Music for Saxophone and Harp: An Investigation of the Development of the Genre with an Annotated Bibliography

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In 1937, Gustav Bumcke (1876-1963) composed the Scherzo, op. 67 for alto saxophone and double-action pedal harp. Since then, over 50 duos were written for various members of the saxophone family and the pedal harp, yet most of this repertoire is rarely performed and many artists are not yet aware of it. This document investigates works that are (1) composed for two musicians: a harpist and a saxophonist; (2) intended for the double-action pedal harp; and (3) originally composed for this instrumentation (no transcriptions). In Part I, An Investigation of the Development of the Genre, pieces are introduced in chronological ... continued below

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Shner, Idit December 2007.

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In 1937, Gustav Bumcke (1876-1963) composed the Scherzo, op. 67 for alto saxophone and double-action pedal harp. Since then, over 50 duos were written for various members of the saxophone family and the pedal harp, yet most of this repertoire is rarely performed and many artists are not yet aware of it. This document investigates works that are (1) composed for two musicians: a harpist and a saxophonist; (2) intended for the double-action pedal harp; and (3) originally composed for this instrumentation (no transcriptions). In Part I, An Investigation of the Development of the Genre, pieces are introduced in chronological order, and placed in historical context. Composers such as Gustave Bumcke and Jean Absil wrote short tonal pieces for alto saxophone and harp. In 1969, Günther Tautenhahn composed the Elegy for tenor saxophone and harp, featuring disjunct melodies with wide intervals. In France, Yvonne Desportes and Ida Gotkovsky composed pieces for alto saxophone and harp. Their pieces are substantially longer in duration and have much higher technical demands for both instruments. During the 1980s composers such as Jacqueline Fontyn, Marc Tallet, and Griffith Rose used a variety of extended techniques and avant-garde notation. Mauricio Kagel's Zwei Akte from 1989 is the longest piece in the genre (c. 28 minutes), with pervasive use of extended techniques. During the 1990s composers wrote saxophone and harp duos involving the bass saxophone and the soprano saxophone. Composers such as Quinto Maganini, François Rossé, Armando Ghidoni, and Tomislav Hmeljak wrote pedagogical pieces, suitable for young and intermediate students. In Part II, Annotated Bibliography, 30 published, readily available works for saxophone and harp are presented. The annotation for each piece includes: title, composer (years), dedication, duration, publisher or contact information for obtaining the piece, type of saxophone used, saxophone criteria grade of difficulty chart, harp criteria grade of difficulty chart, and a short discussion of the piece's form, harmony (if applicable), and any outstanding characteristics.

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Doctoral Lecture Recital: 2006-03-06 - Idit Shner, soprano, tenor, and alto saxophones (Sound)

Doctoral Lecture Recital: 2006-03-06 - Idit Shner, soprano, tenor, and alto saxophones

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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  • December 2007

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  • May 2, 2008, 3:19 p.m.

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  • Nov. 8, 2017, 10:58 a.m.

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Shner, Idit. Music for Saxophone and Harp: An Investigation of the Development of the Genre with an Annotated Bibliography, dissertation, December 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5122/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .