UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse


Accent and Grouping Structures in the String Quartets of Béla Bartók

Description: The music of Béla Bartók is defined in part by its unique blend of rhythmic vitality and inventiveness, and his string quartets offer a glimpse into a consistency of technique evident throughout his compositional career. Bartók's rhythmic environments are primarily metrical, but many of his rhythmic configurations are placed in such a way as to potentially override established meter. It is necessary, therefore, to institute an analytical means by which the delineation and comparison of rhythmic structures both within and without the metrical context may be accomplished. An analytical method using Timepoint Accent Structures (TAS) allows for the comparison of rhythms resulting from patterns of accent produced by pitch onset, dynamic stress, articulation or any other accentual factors. Timepoint Grouping Structures (TGS) delineate the number of timepoints present in alternating groups/blocks in a texture, thereby allowing for the recognition of patterning created by these larger groups. By applying TAS and TGS analysis, relationships of rhythmic equivalency, rotation, retrograde, complementation, augmentation, diminution, subset, superset, exchange, compression and expansion are clearly confirmed in the string quartets. In addition, symmetrical structures and arithmetic progressions are discovered. In many ways, Bartók's rhythmic organization mimics his procedures of pitch structuring.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Bocanegra, Cheryl D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Aesthetics of Minimalist Music and a Schenkerian-Oriented Analysis of the First Movement "Opening" of Philip Glass' Glassworks

Description: Philip Glass' Glassworks (1981) is a six-movement composition for two flutes, two soprano saxophones/clarinets, two tenor saxophones/bass clarinets, two French horns, violas, cellos, and the DX7 electric piano. Glassworks consists of six movements titled "Opening," "Floe," "Island," "Rubric," "Facades," and "Closing." This thesis covers the first movement "Opening." Repetition in musical minimalism confronts traditional prescriptive codes of tonal music and post-tonal music. While challenging the traditional codes, repetition in musical minimalism established new codes for listening to minimal music. This thesis explores the implications of these ideas.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Wu, Chia-Ying
Partner: UNT Libraries

Alberto Ginastera and the Guitar Chord: An Analytical Study

Description: The guitar chord (a sonority based on the open strings of the guitar) is one of Alberto Ginastera's compositional trademarks. The use of the guitar chord expands throughout forty years, creating a common link between different compositional stages and techniques. Chapters I and II provide the historical and technical background on Ginastera's life, oeuvre and scholar research. Chapter IV explores the origins of the guitar chord and compares it to similar specific sonorities used by different composers to express extra-musical ideas. Chapter V discusses Ginastera's initial uses and modifications of the guitar chord. Chapter VI explores the use of the guitar chord as a referential sonority based on Variaciones Concertantes, Op. 23: I-II, examining vertical (subsets) and horizontal (derivation of motives) aspects. Chapter VII explores uses of trichords and hexachords derived from the guitar chord in the Sonata for Guitar Op. 47.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Gaviria, Carlos A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Algorithmic Music Analysis: a Case Study of a Prelude From David Cope’s “From Darkness, Light”

Description: The use of algorithms in compositional practice has been in use for centuries. With the advent of computers, formalized procedures have become an important part of computer music. David Cope is an American composer that has pioneered systems that make use of artificial intelligence programming techniques. In this dissertation one of David Cope’s compositions that was generated with one of his processes is examined in detail. A general timeline of algorithmic compositional practice is outlined from a historical perspective, and realized in the Common Lisp programming language as a musicological tool. David Cope’s compositional output is summarized with an explanation of what types of systems he has utilized in the analyses of other composers’ music, and the composition of his own music. Twentieth century analyses techniques are formalized within Common Lisp as algorithmic analyses tools. The tools are then combined with techniques developed within other computational music analyses tools, and applied toward the analysis of Cope’s prelude. A traditional music theory analysis of the composition is provided, and outcomes of computational analyses augment the traditional analysis. The outcome of the computational analyses, or algorithmic analyses, is represented in statistical data, and corresponding probabilities. From the resulting data sets part of a machine-learning technique algorithm devises semantic networks. The semantic networks represent chord succession and voice leading rules that underlie the framework of Cope’s prelude.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Krämer, Reiner
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of Periodic Rhythmic Structures in the Music of Steve Reich and György Ligeti

Description: The compositions of Steve Reich and György Ligeti both contain periodic rhythmic structures. Although periods are not usually easily perceived, the listener may perceive their combinations in a hierarchy of rhythmic structures. This document is an attempt to develop an analytical method that can account for this hierarchy in periodic music. I begin with an overview of the features of Reich's and Ligeti's music that contribute to the property of periodicity. I follow with a discussion of the music and writings of Olivier Messiaen as a precedent for the periodic structures in the music of Reich and Ligeti. I continue by consulting the writings of the Israeli musicologist Simha Arom and describing the usefulness of his ideas and terminology in the development of my method. I explain the working process and terminology of the analytical method, and then I apply it to Reich's Six Pianos and Ligeti's Désordre.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Isgitt, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of Robert Nathaniel Dett's In the Bottoms

Description: The purpose of the thesis is to analyze formally, harmonically and melodically the five movements of the suite both as separate movements and inclusively as one cohesive unit. The thesis will be written in three parts: Part One will include a biographical sketch of the composer, a general discussion of his music, background information on the suite and Dett's antecedents and contemporaries influencing him. Part Two will discuss the following: A) Form, B) Harmonic Analysis, and C) Melodic Analysis and the influences of black folk idioms. Part Three will include the keyboard music of Dett's contemporaries as compared to his suite in terms of their contrasts and similarities.
Date: December 1983
Creator: Miles, Debra A. (Debra Ann)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Composition Process of Bartók's Eight Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20

Description: This is a study of Bartók's compositional process as it relates to the Improvisations, Op. 20. The study, which focuses on the analysis of the draft manuscript 50PS1, compares the draft and other relevant sources with the final composition. Bartók's framework for the entire Improvisations is based on a compositional strategy of pairing individual improvisations combined with systematic revision of the draft copy by the introduction of tritones as tonal equivalents and movement by fifths from semitones, to achieve structural coherence in the individual improvisations. The tonic-dominant relationship is used to rearrange the individual improvisations in the draft and tritones as tonal equivalents are used to propel the movement between the improvisations to produce a coherent whole.
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Date: May 2000
Creator: Kochbeck, Olivia M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analytical Study of Paradox and Structural Dualism in the Music of Ludwig van Beethoven

Description: Beethoven's rich compositional language evokes unique problems that have fueled scholarly dialogue for many years. My analyses focus on two types of paradoxes as central compositional problems in some of Beethoven's symphonic pieces and piano sonatas. My readings of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 27 (Op. 90), Symphony No. 4 (Op. 60), and Symphony No. 8 (Op. 93) explore the nature and significance of paradoxical unresolved six-four chords and their impact on tonal structure. I consider formal-tonal paradoxes in Beethoven's Tempest Sonata (Op. 31, No. 2), Ninth Symphony (Op. 125), and Overture die Weihe des Hauses (Op. 124). Movements that evoke formal-tonal paradoxes retain the structural framework of a paradigmatic interrupted structure, but contain unique voice-leading features that superimpose an undivided structure on top of the "residual" interrupted structure. Carl Schachter's observations about "genuine double meaning" and his arguments about the interplay between design and tonal structure in "Either/Or" establish the foundation for my analytical approach to paradox. Timothy Jackson's reading of Brahms' "Immer leiser word meine Schlummer" (Op. 105, No. 2) and Stephen Slottow's "Von einem Kunstler: Shapes in the Clouds" both clarify the methodology employed here. My interpretation of paradox involves more than just a slight contradiction between two Schenkerian readings; it involves fundamentally opposed readings, that both result from valid, logical lines of analytical reasoning. In my view, paradoxes could be considered a central part of Beethoven's persona and philosophy. Beethoven's romantic endeavors and his relationships with mentors suggest that paradoxes might have been central to his bravura. Furthermore, Beethoven's familiarity with the politics of the French Revolution and Shakespearean literature suggest that paradoxes in some pieces (including the Ninth Symphony) could be metaphorical representations of his ideology. However, I do not attempt to explicitly link specific style features to extra-musical ideas. Modern Schenkerian scholars continue to expand ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Graf, Benjamin Stewart
Partner: UNT Libraries

