"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
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Caught Between Jazz and Pop: The Contested Origins, Criticism, Performance Practice, and Reception of Smooth Jazz.

Caught Between Jazz and Pop: The Contested Origins, Criticism, Performance Practice, and Reception of Smooth Jazz.

Date: December 2008
Creator: West, Aaron J.
Description: In Caught Between Jazz and Pop, I challenge the prevalent marginalization and malignment of smooth jazz in the standard jazz narrative. Furthermore, I question the assumption that smooth jazz is an unfortunate and unwelcomed evolutionary outcome of the jazz-fusion era. Instead, I argue that smooth jazz is a long-lived musical style that merits multi-disciplinary analyses of its origins, critical dialogues, performance practice, and reception. Chapter 1 begins with an examination of current misconceptions about the origins of smooth jazz. In many jazz histories, the origins of smooth jazz are defined as a product of the jazz-fusion era. I suggest that smooth jazz is a distinct jazz style that is not a direct outgrowth of any mainstream jazz style, but a hybrid of various popular and jazz styles. Chapters 2 through 4 contain eight case studies examining the performers of crossover jazz and smooth jazz. These performers have conceived and maintained distinct communicative connections between themselves and their audiences. In the following chapter, the unfair treatment of popular jazz styles is examined. Many early and influential jazz critics sought to elevate jazz to the status of art music by discrediting popular jazz styles. These critics used specific criteria and emphasized notions ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
“Sounds for Adventurous Listeners”: Willis Conover, the Voice of America, and the International Reception of Avant-garde Jazz in the 1960S

“Sounds for Adventurous Listeners”: Willis Conover, the Voice of America, and the International Reception of Avant-garde Jazz in the 1960S

Date: August 2012
Creator: Breckenridge, Mark A.
Description: In “Sounds for Adventurous Listeners,” I argue that Conover’s role in the dissemination of jazz through the Music USA Jazz Hour was more influential on an educational level than what literature on Conover currently provides. Chapter 2 begins with an examination of current studies regarding the role of jazz in Cold War diplomacy, the sociopolitical implications of avant-garde jazz and race, the convergence of fandom and propaganda, the promoter as facilitator of musical trends, and the influence of international radio during the Cold War. In chapter 3 I introduce the Friends of Music USA Newsletter and explain its function as a record of overseas jazz reception and a document that cohered a global network of fans. I then focus on avant-garde debates of the 1960s and discuss Conover’s role overseas and in the United States. Chapter 4 engages social purpose and jazz criticism in the 1960s. I discuss Conover’s philosophy on social responsibility, and how his contributions intersected with other relevant discourses on race on the eve of the civil rights movement. I argue that Conover embodied two personas: one as jazz critic and promoter in the United States, and the other as an international intermediary. In chapter 5 I ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Ensemble: 2003-02-27 - Maria Schneider with UNT Jazz Faculty and One O'clock Lab Band

Ensemble: 2003-02-27 - Maria Schneider with UNT Jazz Faculty and One O'clock Lab Band

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: February 27, 2003
Creator: UNT Jazz Studies
Description: Concert presented at Winspear Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Ensemble: 2002-10-09 - UNT Jazz Repertory Ensemble

Ensemble: 2002-10-09 - UNT Jazz Repertory Ensemble

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: October 9, 2002
Creator: UNT Jazz Repertory Ensemble
Description: Concert presented at the UNT College of Music Kenton Hall.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library