifal is presented in two manners: through action and through narrative. Using the formalist theories of Vladimir Propp, the overall narrative is articulated in three narrative episodes. This thesis interprets the structure of narrative episodes in Parsifal on the basis of expectation. Propp's theory of functions provides labels for an interpretive analysis. Levi-Strauss' reconstruction of Propp's functions into paired structures identifies key points in the drama as moments of "functional" saturation. This "functional" saturation coincides with Wagner's practice of Leitmotivic saturation. The semiotic theories of Charles Sanders Peirce, specifically his notion of sign, clarify the dense accumulation of meanings accrued by the Leitmotifs. Finally, Parsifal, as a "quest" for the unobtainable object, fits into the matrix of desire as formulated in the theories of Jacques Lacan.
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