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Aesthetic and Technical Analysis on Soar!

Description: Soar! is a musical composition written for wind ensemble and computer music. The total duration of the work is approximately 10 minutes. Flocking behavior of migratory birds serves as the most prominent influence on the imagery and local structure of the composition. The cyclical nature of the birds' journey inspires palindromic designs in the temporal domain. Aesthetically, Soar! portrays the fluid shapes of the flocks with numerous grains in the sounds. This effect is achieved by giving individual parts high degree of independence, especially in regards to rhythm. Technically, Soar! explores various interactions among instrumental lines in a wind ensemble, constructs overarching symmetrical structures, and integrates a large ensemble with computer music. The conductor acts as the leader at several improvisational moments in Soar! The use of conductor-initiated musical events in the piece can be traced back through the historic lineage of aleatoric compositions since the middle of the twentieth century. [Score is on p. 54-92.]
Date: August 2010
Creator: Wang, Hsiao-Lan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Aesthetic Models and Structural Features in Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band

Description: Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band was commissioned by Staff Sergeant Rone Sparrow, a percussionist with the West Point Military Academy Band. Funding for the project was provided by the Barlow Foundation. The piece was premiered April 13, 2005 in the Eisenhower Hall Theater at West Point, New York. Rone Sparrow performed with the USMA band, and Colonel Thomas Rotondi Jr., Commander/Conductor, conducted the piece. The concerto consists of three movements, and each movement features a different instrument: the first features marimba, the second, vibraphone, and the third movement features the drum kit together with a rhythm section (piano, bass, and drums). In addition to the piece, the dissertation paper discusses important technical detail related to the piece, including: harmony, form, rhythm, programmatic ideas as they relate to motivic strands, and the process of generating and discarding material. The paper also focuses on a number of factors that were influential to the piece, such as postmodern philosophy.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Anderson, Stephen Reg
Partner: UNT Libraries

And Drops of Rain Fall Like Tears: A Composition for Electroacoustic Music and Video

Description: And Drops of Rain Fall Like Tears is a composition for electroacoustic music with an optional ambient video component. The composition consists of a single movement electroacoustic work twenty-two minutes in duration. The piece creates an immersive sonic environment within the confines of a typical concert space, thereby recreating the powerful temper and subtle beauty of nature from different sonic perspectives. The paper is divided into four chapters, each discussing an element of the piece in detail. The introduction presents background information and compositional approach for the composition. Chapters 1 through 4 present detailed information related to the creation of both the electroacoustic music and video elements of the piece. Chapter 4 contains relevant information to the performance of the piece.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Thompson, Michael Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Augeries, for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Tape: Aesthetic Discussion and Theoretical Analysis

Description: Augeries is a multi-channel electro-acoustic composition for flute, clarinet, percussion, and tape. It is intended to be diffused through an 8-channnel playback system. Inspired by the first four lines of William Blake's Augeries of Innocence, Augeries captures the qualitative aspects of Blake's poetry by presenting the listener with an equally aperspectival aesthetic experience. The small-scale structure reflected on the large-scale form - the infusion of vastness and expansiveness into the fragile and minute. Augeries incorporates techniques of expansion and contraction, metonymic relationships, dilation and infolding of time, and structured improvisation to create an experience that is designed to explore the notion of musical time, and to bring to the listener the sense of time freedom. The critical analysis suggests that the increase in the notions of musical time, the aesthetics with which they conform, and the new time forms created, encapsulate communicative significance. This significance exists within a horizon of meaning. Semiotics illuminates an understanding of the structuring techniques used to render time as an area of artistic play. Understanding the aesthetics and mechanisms through which these techniques can be used constitutes a shared horizon of meaning. The concepts of cultural phenomenologist Jean Gebser, as explicated in The Ever-Present Origin, are used to contextualize these notions, through a description of the various consciousness structures with specific attention to the space-time relationships. Of specific concern are the aperspectival manifestations in music in the twentieth century and beyond. Special emphasis is given to the area of electro-acoustic music, particularly spectral music. The theoretical analysis explores how the various techniques are used to create an aperspectival experience, and includes specific descriptions of the technique of refraction as metonymy, and pitch set analysis of the technique of expansion and contraction.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Gedosh, David
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

I, Blavatsky: A One-Act Opera

Description: I, Blavatsky is a one-act opera based on the life of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a nineteenth-century Russian princess and co-founder of a religious organization called the Theosophical Society. The libretto, by the composer, involves a cast of three principal soloists and minor roles for six more singers who are also participants in a small chorus. The text format features free verse alternating with regular, rhymed strophes. Accompaniment is provided by a piano. Melodic structure combines some nineteenth-century Romantic idioms with twentieth-century style. Most of the melodic and harmonic material was intuitively composed to express the text. Rhythmic and stylistic contrasts are accomplished in the representation of the extensive travels of the main character. Stage directions involve a stylized set, several scenes requiring minimal set changes, magical effects to represent that facet of Blavatsky's life, and onstage costume changes for several characters. Approximate duration is one hour.
Date: May 1990
Creator: Cooper, Steve, 1951 Dec. 4-
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

Characterizing Noise and Harmonicity: The Structural Function of Contrasting Sonic Components in Electronic Composition

Description: This dissertation examines the role of noise in shaping the form of several recent musical compositions. This study demonstrates how the contrast of noisy sounds and harmonic sounds can impact the structure of compositions. Depending on context, however, the specific use and function of noise can vary substantially from one work to the next. The first portion of this paper describes methods for quantifying noise content using FFT analysis procedures. A number of tests on instrumental and synthetic sound sources are described in order to demonstrate how the analysis system may react to certain sounds. The second part of this document consists of several analyses of whole musical works. Works for acoustic instruments are examined first, followed by works for electronic media. During these analyses, it becomes clear that while the use of noise in each work is based largely upon context, some common patterns do exist across different works. The final portion of the paper examines an original work which was written with the function of noise specifically in mind. The original work is put through the same analysis procedures as works seen earlier in the paper, and some conclusions are drawn regarding both the possibilities and limitations of noise analysis as a compositional tool.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Dribus, John Alexander
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

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

The Creative Process in Cross-Influential Composition

Description: This dissertation describes a compositional model rooted in cross-influential methodology between complementary musical compositions that share generative source material. In their simultaneous construction, two composition pairs presented challenges that influenced and mediated the other's development with respect to timbre, transposition, pitch material, effects processing, and form. A working prototype first provides a model that is later developed. The first work Thema is for piano alone, and the companion piece Am3ht is for piano and live computer processing via the graphical programming environment Max/MSP. Compositional processes used in the prototype solidify the cross-influential model, demanding flexibility and a dialectic approach. Ideas set forth in the prototype are then explored through a second pair of compositions rooted in cross-influential methodology. The first work Lusmore is scored for solo contrabass and Max/MSP. The second composition Knockgrafton is scored for string orchestra. The flexibility of the cross-influential model is revealed more fully through a discussion of each work's musical development. The utility of the cross-influential compositional model is discussed, particularly within higher academia.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Anderson, Jonathan Douglas
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

Cultural and Technical Perspectives on Winter Landscape

Description: Winter Landscape is an interactive composition for erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle), flute, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. The total duration of the piece is approximately 15 minutes. Winter Landscape serves to demonstrate one particular approach to exploring the possibilities afforded in an interactive paradigm within a cross-cultural context. The work is intended to convey my personality and identity as a contemporary Chinese composer through diverse cultural and musical influences drawn to this particular piece while creating a balance between traditional and modern sounds. The influences of Chinese philosophy (especially Chán) and the essence of Chinese traditional music play a prominent role as demonstrated in the formation of structures, expressions, and concept of Yun in the work; these influences also play a great role in determining the instrumentation and basic pitch structures of the work. However, this work is equally influenced by techniques and practices of modern Western classical music. These diverse influences hopefully have resulted in a unique work that truly does represent a cross-synthesis of these varying influences. In Winter Landscape, the interaction that takes place between the computer and the live musician is intended to reveal the responsive human/machine relationships. The computer constantly shifts its roles as a musical instrument, conductor, performer, and improviser to facilitate the sonic realization of the solemn, nebulous, and peaceful nature of Chán philosophy, thus exploring the cultural and musical potentials; meanwhile, the design of algorithmic structures simulate the modeling of human performance, enabling the computer with intellectual ability and musical expressivity as a decision-maker, resembling its counterpart-the live performer.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Wang, Jing
Partner: UNT Libraries

Earth Ascending: A Composition in Three Movements for Female Voice, Electroacoustic Music, and Video

Description: Earth Ascending is a composition in three movements scored for female voice, electroacoustic music, and video. Composed in the Year 2000, Earth Ascending lasts approximately sixteen minutes and was created specifically for live performance in which all three elements combine to create a sonic and visual environment. As such, no single element has greater importance than any other, with each of the three performing forces assuming a foreground role at various times throughout the work. Earth Ascending is defined by a single poem written by contemporary female British poets Jeni Counzyn, Jehanne Mehta, and Cynthia Fuller. The movements are named according to the title of each poem: Earth-Body, Light-Body; Wringcliff Beach; and Pool. The movements are separated in performance by five seconds of silence and black on the video screen. The paper accompanying the score of Earth Ascending is divided into five chapters, each discussing in detail an element central to the composition itself. The Introduction presents background information, general ideas, and approaches undertaken when creating the work. Chapters 1 through 3 investigate in detail the content of the electroacoustic music, voice, and video. Chapter 4 discusses scoring techniques, revealing approaches and methods undertaken to solve issues relating to notation and ways of accurately representing sound, pitch, and rhythm within the context of a mixed media work. Chapter 5 presents information relevant to the live performance of the piece.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Lillios, Elainie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fidget, Sway, and Swerve: Three Works Inspired By Movement From the Intricate Maneuvers Series

Description: Intricate Maneuvers is a series of musical works that were composed using movement as a model for compositional processes and forms. This essay presents in-depth analyses of three works from the series; Fidget, Sway: The Mildest Form of Falling, and Swerve for Chamber Ensemble. The analysis of each work highlights correlations between the musical characteristics of that work and the temporal, spatial, contextual, and psychological implications of the motion after which it was modeled. The third chapter also demonstrates the ways in which the creation of Sway was influenced by materials and processes taken from Ruth Crawford's String Quartet 1931. In order to investigate the question of how life experiences can function as models for compositional processes, the essay examines precedents for the compositional modeling of extra-musical ideas and images in the works of Bed?ich Smetana, Elliott Carter and Roger Reynolds. It also discusses approaches to modeling movement in music created for dance. Throughout the Intricate Maneuvers series, movement is modeled not merely to create an association between a musical work and a particular movement pattern, but rather to infuse the compositions with the dynamism that defines a particular kinetic experience.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Summar, Sarah Page
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

Galileo's Eyeglass: An Orchestral Work Celebrating the Discovery of the Moons of Jupiter and the Rings of Saturn

Description: Galileo's Eyeglass is a celebratory work for full orchestra with standard instrumentation commemorating Galileo Galilei's discoveries of the four largest moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn in 1610. The composition is approximately 14 minutes in duration, and although divided thematically into four parts, the music is continuous. The work exhibits primarily a blend of contemporary styles and compositional elements, yet it is rooted in traditional tonality; furthermore, the piece is interspersed with references to Galileo's life and times, including quotations of a toccata composed by the scientist's brother, Michelangelo Galilei, transcribed from lute tablature. Chapter 1 of Part 1 investigates relevant historical threads extracted from the backdrop of Galileo's life, from reflections on the events that shape the musical program, to the selection and preparation of the period music composed by Galileo's brother. Chapter 2 discusses specific musical components of Galileo's Eyeglass, including form, musical quotations, motivic and thematic material, harmonic language, orchestration, and notation. Chapter 3 examines the principal philosophical themes behind the composition, including expressions of victory of a life well lived in spite of many obstacles. Part 2 contains the orchestral score.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Walls, Jay Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

General Process in the Creation of Estruendos and Principal Structural Elements of the Composition

Description: My composition, Estruendos, is a work for large symphonic orchestra, guitar and computer-generated and processed sounds on CD. The work lasts 23 minutes and 45 seconds. My dissertation is composed of two parts: Part One comprises the analysis and Part Two comprises the score. Part One gives a brief background of my compositional dialect and aesthetics. It also includes a discussion of the compositional process and general overview of Estruendos. In addition, it illustrates the primary role the placement of sonic events in time and timbral structure play in the pathos of Estruendos.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Cuellar Camargo, Lucio Edilberto
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