Antoine Reicha's Theories of Musical Form

Description: Antoine Reicha stands as an important figure in the growing systematization of musical form. While Traite de melodie (1814) captures the essence of eighteenth-century concern with tonal movement and periodicity, Reicha's later ideas as represented in Traite de haute composition musicale (1824-26) anticipate descriptions of thematic organization characteristic of his nineteenth-century successors. Three important topics emerge as crucial elements: melody, thematic development, and schematic categorization of complete pieces.
Date: December 1989
Creator: McCachren, Jo Renee
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Application of Grundgestalt Theory in the Late Chromatic Music of Chopin: a Study of his Last Three Polonaises

Description: The late chromatic music of Chopin is often difficult to analyze, particularly with a system of Roman numerals. The study examines Schoenberg's Grundgestalt concept as a strategy for explaining Chopin's chromatic musical style. Two short Chopin works, Nocturne in E-flat major. Op. 9, No. 2, and Etude in E major, Op. 10, No. 3, serve as models in which the analytic method is formulated. Root analysis, in the manner of eighteenth-century theorist Simon Sechter, is utilized to facilitate harmonic analysis of chromatic passages. Based upon the analytic method developed, the study analyzes the last three polonaises of Chopin: Polonaise in F-sharp minor, Op. 44, Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53, and Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat major, Op. 61. The Grundgestalt-based analysis shows harmonic, melodic and rhythmic connections in order to view Chopin's chromaticism and formal structure from a new perspective. With this approach, the chromaticism is viewed as essential to the larger form.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Spicer, Mark Joseph
Partner: UNT Libraries

Arvo Pärt and Three Types of His Tintinnabuli Technique

Description: Arvo Pärt, an Estonian composer, was born in 1935. Most of the works at the beginning of his career were for piano in the neo-classical style. After that, he turned his interest to serial music and continued creating works with serial techniques throughout the 1960s. After his "self-imposed silence" period (during the years 1968-1976), Pärt emerged with a new musical style, which he called tintinnabuli. Although, this technique was influenced by music from the medieval period, the texture and function of its musical style cannot be described easily in terms of any single musical technique of the past. This study explores the evolution of Arvo Pärt's tintinnabuli technique in its first decade 1976-1985, which is divided into three different types. It provides musical examples from the scores of selected works, Für Alina, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Cantate Domino canticum novum, Missa Sillabica, Stabat Mater and Es sang vor langen Jahren, and their analyses with supporting interpretative sketches. The goal of this thesis is to provide the reader a basis for understanding and recognizing the different types of Pärt's tintinnabuli technique.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Kongwattananon, Oranit
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bach's Mass in B minor: An Analytical Study of Parody Movements and their Function in the Large-Scale Architectural Design of the Mass

Description: Most studies of the Mass in B Minor deal with the history of the work, its reception history, primary sources, performance practice issues, rhetoric, and even theological and numerical symbolism. However, little research focuses on an in-depth analysis of the music itself. Of the few analytical studies undertaken, to date only a limited number attempt to explain Bach's use of parody technique or unity in the whole composition. This thesis focuses on understanding three primary concerns in regards to the Mass in B minor: to comprehend how preexistent material was adapted to the context of the Mass, how this material functions in the network of the entire composition, and how unity is achieved by means of large-scale voice leading. The results of this study not only provide new information about this monument of Western music, but also provide insight to the deep sense of large-scale structure in Bach's work.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Pérez Torres, René
Partner: UNT Libraries

Beethoven's Opus 18 String Quartets: Selected First Movements in Consideration of the Formal Theories of Heinrich Koch as Expressed in Versuch Einer Anleitung Zur Composition

Description: Heinrich Koch completed his treatise in 1793, a pioneering work regarding the musical phrase as well as a sonata form description (lacking that term). Composition of Opus 18 began in 1798, a momentous project for several reasons in Beethoven's early career. Here, the theories expressed in Koch's Versuch are taken as an analytic springboard into a thorough analysis of the first movement of the quartet published no. 3, which was the first composed; additionally, nos. 1 and 6 are explored to a lesser degree. This study in phrase-analysis demonstrates significance in the fundamental ideas of Koch as applied to a masterwork of the turn of the 19th century.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Tompkins, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

Beethoven's Transcendence of the Additive Tendency in Opus 34, Opus 35, Werk ohne Opuszahl 80, and Opus 120

Description: The internal unity of the themes in a sonata-allegro movement and the external unity of the movements in a sonata cycle are crucial elements of Beethoven's compositional aesthetic. Numerous theorists have explored these aspects in Beethoven's sonatas, symphonies, quartets, and concertos. Similar research into the independent variation sets for piano, excluding Opus 120, has been largely neglected as the result of three misconceptions: that the variation sets, many of which were based on popular melodies of Beethoven's time, are not as worthy of study as his other works; that the type of hidden internal relationships which pervade the sonata cycle are not relevant to the variation set since all variations are, by definition, related to the theme; and that variations were composed "additively," that is, one after another, without any particular regard for their order or relationship to one another. The purpose of this study is to refute all three of these incorrect assumptions. Beethoven was concerned with the order of variations and their relationship to one another, and he was able to transcend the additive tendency in a number of ways. Some of his methods included registral connection, registral expansion, rhythmic acceleration, textural expansion, dynamics, articulation, and motivic similarities. Chapter I contains a discussion of the role of the variation set in Beethoven's overall output. The teachers, composers, and works which may have influenced him are also discussed as well as his training in variation composition. Finally, those factors which Beethoven employed to unify his sets are listed and explained. Chapters II-V are devoted to detailed analyses of four striking variation sets: Opus 34, Opus 35, WoO 80, and Opus 120. Chapter VI presents a summary of the findings. It suggests that each of the sets investigated has a unique form and that each variation has a distinct place ...
Date: December 1989
Creator: Kramer, Ernest J. (Ernest Joachim)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Consonance, Tertian Structures and Tonal Coherence in Wladimir Vogel's Dodecaphonic World

Description: Wladimir Vogel's (1896-1984) interest in twelve-tone composition began to develop in 1936 after hearing a series of lectures by Willi Reich, a music critic and supporter of the new music of the Second Viennese School. The transition for Vogel from a large-scale orchestral “classical” style, influenced by his study with Ferruccio Busoni in Berlin in the early 1920s, to a new technique involving dodecaphony is apparent in his instrumental writing, the third and fourth movements of the Konzert für Violine und Orchester (1937), as well as in his vocal writing, the Madrigaux for mixed a cappella choir (1938/39). Vogel's twelve-tone works exhibit tertian structures which are particularly emphasized by triads located as consecutive pitches within the rows. Emphasis on tertian structures are not limited to small-scale segmentation of the rows but can also be seen in the structural and tonal organization of complete movements and works. A primary example is the Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester (Cello Concerto) (1955) in which, on a smaller scale, the presentation of the row emphasizes both diminished and minor triads, and at the macro level, the structural triadic relationships unify passages within individual movements as well as the concerto as a whole. Since the work is composed using the twelve-tone method, consideration is given to the structure of the serial components. In addition, the concerto is analyzed in terms of its cognitive features-those elements that are demonstrably related to traditional practice- such as tertian melodic/harmonic outlines reinforced by rhythmic features that are common to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century practice. The compositional features evident from the serial structure of the work are addressed in conjunction with references to traditional practice made evident through the serial technique. The findings in the analysis of the Cello Concerto support the argument that the inclusion of consonant sonorities and tertian ...
Date: December 2002
Creator: Hale, Jacquelyn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Deconstructing Webern's Op 25, Drei Lieder: a Multidimensional Assessment

Description: Webern scholarship has not comprehensively examined op. 25, drei lieder. If the selection of text for op. 25 is viewed as one work in three movements they create a ternary form (A-B-A1). To show how this form is developed in the music the author creates a new analytical system based on Schoenberg's Grundgestalt which is defined by three basic ideas: symmetry, liquidation, and variation. The relationship between the voice and accompaniment and Webern's deliberate manipulation of the text is used to reveal the use of a program which is then tied to the numerical symbolism of 2 and 3.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Morgeson, Paul Taylor
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dialogo della musica antica et della moderna of Vincenzo Galilei: Translation and Commentary

Description: The purpose of this study is to provide a practical English translation of Vincenzo Galilei's significant treatise on ancient and modern music (1581). In spite of the important place this work holds in the history of music, it has never before been made available in its entirety in any language other than the original Italian.
Date: August 1973
Creator: Herman, Robert H., 1934-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dissonance Treatment in Fuging Tunes by Daniel Read from The American Singing Book and The Columbian Harmonist

Description: This thesis treats Daniel Read's music analytically to establish style characteristics. Read's fuging tunes are examined for metric placement and structural occurrence of dissonance, and dissonance as text painting. Read's comments on dissonance are extracted from his tunebook introductions. A historical chapter includes the English origins of the fuging tune and its American heyday. The creative life of Daniel Read is discussed. This thesis contributes to knowledge of Read's role in the development of the New England Psalmody idiom. Specifically, this work illustrates the importance of understanding and analyzing Read's use of dissonance as a style determinant, showing that Read's dissonance treatment is an immediate and central characteristic of his compositional practice.
Date: May 1987
Creator: Sims, Scott G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dmitri Shostakovich and the Fugues of Op. 87: A Bach Bicentennial Tribute

Description: In 1950-51, for the bicentennial of the death of J. S. Bach, Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his collection of Twenty-four Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87. This thesis is a study of the fugal technique of Shostakovich as observed in Op. 87, in light of the fugal style of Bach as observed in The Well-Tempered Clavier, Volume One. Individual analyses of each of the twenty-four Shostakovich pieces yield the conclusion that Op. 87 is an emulation of Bachian fugal methods as observed in The Well-Tempered Clavier, Volume One.
Date: August 1981
Creator: Adams, Robert M. (Robert Michael)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Drafts, Page Proofs, and Revisions of Schenker's Der freie Satz: The Collection at the Austrian National Library and Schenker's Generative Process

Description: When Schenkerian theory began to influence scholarly circles in the United States, the primary - although not the only - work to which scholars had access was Schenker's last monograph, Der freie Satz. Reading textual passages and examining the many musical graphs in the companion volume of examples influenced their concept of the fundamental structure as Schenker understood it, as well as the relationship of the other levels (Schichten) to the larger structure. The problem is that most of the second generation of Schenkerian scholars were reading the 1956 second German edition, not the 1935 first German edition. The second edition had been altered for textual and musical content by Schenker's student, Oswald Jonas - so there is already a disconnect between the original version and the text scholars were reading at that time (the 1950s, 60s, and 70s). Furthermore, many younger North Americans were insufficiently fluent in German to be able to read the work in the original language. In order to make Schenker's treatise accessible to English-speaking scholars, Ernst Oster set about translating the work into English, a task completed in 1979 just after his death. The text was based on the second German edition (ed. Jonas, Vienna, 1956), but the first edition (Vienna, 1935) was consulted also. Examples that were changed from the 1935 edition in the 1956 edition were not restored. The first problem for those interested in gaining a more accurate understanding of Schenker's theories is that the first German edition is still unavailable in complete translation. The second and more serious issue involves the genesis of the first German edition. All these problems concerning the publication of the various editions have led to an incomplete understanding of the work. Complicating matters is the relatively unexplored state of the late manuscript of Der freie Satz ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Auerbach, Jennifer Sadoff
Partner: UNT Libraries

Form in Popular Song, 1990-2009

Description: Through an examination of 402 songs that charted in the top 20 of the Billboard year-end charts between the years 1990 and 2009, this dissertation builds upon previous research in form of popular song by addressing the following questions: 1) How might formal sections be identified through melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, and text? 2) How do these sections function and relate to one another and to the song as a whole? 3) How do these sections, and the resulting formal structures, relate to what has been described by previous theorists as normative? 4) What new norms and trends can be observed in popular song forms since 1990? Although many popular songs since 1990 do follow well-established forms, some songwriters and producers change and vary these forms. AAA strophic form, AABA form, Verse-Chorus form, Verse-Chorus with Prechorus and/or Postchorus sections, Verse-Chorus-Bridge form, “Other, with a Chorus” and “Other, without a Chorus” forms are addressed. An increasing number of the songs in each of the above listed forms are based on a repeating harmonic progression or no harmonic progression at all. In such songs, the traditional method of identifying sections and section-functions through harmonic analysis is less useful as an analytical tool, and other musical elements (melody, rhythm, instrumentation, and text) are as important, if not even more so, in determining the form of songs in the sample.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Ensign, Jeffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Formal Devices of Trance and House Music: Breakdowns, Buildups, and Anthems

Description: Trance and house music are sub-genres within the genre of electronic dance music. The form of breakdown, buildup and anthem is the main driving force behind trance and house music. This thesis analyzes transcriptions from 22 trance and house songs in order to establish and define new terminology for formal devices used within the breakdown, buildup and anthem sections of the music.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Iler, Devin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Formal Organization in Ground-bass Compositions

Description: This thesis examines formal organization in ground-bass works. While it is true that many or even most works of the ground-bass repertoire are variation sets over a ground, there also exist many ground-bass works that are not in variation form. The primary goal of this thesis is to elucidate the various ways in which such non-variation formal organizations may be achieved. The first chapter of this work discusses the general properties of ground basses and various ways that individual phrases may be placed in relation to the statements of the ground. The second chapter considers phrases groupings, phrase rhythm, and the larger formal organizations that result. The third chapter concludes this study with complete analyses of Purcell’s “When I am laid in earth” from Dido and Aeneas and Delanade’s “Jerusalem, convertere ad dominum Deum tuum” from his setting of the Leçons de ténèbres.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Stevens, Bryan
Partner: UNT Libraries

From Outward Appearance to Inner Reality: A Reading of Aaron Copland's Inscape

Description: About 8.3% of individuals diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM) are diagnosed with comorbid depression, a higher rate than the general adult population. This project examined the differences of depression symptoms experienced between diabetic and matched non-diabetic individuals and the relationship of daily activity and nutrition behaviors with depression between these groups. The 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was utilized to assess: depression symptoms, diabetic glycemic control as measured by glycoginated hemoglobin (HbA1c), amount of physical activity, percentage of macronutrients, daily frequencies of foods consumed, and the use of nutritional food labels to make food choices. A sample of diabetic (n = 451) and non-diabetic individuals (n = 451) were matched to on age, gender, ethnicity, and education. The diabetic individuals experienced greater depression on both continuous and ordinal diagnostic variables. Counter to expectation, there was no relationship observed between depression and HbA1c in diabetic individuals, r = .04, p > .05.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Ensign, Jeffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries