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An Analysis of Du cristal…à la fumée by Kaija Saariaho and Axiom Unearthed, Original Composition

Description: Beginning in the 1970s, and aided by the advancement and an increased prevalence of computers, spectral music emerged as an important development in twentieth century music. Spectral composers, as exemplified by Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail, took the harmonic spectra of sounds as the fundamental materials of composition. The resulting music placed an emphasis on texture and gradually evolving forms. The generation of composers immediately following the spectralists assimilated their techniques into distinct and varying styles. Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho uses spectral techniques to create an aesthetic that generates form and progression from a sound/noise axis. In her piece Du cristal…à la fumée, a number of pendulum and half-pendulum gestures build up texture and form. The accompanying original composition Axiom Unearthed employs similar pendulum gestures and uses spectral techniques to generate melody and harmony in an aesthetic divergent from traditional spectral pieces.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Allen, John Clay
Partner: UNT Libraries

“Before I Die…”: Original Composition with a Critical Essay Exploring the Techniques of Six Crossover Composers

Description: Candy Chang developed a public art installation where people are given the opportunity to write their answers to "Before I Die I want to ________." in a public space. I created one of these walls in Denton, TX and set it to music in a 12 minutes and 42 second piece titled Before I Die..., which combines elements of South Indian carnatic music, gospel, R&B, jazz fusion, and minimalism. The composition was influenced by the music of several crossover artists Becca Stevens, Michael League (Snarky Puppy), Nico Muhly, Poovalur Sriji, Tigran Hamasyan, and James Blake. Crossover music, fusion, and third-stream are all synonymous terms used to describe music where multiple genres or styles are authentically combined. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the balance of musical elements in crossover works as well as how specific works composed by the artists mentioned have influenced the creation of the Before I Die... piece.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Trusko, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

Blueline Concerto: Critical Essay

Description: The purpose of this critical essay is two-fold. First, the essay presents a detailed critical analysis of my original composition, Blueline Concerto for bass trombone and wind ensemble. Second, using Blueline Concerto, the essay presents preliminary findings of my study to develop an approach to composing that takes into account the musicians' health, specifically regarding noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Through various hypothesized composition- and orchestral-based approaches, I test effectiveness on changes in NIHL risk while also noting that artistic merit and compositional integrity is preserved.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Lamb, Christopher
Partner: UNT Libraries

Brass Band History and Idiomatic Writing in Brass Music

Description: The purpose of this research was to explore historical perspective of brass music. There is a brief history of brass bands in Britain. Furthermore, the paper examines the differences between two brass band pieces in the repertoire, A Western Fanfare by Eric Ewazen and Brass Symphony by Jan Koetsier. Both of these pieces were compared and contrasted against the author's newly composed work for brass, Two Companion Pieces for Brass Ensemble. The paper covers different techniques commonly used in brass writing and points these techniques out in all three pieces.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Kahler, Elyse T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Chaos, Cosmos, and Communion: Three Movements for String Quartet

Description: The three movements of this piece are related proportionally in that movements one and two represent three-fifths of the length of the whole. Movement three represents two-fifths of the length of the whole. Another proportional relationship exists between movements one and two. Movement one represents two-fifths of the length of the first two movements, while movement two represents three-fifths of the length of the two. An additional link between the three movements is pitch content. Movements one and two have little in common in this regard, but movement three combines elements of the first two. The duration of the entire piece is approximately fifteen minutes.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Moran, David W. (David Wayne)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clestrinye [El Carnaval del Perdón]: Traditional Rituals in Intermedia Composition.

Description: In Part I of this thesis, I examine the use of Latin American rituals, ceremonies, and traditional folklore as conceptual and compositional material; studying and re-contextualizing concepts, cultures, and ideologies, and introducing them to foreign audiences. I explore issues such as laptop improvisation, interaction with other performance forces, and the utilization of the social elements of non-western celebrations, as explored in Clestrinye, a work for live and fixed electronics, mixed ensemble, dancers, and painters.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Salazar, Camilo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clockwork Plums

Description: Based on a story by Joshua Forehand with additional lyrics by Joshua Bradford, Clockwork Plums is an original musical work that integrates techniques and ideas from composers and different cultures. The accompanying essay about the work includes a summary of the story, "Clockwork Plums," some historical background covering 30 years of pop music, an analysis focusing on the use of African and Reichian compositional devices, and discussion about controlled improvisation and use of the voice as compositional tools. The music consists of three sections scored for 5 voices (lead male vocalist and SATB), flute (doubling tenor saxophone), Bb clarinet (doubling baritone saxophone), violin, cello, piano, electronic keyboard, electric guitar, electric bass, drum set, and percussion.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Bradford, Joshua
Partner: UNT Libraries

Concertino for Tuba, Winds, and Percussion

Description: Concertino for Tuba, Winds, and Percussion is a work for solo tuba and an ensemble consisting of two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, bass clarinet, bassoon, four horns, two trumpets, two trombones, bass trombone, and three percussionists. The percussionists play small, medium, and large suspended cymbals, triangle, tam tam, metal wind chimes, five tom toms, snare drum, tenor drum, bass drum, two sets of two timbales, five temple blocks, maracas, glockenspiel, vibraphone, chimes, xylophone, marimba, and five timpani. The three movements of the work follow the arrangement of the standard concerto format (fast-slow-fast). The lengths of the movements are approximately four minutes and fifteen seconds, two minutes and twenty-five seconds, and four minutes and ten seconds respectively. The total duration of Concertino is about eleven minutes.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Potter, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Concerto for Piano, Winds, and Percussion

Description: "Concerto for Piano, Winds, and Percussion" is, as the title implies, a piece which features the solo piano in combination with an ensemble of winds and percussion. The instrumentation of the ensemble is two flutes; oboe; two Bb clarinets; Eb alto clarinet; Bb bass clarinet; bassoon; two Bb trumpets; two F horns; two trombones; baritone; tuba; and a percussion section of three players playing timpani, tambourine, xylophone, vibraphone, glockenspiel, chimes, triangle, suspended cymbal, snare drum, bass drum, two bongos, and small woodblock. The major sections of the piece are distinguished primarily by tempo. The fast-slow-fast arrangement of those sections aligns it with the traditional concerto format. The piece is in one movement and is approximately twelve and one-half minutes in duration.
Date: August 1982
Creator: Ring, Gordon L. (Gordon Lee)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contours

Description: Contours is scored for full wind ensemble and percussion, and is approximately nine minutes in length. The title refers to the way melodic shape or contour is used to create unity and variety in the piece. Contours is a single-movement work containing three sections that are unified by thematic and harmonic materials. The melodic material is generated by three twelve-tone rows, which are then used in combination with freely composed material. The first and last sections are highly contrapuntal and rhythmically disjunct. Both sections share common rhythmic and melodic patterns. These sections are contrasted with a slower and more lyric middle section. This section is made of a series of episodes that create an overall A-B-A structure.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Hughes, Russell M., 1954-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

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.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Lucas, Stephen
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Deborah": The Creation of a Chamber Oratorio in One Act

Description: In comparing oratorio traits across history, three aspects of oratorio were found to be particularly applicable to the creation of "Deborah: A Chamber Oratorio in One Act." These aspects were: the selection of topic and the creation or adaptation of text; the differences between recitative and aria, in form and function; and the level of stylistic diversity within a given work.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Mixter, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries

Forever's Silent Song for Chamber Orchestra and Mezzo-Soprano

Description: This work is a setting of two poems by E.E. Cummings for chamber orchestra and mezzo-soprano soloist. The approximate durations of the first and second movements are respectively seven and one half, and six minutes. The music was inspired by the poetry and attempts to highlight the cyclic syntax which hallmarks Cummings' style. The first poem ("pity this busy monster, manunkind,") presents a sarcastic analysis of the progress of society. The compositional techniques used in the first movement involve elements of ostinato and fragmented motivic development to punctuate the penetrating message of the poem. The second movement ("these children singing in stone a") offers a marked contrast in texture and is a peaceful resolution to the agitated frustration of the first poem. Chromaticism is an essential element in defining the melodic and harmonic style. The vocal writing is largely declamatory and presents the vocalist with challenges of tessitura, intervallic complexity and extended technique.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Webb, Lisa A. (Lisa Ann)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fractus I for Trumpet in C and Electronic Sound: A Critical Examination of the Compositional Process

Description: Fractus I is a composition for trumpet in C and live electronic sound. The electronics were primarily created using SuperCollider, an environment and programming language for real time audio synthesis. This project investigates SuperCollider's pattern and task functionality as a means of supporting and enriching the compositional process. Fractus I develops several different code architectures in order to randomize as well as synchronize various musical elements. The piece exploits SuperCollider as both an audio synthesis tool and a performance conduit. Additionally, the nature of SuperCollider's patterns and tasks influences the form and content of the composition. The project underscores SuperCollider as a powerful, versatile and open-ended tool for musical composition and examines future directions and improvements.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Fieldsteel, Eli Mulvey
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Full Armor of God

Description: The Full Armor of God is a musical composition based on the apostle Paul's comparison in Ephesians 6:10-20 between armor for physical combat and armor for spiritual warfare. The instrumentation consists of the following: oboe/English horn, bassoon, two violins, viola, cello, and bass. Texts on Roman armor as well as commentaries and sermons on the scriptures were consulted for the basis of the musical materials. The piece combines imagery and historical associations with abstract renderings of both the physical and the spiritual.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Lawrence, Nicholas A. (Nicholas Alan)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Germinal Ideas and Processes within plies (2002): A Chamber Work for Eleven Players

Description: The piece is a twenty minute work discoursing the integration and eventual dissolution of two separate musical strands. The pitch material of each strand is determined from synthetic scales whose intervalic content duplicates at the following intervals: Perfect 12th, Diminished 12th, Minor 9th, Perfect 8ve, and Major 7th. A proportional means of temporal compression is generated through the use of the factor, 11/15 (e.g. Event 2 is 11/15 the duration of Event 1). Various elements of jazz music informed the construction of plies, including the instrumentation of the ensemble and the means by which the performers interact throughout the piece. Internal cueing and performer decisions are meant to eliminate the need of a conductor in favor of increased interpretive freedom by the performers.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Stecher, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

GranCloud: A real-time granular synthesis application and its implementation in the interactive composition Creo.

