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

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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, ... continued below

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Roberts, John Francis May 2010.

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  • Roberts, John Francis

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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 opera, choir, orchestra, electroacoustic chamber music, and more than twenty film scores. Viñao's composing style is influenced by Mexican-American composer Conlon Nancarrow and Islamic religious music known as Qawwali. Alejandro Viñao's works typically contain complex rhythmic structures and use rhythm as the main element for musical form and development. The impetus for this thesis is to provide a musical analysis and performance guide for The Khan Variations by Alejandro Viñao. This thesis also illuminates the significance of the joint commission led by Nancy Zeltsman, and highlights the influences and inspirations of Alejandro Viñao as a rising composer of international renown.

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Doctoral Lecture Recital: 2010-03-29 - John Francis Roberts, marimba (Sound)

Doctoral Lecture Recital: 2010-03-29 - John Francis Roberts, marimba

Recital presented at the UNT College of Music Recital Hall in partial fulfillment of the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree.

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  • May 2010

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  • Sept. 10, 2010, 1:20 a.m.

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  • Nov. 10, 2017, 11:10 a.m.

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Roberts, John Francis. The Khan Variations for Solo Marimba by Alejandro Viñao: Musical Analysis and Performance Practice, dissertation, May 2010; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28467/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .