Source-bonding as a Variable in Electroacoustic Composition: Faktura and Acoustics in Understatements

Source-bonding as a Variable in Electroacoustic Composition: Faktura and Acoustics in Understatements

Date: December 2010
Creator: Rostovtsev, Ilya Y.
Description: Understatements for two-channel fixed media is a four-movement study of the sonic potential of acoustic instruments within the practice of electroacoustic studio composition. The musical identity of the entire composition is achieved through consistent approaches to disparate instrumental materials and a focused investigation of the relationships between the various acoustic timbres and their electroacoustic treatments. The analytical section of this paper builds on contemporary research in electroacoustic arts. The analysis of the work is preceded by a summary of theoretical and aesthetic approaches within electroacoustic composition and the introduction of primary criteria of sonic faktura (material essence) used in the compositional process. The analyses address the idiosyncratic use of the concept of faktura to contextualize and guide the unfolding of the work. The reconciliation of the illusory electronic textures and the acoustic sources that parented them may be considered the ultimate goal of Understatements.
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Just Intonation and the Revitalization of Neoclassicism: Three Works for Baroque Instruments

Just Intonation and the Revitalization of Neoclassicism: Three Works for Baroque Instruments

Date: May 2008
Creator: Figg, Graham Elliot
Description: For a composer of today, the relationship between new music and music from many centuries past remains problematic. In order to create something new, it is necessary to go beyond previous techniques of composition in some way. At the same time, new music that has no connection with music of the past runs the risk of irrelevance. Just tuning offers one possibility for reconciling this problem. By effectively warping music of the past through the lens of altered tuning and contemporary composition techniques, music of the past may be understood in previously unknown ways. Part I, the critical essay, presents historical background and analysis of a cycle of three works in altered/just tuning. Part II presents scores of the works.
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This Creature, Bride of Christ

This Creature, Bride of Christ

Date: May 2010
Creator: Bober, Nicholas Bradburn
Description: This Creature, Bride of Christ is a composition for soprano, alto flute, viola, marimba, and computer running custom software for live interactive performance in the Max/MSP environment. The work is a setting of excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe, an early autobiographical manuscript depicting the life of a Christian mystic. The thesis discusses the historical, sociological, and musical context of the text and its musical setting; the use of borrowed materials from music of John Dunstable, Richard Wagner, and the tradition of change ringing; and the technologies used to realize the computer accompaniment. A score of the work is also included in the appendix.
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Rete Mirabile: An Installation

Rete Mirabile: An Installation

Date: August 2009
Creator: Rivera, Philip Andrew
Description: Rete Mirabile is my new installation piece combining scientific principles with live computer generated music. The title is a Latin term meaning "Wonderful Net," which I use to refer to the highly convoluted network of biological data that drives my installation. The sonification of data, computer modeling of biological processes, kinetic sculptures, and user interactivity are central parts of the installation. The paper is organized as follows: First, brief history of the forerunners that inspired my work is given. This includes a short discussion on how John Cage and David Tudor influenced current artists works, and how those works have influenced my own work. Then I review current installation works that share similarities with my own. Finally, a detailed discussion and analysis of the construction and function concludes the paper.
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GranCloud: A real-time granular synthesis application and its implementation in the interactive composition Creo.

GranCloud: A real-time granular synthesis application and its implementation in the interactive composition Creo.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Lee, Terry Alan
Description: GranCloud is new application for the generation of real-time granular synthesis in the SuperCollider programming environment. Although the software was initially programmed for use in the interactive composition Creo, it was implemented as an independent program for use in any computer music project. GranCloud consists of a set of SuperCollider classes representing granular clouds and parameter objects defining control data for the synthesis. The software is very flexible, allowing users to create their own grain synthesis definitions and control parameters. Cloud objects encapsulate all of the control data and methods necessary to render virtually any type of granular synthesis. Parameter objects provide several simple methods for mapping grain parameters to complex changing data sets or to external data sources. GranCloud simplifies the complex task of generating granular synthesis, allowing composers to focus less on technological issues and more on musical considerations during the compositional process.
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Augeries, for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Tape: Aesthetic Discussion and Theoretical Analysis

Augeries, for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Tape: Aesthetic Discussion and Theoretical Analysis

Date: May 2009
Creator: Gedosh, David
Description: Augeries is a multi-channel electro-acoustic composition for flute, clarinet, percussion, and tape. It is intended to be diffused through an 8-channnel playback system. Inspired by the first four lines of William Blake's Augeries of Innocence, Augeries captures the qualitative aspects of Blake's poetry by presenting the listener with an equally aperspectival aesthetic experience. The small-scale structure reflected on the large-scale form - the infusion of vastness and expansiveness into the fragile and minute. Augeries incorporates techniques of expansion and contraction, metonymic relationships, dilation and infolding of time, and structured improvisation to create an experience that is designed to explore the notion of musical time, and to bring to the listener the sense of time freedom. The critical analysis suggests that the increase in the notions of musical time, the aesthetics with which they conform, and the new time forms created, encapsulate communicative significance. This significance exists within a horizon of meaning. Semiotics illuminates an understanding of the structuring techniques used to render time as an area of artistic play. Understanding the aesthetics and mechanisms through which these techniques can be used constitutes a shared horizon of meaning. The concepts of cultural phenomenologist Jean Gebser, as explicated in The Ever-Present Origin, ...
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Analysis of harp performance issues in Federico's Little Songs for Children by George Crumb.

Analysis of harp performance issues in Federico's Little Songs for Children by George Crumb.

Date: May 2009
Creator: Hembreiker, Linda-Rose
Description: During the 20th century, chamber works for harp expanded to include significantly different instrumentations, like flute, voice and harp. Indeed, a body of works for flute, voice, and harp began to develop mainly through the commissioning efforts of ensembles comprised of these instruments. This study of George Crumb's Federico's Little Songs for Children for flutes, soprano, and harp considers the unique advantages and challenges of this instrumentation and offers specific suggestions for performance. Attention to various compositional elements of Federico's Little Songs for Children, especially as they relate to the text, is also helpful in preparing to perform this work. The form, pitch material, and text-painting in the work allow for special opportunities to convey meaning to audiences in ways that do not rely on traditional tonal relationships. Accompanying the shift away from traditional tonal relationships, the development of the harp repertoire in chamber and solo settings during the 20th century also led to the development of many extended- techniques for this instrument. For the most part, these techniques have been described and given various notational symbols but not discussed in detail with regard to execution. Federico's Little Songs for Children itself requires several unique extended-techniques. Recommendations are given in ...
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Snow Spell: An Interactive Composition for Erhu, Flute, Piano, Cello, and Max/MSP

Snow Spell: An Interactive Composition for Erhu, Flute, Piano, Cello, and Max/MSP

Date: August 2007
Creator: Cheng, Chien-Wen
Description: Snow Spell is an interactive composition for erhu, flute, cello, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. This one-movement piece, Snow Spell, is intended to depict the beauty of a snow scene by presenting four different impressions of snow envisioned by the composer through music. The definition, history, and significance of interactive music are explored. Various modes of interactivity to control signal processing modules, and technical considerations for signal routing and level control in the interactive computer music system are also explored. Chinese music elements in Snow Spell including pentatonic scales, glissandi, and quotations from the Chinese folk tune River of Sorrow are investigated.
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Three Pieces for Musicians and Computer:  Rameaux, Nature Morte, Moiré.

Three Pieces for Musicians and Computer: Rameaux, Nature Morte, Moiré.

Date: December 2008
Creator: Welch, Chapman
Description: Three Pieces for Musicians and Computer implements a modular formal structure that allows the performers to experiment with the order and number of movements to arrive at their ideal combination. The piece is a collection of three solo works: Rameaux, Nature Morte, and Moiré for bass flute with b-foot, metal percussion (vibraphone, glockenspiel, and crotales), and clarinet (A and B-flat instruments) respectively. In addition to the original versions, an alternate version of each piece is included. The alternate versions add new performance elements to the original works: live electronics in Rameaux and Nature Morte and an acoustic quintet (flute, viola, percussion, piano and harp) in Moiré. These additions reframe the original works by introducing new harmonic, timbral, and formal connections and possibilities. The compositional process of Three Pieces relies on the notion of Germinal Elements, which are defined as the set of limited, distinct, and indivisible materials used in the creation of the work. Though Germinal Elements are indivisible, they undergo a type of developmental process through expansion and contraction, which is an increase or a decrease in the range or scope of any musical parameter (time, pitch, density, dynamic, duration, etc.) or set of parameters. Analysis of this cycle ...
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Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Date: December 2010
Creator: Lucas, Stephen
Description: Pleroma is a digital drama: a work composed of digital animation combined with electroacoustic music, presenting an original dramatic narrative. Pleroma's dramatic elements evoke both the classical form of tragedy and the concept of perceptual paradox. A structural overview of the drama and its characters and a plot synopsis are given to provide context for the critical discussion. Analytical descriptions of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture Op.62 and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 are provided to give background on tragic form and Platonic allegory in music. An investigation into the elements discussed in the analysis of the instrumental works reveals several layers of possible interpretation in Pleroma. Dramatic elements allow for tragic narratives to be constructed, but they are complemented by character associations formed by pitch relationships, stylistic juxtapositions, and instrumentation. A copy of the dramatic text is included to supplement the multimedia production.
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Physical Gesture, Spatialization, Form and Transformation in Watershed I/IV, for Solo Percussion and Real-time Computer Spatialization, by Roger Reynolds

Physical Gesture, Spatialization, Form and Transformation in Watershed I/IV, for Solo Percussion and Real-time Computer Spatialization, by Roger Reynolds

Date: December 2009
Creator: Licata, Julie M.
Description: Watershed I/IV, for Solo Percussion and Real-time Computer Spatialization was composed in 1995 by Pulitzer prize-winning composer Roger Reynolds. This work is a 25-minute choreographed music drama for one multiple-percussionist, in which Reynolds incorporates the musical transformation of percussion instrument families, the physical gestures of the performer, and the spatialization of processed sounds around the audience. This dissertation addresses several aspects of Watershed, which include: the expressive intent and extra-musical concepts; the formal organization, and several non-musical tools that Reynolds utilized in designing the piece (e.g. logarithmically derived sequences); the primary musical motives; the instrument setup and how the resulting physical gestures contribute to the musical intent; and the real-time computer spatialization. Throughout the document, specific musical passages are demonstrated with notated musical examples and embedded video/audio clips. In addition, transcripts of my interviews with composer Roger Reynolds, percussionist Steven Schick (premiere performer of Watershed) and engineer/technician Greg Dixon (engineer for my performances of Watershed IV) are also included.
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Perspectives on The Passion According to the Gospels of Matthew and John

Perspectives on The Passion According to the Gospels of Matthew and John

Date: December 2008
Creator: Fryklund, Aaron
Description: My thesis covers the materials and methods of my composition, The Passion According to the Gospels of Matthew and John. It features an extensive analysis of Penderecki's Passio et mors Domini nostri Iesu Christi secundum Lucam. The research also covers some history of the Passion genre and its development. The second half of the paper presents a background and analysis of my work. It details many of the creative processes and methods I employed.
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Transient Delete: Original Composition with a Critical Examination of the Compositional Process and a Survey of Digital Technology in Opera

Transient Delete: Original Composition with a Critical Examination of the Compositional Process and a Survey of Digital Technology in Opera

Date: May 2016
Creator: Shirey, Benjamin A
Description: This paper explores various technologies available to the modern composer and utilized in recent modern opera, providing creative approaches to producing aural, visual, and theatrical performance environments. It also explores my own use of digital technology in Transient Delete. Transient Delete is a digital miniature-opera that explores different aspects of a community of post-human cyborgs. The story follows Iméra, a newly converted cyborg as she acclimates herself to this new cybernetic existence. During this process she meets several other cybernetic entities that are there to help guide her through her metamorphosis.
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Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Date: August 2016
Creator: Robin, Bradley G.
Description: This dissertation explores the analysis and creation of compositions from the standpoint of texture and momentum. It is comprised of four chapters. The first presents a number of concepts as tools for analysis, including textural typography and transformation, perception of time and psychological engagement of an audience, and respiration as a metaphor for musical momentum. The second and third chapters apply these tools to Gerard Grisey's "Periodes" and "Partiels," and Brian Ferneyhough's "Lemma-Icon-Epigram." The fourth explores specific methodologies used in composing my dissertation piece, "Phase," including the application of number systems ranging from formal to local levels.
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Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Date: December 2010
Creator: Lucas, Stephen
Description: Pleroma is a digital drama: a work composed of digital animation combined with electroacoustic music, presenting an original dramatic narrative. Pleroma's dramatic elements evoke both the classical form of tragedy and the concept of perceptual paradox. A structural overview of the drama and its characters and a plot synopsis are given to provide context for the critical discussion. Analytical descriptions of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture Op.62 and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 are provided to give background on tragic form and Platonic allegory in music. An investigation into the elements discussed in the analysis of the instrumental works reveals several layers of possible interpretation in Pleroma. Dramatic elements allow for tragic narratives to be constructed, but they are complemented by character associations formed by pitch relationships, stylistic juxtapositions, and instrumentation. A copy of the dramatic text is included to supplement the multimedia production: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33228/
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Fractures for Clarinet and Computer

Fractures for Clarinet and Computer

Date: May 2012
Creator: Dixon, Gregory Hart
Description: Fractures for Clarinet and Computer is a piece for live interactive performance using custom software designed in Max/MSP. the work explores musical borrowing and transformation of music from works such as Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and several fragments from synthesizer recordings of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. the dissertation focuses on both the musical aesthetics that informed the creation of the work and the software programming that enables live sampling and harmonization systems as well as flexible control of global parameters.
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Transfantasies for Flauto Traverso, Computer Music, and Dance

Transfantasies for Flauto Traverso, Computer Music, and Dance

Date: May 2013
Creator: Fick, Jason
Description: TransFantasies is an interdisciplinary composition for Baroque flute (flauto traverso), computer music, and dance. A crucial component of the work is an interactive hardware and software environment that provides the opportunity for the players to shape aspects of the work during the performance. This essay discusses the influences that inspired the work and presents an in-depth analysis of notable elements of the composition. Primary issues include compositional models for gesture-based composition, historical performance practices, interactivity, and relationships between music and dance. The final component of the essay details the software component designed to create the composition. It also discusses music technology in current practice and its role in this particular work. At its core, TransFantasies is concerned with those moments where computer-influenced decisions and human behaviors collide.
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Fidget, Sway, and Swerve: Three Works Inspired By Movement From the Intricate Maneuvers Series

Fidget, Sway, and Swerve: Three Works Inspired By Movement From the Intricate Maneuvers Series

Date: December 2012
Creator: Summar, Sarah Page
Description: Intricate Maneuvers is a series of musical works that were composed using movement as a model for compositional processes and forms. This essay presents in-depth analyses of three works from the series; Fidget, Sway: The Mildest Form of Falling, and Swerve for Chamber Ensemble. The analysis of each work highlights correlations between the musical characteristics of that work and the temporal, spatial, contextual, and psychological implications of the motion after which it was modeled. The third chapter also demonstrates the ways in which the creation of Sway was influenced by materials and processes taken from Ruth Crawford's String Quartet 1931. In order to investigate the question of how life experiences can function as models for compositional processes, the essay examines precedents for the compositional modeling of extra-musical ideas and images in the works of Bed?ich Smetana, Elliott Carter and Roger Reynolds. It also discusses approaches to modeling movement in music created for dance. Throughout the Intricate Maneuvers series, movement is modeled not merely to create an association between a musical work and a particular movement pattern, but rather to infuse the compositions with the dynamism that defines a particular kinetic experience.
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Some Soundwalks (Denton, Tx)

Some Soundwalks (Denton, Tx)

Date: May 2013
Creator: Jackson, Jonathan
Description: some soundwalks (Denton, TX) is an audio portrait of the Denton square - the area in downtown Denton bordered by the streets Oak, Hickory, Elm, and Locust. For three months (June - August, 2012), I went on soundwalks in this area, recording the soundscape and collecting material from each hour of the twenty-four hours of the day. The resulting work is presented as a layered montage of this gathered material that takes the listener on a twenty-four hour journey through the Denton square in about eighteen minutes. Ultimately, this sonic portrait of the Denton square is my subjective reaction to the daily soundscape of an area of Denton that embodies a strong sense of tradition combined with a newer presence of a growing population.
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Ligeti’s Early Experiments in Compositional Process: Simple Structures in Musica Ricercata

Ligeti’s Early Experiments in Compositional Process: Simple Structures in Musica Ricercata

Date: December 2014
Creator: Grantham, Daniel
Description: This study examines the formation of a unique chromatic and formal language in Musica Ricercata by György Ligeti. The study begins by examining statements from an interview with Ligeti conducted by Ove Nordwall in 1979. The interview discusses his compositional experiments from the early 1950s, the period in which Musica Ricercata was composed. Working from Ligeti’s words, “simple structures” are defined as repeating formations of rhythms and intervals with easily discernable features. These features must be salient such that when the structure is altered, it is still clearly and audibly recognizable. The musical and political environment in Hungary at the time is established, providing context for this early experimentation with compositional parameters. The analysis begins with an overview of the entire work, outlining developments of pitch-class density, symmetrical pitch-class structures, and notated accelerandi over the course of the multi-movement work. Analyses of simple structures in each movement elucidate both Ligeti’s experimental approaches to chromaticism, along with more traditional aspects, with special reference to Bartók’s compositional style.
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Violetting Through August’s End (Or the Sunset in Water, the Carillon-chime in Square): an Original Chamber Opera and a Critical Essay on the Trajectory of American Minimalist Opera

Violetting Through August’s End (Or the Sunset in Water, the Carillon-chime in Square): an Original Chamber Opera and a Critical Essay on the Trajectory of American Minimalist Opera

Date: December 2014
Creator: Doyle, James Joseph
Description: When the dust settles, John Adams’s Nixon in China and Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach may stand as the most important operas of the latter twentieth century. The critical essay portion of this thesis examines the trajectory of minimalist opera, from its beginnings with Glass’s Einstein on the Beach through the more romantic operas of John Adams, Steve Reich’s multimedia opera The Cave, David Lang’s musical-influenced The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, and finally the post-minimalist operas currently being staged by young composer Nico Muhly. It examines the differences between the more abstract trajectory established by the early Glass operas and the plot driven trajectory established by operas more commonly associated with John Adams, most significantly Nixon in China. Additionally, the aforementioned pieces are compared and contrasted with the author’s newly composed chamber opera Violetting through August’s End (or the sunset in water, the carillon-chime in square).
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The Pedagogy of Robert Dick

The Pedagogy of Robert Dick

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Bost-Sandberg, Lisa
Description: Robert Dick is best known as a leading proponent of contemporary music and extended techniques for the flute; however, his teaching is informative on a broader level that encompasses technical and musical aspects of traditional playing as well as contemporary practices. This dissertation is intended to serve as a resource for flutists, providing a detailed documentation of his approach to playing and teaching the flute. Dick’s highly integrated pedagogy—informed by his traditional training, revolutionary work in documenting and codifying extended techniques on the flute, and his equal personal involvement in performance, composition, and improvisation—provides a strong basis and clear trajectory, musically as well as technically, to his students. The primary research material for this document is the author’s personal collection of detailed notes from her studies with Dick. Additionally, as no pedagogy exists in a vacuum, a number of sources including historical treatises and more recent published documentations of flutists’ pedagogies provide context and support. Such publications are of current and continuing educational value; considering Dick’s contributions to the development of flute playing and his integrated approach to teaching the flute, a document that accurately and thoroughly addresses his pedagogy is a logical addition to this literature.
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Algorithmic Music Analysis: a Case Study of a Prelude From David Cope’s “From Darkness, Light”

Algorithmic Music Analysis: a Case Study of a Prelude From David Cope’s “From Darkness, Light”

Date: May 2015
Creator: Krämer, Reiner
Description: The use of algorithms in compositional practice has been in use for centuries. With the advent of computers, formalized procedures have become an important part of computer music. David Cope is an American composer that has pioneered systems that make use of artificial intelligence programming techniques. In this dissertation one of David Cope’s compositions that was generated with one of his processes is examined in detail. A general timeline of algorithmic compositional practice is outlined from a historical perspective, and realized in the Common Lisp programming language as a musicological tool. David Cope’s compositional output is summarized with an explanation of what types of systems he has utilized in the analyses of other composers’ music, and the composition of his own music. Twentieth century analyses techniques are formalized within Common Lisp as algorithmic analyses tools. The tools are then combined with techniques developed within other computational music analyses tools, and applied toward the analysis of Cope’s prelude. A traditional music theory analysis of the composition is provided, and outcomes of computational analyses augment the traditional analysis. The outcome of the computational analyses, or algorithmic analyses, is represented in statistical data, and corresponding probabilities. From the resulting data sets part of ...
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A Pattern Oriented Data Structure for Interactive Computer Music

A Pattern Oriented Data Structure for Interactive Computer Music

Date: May 2011
Creator: Lockhart, Adam
Description: This essay describes a pattern oriented data structure, or PODS, as a system for storing computer music data. It organizes input by sequences or patterns that recur, while extensively interlinking the data. The interlinking process emulates cognitive models, while the pattern processing draws specifically from music cognition. The project aims at creating open source external objects for the Max/MSP software environment. The computer code for this project is in the C and Objective-C computer programming languages.
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