Description: GranCloud is new application for the generation of real-time granular synthesis in the SuperCollider programming environment. Although the software was initially programmed for use in the interactive composition Creo, it was implemented as an independent program for use in any computer music project. GranCloud consists of a set of SuperCollider classes representing granular clouds and parameter objects defining control data for the synthesis. The software is very flexible, allowing users to create their own grain synthesis definitions and control parameters. Cloud objects encapsulate all of the control data and methods necessary to render virtually any type of granular synthesis. Parameter objects provide several simple methods for mapping grain parameters to complex changing data sets or to external data sources. GranCloud simplifies the complex task of generating granular synthesis, allowing composers to focus less on technological issues and more on musical considerations during the compositional process.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Lee, Terry Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Haiku Seasons

Description: Haiku Seasons is a choral work that uses several haiku to portray moments in nature. Spread throughout the performance space, four choirs (SATB, 3/part) depict larger parts of the pastoral scene (i.e., mountains, the moon, etc.). Soloists depart from the choirs in order to perform solo, duo, trio, and quartet passages, which take place throughout the work. If enough singers are available, individual soloists may be used. The soloist groups display the more intimate moments of the scenes (i.e., sparrows, a blade of grass, etc.). The intent of Haiku Seasons is to create an image of nature isolated from human interaction. Thus, the image is a pastoral setting with many independent parts all coexisting in a relatively silent world. I combine aspects of tonality, time, space, and silence to create this image.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Smith, Steven Lyle
Partner: UNT Libraries

Heart of the Fathers, for Wind Symphony

Description: Heart of the Fathers is a programmatic, seven movement work for wind symphony depicting my ancestors and their role as part of the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The movements represent their spiritual experiences, labors, times of joy, persecution, migration, and finally their arrival and success in their new homeland. The piece is organized in seven movements. Each movement represents a different portion of history leading to the western migration of my ancestors. The programmatic music contains a variety of symbols depicting the experiences of the pioneers. In the paper, each chapter addresses an individual movement. For each movement, the following information is provided: the historical events that inspired the piece, the musical symbols that characterize the program, and an analysis of the function of the music.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Anderson, Stephen Reg
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hymns to Inanna

Description: The poetry of Sumer, inscribed in cuneiform script on clay tablets dating from 2000 B.C., is considered humanity's earliest written literature. Hymns To Inanna is a three-movement, mixed media work based on adapted English translations from ancient Sumerian text. The text is sung by SATB choir and musically illustrated by harp, flutes, percussion, and computer-generated sound (on tape). My musical setting displays these hymns not as a reflection of antiquity but as a timeless expression of spiritual thought. Certain elements of the composition evoke associations with early culture and music. These components, however, are transformed or merged with musical characteristics of other eras, idioms, and forms thus representing a conceptual and stylistic "bridge" between past, present, and future.
Date: May 1986
Creator: Quate, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Innocents Abroad: The Love Story of Mark Twain and Olivia Langdon

Description: Innocents Abroad, a musical for the stage, deals with events in the life of Mark Twain, 1867-1869, particularly his courtship of Olivia Langdon and his efforts to establish himself as a writer. It emphasizes his struggle to be true to his individuality and outspoken honesty while trying to win "Livy," the product of the society he satirized and often condemned. The book, based on actual events, contains much of Twain's humor and wisdom. The vocal score is written in a contemporary style, for various vocal combinations, including full chorus and includes piano accompaniments and chord symbols for guitar and bass.
Date: December 1978
Creator: Pack, Dallan M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Just Intonation and the Revitalization of Neoclassicism: Three Works for Baroque Instruments

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.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Figg, Graham Elliot
Partner: UNT Libraries

Kidrish Fields

Description: Kidrish Fields, a pastoral fantasy, is scored for seven flutes, vibraphone, and cello. The duration of the work is eighteen minutes. The 62 pages which precede the musical score present a discussion and an analysis of the composition. The purpose of this project was to provide the composer an opportunity to apply polyphonic writing techniques within a score orchestrated for an ensemble of like instruments.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Job, Lynn R. (Lynn Renee)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Kinetico for Chamber Wind Ensemble

Description: This single movement work is written for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 clarinets in Bb, bass clarinet in Bb, 2 bassoons, alto saxophone in Eb, 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in Bb, trombone, euphonium, tuba, contra bass, and 3 percussion. The approximate length is eight minutes. Both traditional and proportional systems of notation are employed. The entire piece is freely chromatic with some implications of whole tone and other nondiatonic scales. The harmonies are tertian yet have no functional tonal basis. Changing meters with asymmetrical divisions are used in all sections except C and E, which have time indications (in seconds) for each measure with subdivisions to aid the conductor. There are seven major formal divisions: A B transition C retransition A' D E.
Date: August 1985
Creator: McDonald, Richard F. (Richard Frederic)
Partner: UNT Libraries