Birth of a Modern Concerto: An Explication of Musical Design and Intention in Journey: Concerto for Contrabass Tuba and Orchestra

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John Stevens was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the Edward F. Schmidt Family Commissioning Fund to compose a concerto for its principal tubist, Gene Pokorny. The piece began with multiple conversations between composer and performer and from these meetings actualized the influences that shaped the work. The most important influences that the performer mentioned were his passions for American steam locomotives and the Three Stooges, both of which were used by Stevens in his rendering of the composition. This concerto was designed to be played on the famous CC York tuba that was played by the former ... continued below

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Daussat, David M. May 2008.

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  • Daussat, David M.

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John Stevens was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and the Edward F. Schmidt Family Commissioning Fund to compose a concerto for its principal tubist, Gene Pokorny. The piece began with multiple conversations between composer and performer and from these meetings actualized the influences that shaped the work. The most important influences that the performer mentioned were his passions for American steam locomotives and the Three Stooges, both of which were used by Stevens in his rendering of the composition. This concerto was designed to be played on the famous CC York tuba that was played by the former principal tubist of the CSO, Arnold Jacobs, the same instrument used today. Insight into the history of the York tuba will be given as well as their influence on contemporary manufacturing and design. Focus is given to how Stevens writes the piece idiomatically to the CC tuba and potential performance problems when a performer uses tubas of a different key. Conversations with both gentlemen will display the non-musical influences on Journey and how this effects the composition. Stevens' compositional language is explored and discussed in respect to the challenges and idiosyncrasies within the work. Collegiate tuba professors provide explanation for works level of interest within their respective schools and experiences.

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Lecture 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 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 2, 2008, 4:42 p.m.

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  • Nov. 8, 2017, 1:04 p.m.

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Daussat, David M. Birth of a Modern Concerto: An Explication of Musical Design and Intention in Journey: Concerto for Contrabass Tuba and Orchestra, dissertation, May 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6116/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .