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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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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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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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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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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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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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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