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Accessibility and Authenticity in Julia Smith's Cynthia Parker

Description: In 1939, composer Julia Smith's first opera Cynthia Parker dramatized the story of a Texas legend. Smith manipulated music, text, and visual images to make the opera accessible for the audience in accordance with compositional and institutional practices in American opera of the 1930s. Transparent musical themes and common Native Americans stereotypes are used to define characters. Folk music is presented as diegetic, creating a sense of authenticity that places the audience into the opera's Western setting. The opera is codified for the audience using popular idioms, resulting in initial but not lasting success.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Buehner, Katie R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Anton Bruckner's Treatment of the Credo Text in His Last Three Masses

Description: In order to investigate the stylistic transformation that occured before Bruckner abandoned the composition of Masses, this paper analyzes the Credo settings in his last three great Masses, with special attention to the treatment of the text. The relationship between the text and specific musical techniques is also considered. The trends found in these three works, especially in the last setting in F minor, confirm the assumption that Bruckner's Mass composition served as a transition to the composition of his symphonies.
Date: December 1985
Creator: Lee, Namjai
Partner: UNT Libraries

Asserting Identity in Wagner's Shadow: The Case of Engelbert Humperdinck's Königskinder (1897)

Description: Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), who was considered a Wagnerian due to to his past work in Bayreuth and the Wagnerian traits of his Hänsel und Gretel, seems to have believed that to define himself as a composer, he had to engage somehow with that designation, whether through orthodox Wagner imitation or an assertion of his independence from Wagner's musical legacy. The latter kind of engagement can be seen in Humperdinck's Königskinder (1897), in which he developed a new kind of declamatory notation within the context of melodrama, thus fulfilling Wagnerian ideals as well as progressing beyond them. The effectiveness of Humperdinck's effort is seen in the ensuing critical reception, in which the realities of being heard as a Wagnerian composer are clarified.
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Date: August 2004
Creator: Kinnett, Forest Randolph
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Being" a Stickist: A Phenomenological Consideration of "Dwelling" in a Virtual Music Scene

Description: Musical instruments are not static, unchanging objects. They are, instead, things that materially evolve in symmetry with human practices. Alterations to an instrument's design often attend to its ergonomic or expressive capacity, but sometimes an innovator causes an entirely new instrument to arise. One such instrument is the Chapman Stick. This instrument's history is closely intertwined with global currents that have evolved into virtual, online scenes. Virtuality obfuscates embodiment, but the Stick's world, like any instrument's, is optimally related in intercorporeal exchanges. Stickists circumvent real and virtual obstacles to engage the Stick world. Using an organology informed by the work of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, this study examines how the Chapman Stick, as a material "thing," speaks in and through a virtual, representational environment.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Hodges, Jeff
Partner: UNT Libraries

Belle Musique and Fin' Amour: Thibaut de Champagne, Gace Brulé, and an Aristocratic Trouvére Tradition

Description: Many consider Gace Brulé (c1160-c1213) and Thibaut IV, Count of Champagne, (1201-1253) to have been the greatest trouvères. Writers on this subject have not adequately examined this assumption, having focused their energies on such issues as tracking melodic variants of individual works as preserved in different song-books (or chansonniers), the interpretation of rhythm in performance, and creation of modern editions of these songs. This thesis examines the esteem enjoyed by Gace and Thibaut in both medieval and modern times which derives from their exemplarity of, rather than difference from their noble contemporaries.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Bly, Emily
Partner: UNT Libraries

Beyond the Human Voice: Francis Poulenc's Psychological Drama La Voix humaine (1958)

Description: Francis Poulenc's one-character opera La Voix humaine (1958), a setting of the homonymous play by Jean Cocteau, explores the psychological complexities of an unnamed woman as she experiences the end of a romantic relationship. During the forty-minute work, she sings in a declamatory manner into a telephone, which serves as a sign of the unrevealed man at the other end. Poulenc uses musical motives to underscore the woman's changing emotional states as she recalls her past relationship. The musical dramaturgy in this work resignifies Debussy's impressionist symbolism by collapsing devices used in Pelléas et Mélisande in a language that shifts between octatonicism, chromaticism, harmonic and melodic whole tone passages, and diatonicism. This late work recontextualizes elements in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-56), and the end of the opera provides a theme for his Sonate pour Clarinet et Piano(1962), as Poulenc reflects on his youthful encounters with Cocteau, Erik Satie, and Les Six.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Beard, Cynthia C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Busoni's Doktor Faust

Description: It is the intent of this thesis to shed a new investigative light upon a musician whose importance as a creative personality and aesthetician has been sorely underestimated or at least unappreciated by fellow musicians and audiences of his own and succeeding generations, a musician who formulated a new musical aesthetic which involved the utilization of compositional techniques diametrically opposed to those which had held dominant influence over the musical world for more than half a century, a musician who attempted to fuse the Italian sense of form and clarity with Teutonic profundity, complexity, and symbolism. This musician was Ferruccio Busoni. This thesis will concentrate on the history of the Faust legend and Busoni's final work, his opera Doktor Faust (c. 1924), the creative problems opera imposed upon Busoni, and his attempt to solve them vis-a-vis his own personal aesthetic.
Date: August 1976
Creator: Harrison, Charles Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Carlo Milanuzzi's Quarto Scherzo and the Climate of Venetian Popular Music in the 1620s

Description: Although music publishing in Italy was on the decline around the turn of the seventeenth century, Venice emerged as one of the most prolific publishing centers of secular song in Italy throughout the first three decades of the 1600s. Many Venetian song collections were printed with alfabeto, a chordal tablature designed to facilitate even the most untrained of musicians with the necessary tools for accompanying singers on the fashionable five-course Spanish guitar. Carlo Milanuzzi's Quarto Scherzo (1624) stands out among its contemporary Venetian song collections with alfabeto as an anthology of Venetian secular songs, including compositions by Miniscalchi, Berti, and Claudio and Francesco Monteverdi. Issues surrounding its publication, instrumentation, and musical and poetic style not only contribute to the understanding of Venetian Baroque monody, but also help to construe a repertory of vocal music with defining characteristics usually associated with popular music of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Gavito, Cory Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Chevalier de Saint-Georges: An Exponent of the Parisian Symphonie Concertant

Description: The symphonie concertante, a product of the late eighteenth-century Parisian concert societies, provided a vehicle for display of the virtuoso style sought by contemporary audiences. The works of the Chevalier Joseph Boulogne de Saint-Georges, one of its chief exponents, served as strong influences on the development of the form and its diffusion throughout Europe. The symphonies concertantes of Opus VI, No. 1 and Opus X, No. 2 (according to thematic numbering of Barry S. Brook) date from ca. 1775 and 1779 respectively. A complete set of parts for each is to be found in the private collection of M. Andre Meyer in Paris (Opus VI) and in the Universitetsbiblioteket at Lund (Opus X). The thesis contains background material on contemporary Parisian musical society and the life of Saint- Georges, and a modern scoring of the above symphonies concertantes with analysis and conclusions.
Date: August 1982
Creator: Braun, Melanie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clavichord Traits in Selected Late Eighteenth-Century Keyboard Pieces

Description: Several late eighteenth-century keyboard composers indicated that some of their works were written specifically for the clavichord, as opposed to the harpsichord or pianoforte. This demand was indicated by a composer's commentary, remarks made by a contemporary, or by Bebung and Tragen der Tone indications in the music. The thesis examines selected works of C.P.E. Bach, Johann Eckard, Nathanael Gruner, Johann Hassler, Christian Neefe, F.S. Sander, and Daniel Tt*rk, and discusses elements of the music that seem particularly suited to clavichord performance. These elements are Bebung, Tragen der TOne, finely nuanced dynamic indications, certain types of melodic writing, and a thin textural composition.
Date: May 1983
Creator: Clark, Alice Ham
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of the Use of Music in the Holy Eucharist of the Roman Catholic Church and the Sabbath Morning Service of the Jewish Synagogue in the Middle Ages

Description: The problem with which this investigation is concerned is that of comparing the medieval musical traditions of two of the world's most influential religions. The similarities are discussed in two major categories: the comparison of liturgical texts and ritual, and the comparison of the music appearing in each ritual. This study has one main purpose. That purpose is to demonstrate how, through musical traditions, each religion has developed through the influence of the other. Samples of the liturgies from the musical portions of the services were obtained from prayer books and references dealing with those religions. Investigations of English translations from the Latin and Hebrew revealed a close identity between the two, not only in scriptural uses, but also in prayers and responses. Musical examples demonstrating similar elements in Hebrew and Christian worship were found in the extensive research of A. Z. Idelsohn and Eric Werner. Due to the dispersal of world Jewry, the best examples of Hebrew medieval music were obtained from the most isolated Jewish communities, such as those of Yemen, Musical similarities included modes, melodic formulas, and hymns and songs. This report concludes that the musical portions of the services of Christianity and Judaism in the Middle Ages were strikingly similar, and their subsequent musical development was strongly influenced by their coexistence.
Date: July 1971
Creator: Simmons, Sandra K. (Sandra Kay)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Critical Reaction to Serge Koussevitzky's Programming of Contemporary Music with the Boston Symphony Orchestra 1924-1929

Description: Serge Koussevitzky, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924-1949, had, throughout his career, a reputation as a champion of modern music. The anticipation of his arrival in Boston in 1924 sparked a great deal of public debate about his reported modernism which the critics reflected and contributed to. This thesis analyzes the critical reaction, preserved in scrapbooks of newspaper clippings at Symphony Hall, Boston, to Koussevitzky's programming of contemporary music during his first five years with the BSO.
Date: August 1982
Creator: Morgan, Richard S. (Richard Sanborn)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Criticism of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics

Description: Critics who discuss Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony often write about aspects that run counter to their conception of what a symphony should be, such as this symphony’s static nature and its programmatic elements. In nineteenth-century Boston and London, criticism of the Pastoral Symphony reflects the opinions of a wide range of listeners, as critics variably adopted the views of the intellectual elite and general audience members. As a group, these critics acted as intermediaries between various realms of opinion regarding this piece. Their writing serves as a lens through which we can observe audiences’ acceptance of ideas common in contemporaneous musical thought, including the integrity of the artwork, the glorification of genius, and ideas about meaning in music.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Cooper, Amy Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Don Gillis's Symphony No 5½: Music for the People

Description: Don Gillis wrote Symphony No. 5½ (1947) in order to reconcile the American public with modern art music. By synthesizing jazz (as well as other American folk idioms), singable melodies, and humor, and then couching them into symphonic language, Gillis produced a work that lay listeners could process and enjoy. The piece was an immediate success and was played by orchestras across the globe, but it did not retain this popularity and it eventually faded from relevancy. This study focuses on elements that contributed to the initial efficacy and ultimate decline of the work. Due to its pervasive popular influences, Symphony No. 5½ is a crystallized representation of time in which it was written, and it soon became dated. Don Gillis did not harbor the idea that Symphony No. 5½ would grant him great wealth or musical immortality; he had a more pragmatic goal in mind. He used every musical element at his disposal to write a symphonic work that would communicate directly with the American people via a musical language they would understand. He was successful in this regard, but the dialogue ended soon after mid-century.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Morrison, Sean
Partner: UNT Libraries

Drama and Characterization in Opera Settings of "A Midsummer Nightʼs Dream" by Britten and Siegmeister

Description: Although Shakespeare deliberately downplays characterization in his moonlit dream fantasy, both Britten and Siegmeister exploit this dramatic element as the basis of their opera settings of the play. Through the operas, the shallow characters take on new dimensions, creating musical experiences existing quite independently of Shakespeare, while at the same time retaining the atmosphere of a dream-fantasy. Placing emphases upon varying aspects of the play, the two composers create entirely different revelations from the Bard's dream. This paper presents a study of the way in which drama and characterization are treated in the operas, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Night of the Moonspell.
Date: August 1982
Creator: Allen, Debra K. (Debra Kaye)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Edition of Verse and Solo Anthems by William Boyce

Description: The English musician William Boyce was known as an organist for the cathedral as well as the Chapel Royal, a composer of both secular and sacred music, a director of large choral festivals, and the editor of Cathedral Music, the finest eighteenth-century edition of English Church music. Among Boyce's compositions for the church are many examples of verse and solo anthems. Part II of this thesis consists of an edition of one verse and three solo anthems selected from British Museum manuscript Additional 40497, transcribed into modern notation, and provided with a realization for organ continuo. Material prefatory to the edition itself, including a biography, a history of the verse and solo anthem from the English Reformation to the middle of the eighteenth century, a discussion .of the characteristics of Boyce's verse and solo anthems, and editorial notes constitute Part I.
Date: August 1975
Creator: Fansler, Terry L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Educating American Audiences: Claire Reis and the Development of Modern Music Institutions, 1912-1930

Description: The creation of institutions devoted to promoting and supporting modern music in the United States during the 1920s made it possible for American composers to develop an identity distinct from that of European modernists. These institutions were thus a critical part of the process of modernization that began in the United States during the early decades of the twentieth century. There is substantial scholarship on these musical institutions of modern music, such as the International Composers’ Guild and the League of Composers; but little to no work has been done on the progressive musical institutions of the 1910s, such as the Music League of the People’s Music Institute of New York, which was founded by Claire Reis. This thesis addresses the questions of how and why American musical modernism came to be as it was in the 1920s through an examination of the various stages of Reis’s career. The first chapter is an extensive study of primary source material gathered from the League of Composers/ISCM Records collection at the New York Public Library, which relates to Reis’s work with the PML in the 1910s. The second chapter uses the conclusions of the first chapter to shine new light on an old subject: the 1923 schism within the ICG that led Reis and others to form the League. The traditional view that the schism was the result of a conflict in idea of style is called into question, and the role that gender and power structure played in the break are explored.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Freeman, Cole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Eighteenth-Century French Oboes: A Comparative Study

Description: The oboe, which first came into being in the middle of the seventeenth century in France, underwent a number of changes throughout the following century. French instruments were influenced both by local practices and by the introduction of influences from other parts of Europe. The background of the makers of these instruments as well as the physical properties of the oboes help to illuminate the development of the instrument during this period. The examination of measurements, technical drawings, photographs, and biographical data clarify the development and dissemination of practices in oboe building throughout eighteenth-century France. This clarification provides new insight into a critical period of oboe development which has hitherto not been exclusively addressed.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Cleveland, Susannah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Elements of Shamanic Mythology in E. T. A. Hoffman's Romantic Conception of Music

Description: The musicians in E. T. A. Hoffmann's tales and essays demonstrate traits remarkably similar to those of shamans. Hoffmann uses the same imagery to describe the journey of the composer into the "realm of dreams," where he receives inspiration, as the shaman uses to describe the spirit world to which he journeys via music. Hoffmann was a major force in changing the 18th-century view of music as an "innocent luxury" to the 19th-century idea of music as a higher art. As a German Romantic,author, he subscribed to the idea championed by the Schlegels that true poetry is based on myth. In this thesis, Hoffmann's writings are compared with shamanic mythology to demonstrate a similarity beyond mere coincidence, without drawing conclusions about influence.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Miller, Harry A. W. (Harry Alfred Werner)
Partner: UNT Libraries

he Essercizii musici: A Study of the Late Baroque Sonata

Description: Telemann's Essercizii musici is a seminal publication of the 1730's representative of the state of the sonata in Germany at that time. Telemann's music has been largely viewed in negative terms, presumably because of its lack of originality, with the result that the collection's content has been treated in a perfunctory manner. This thesis presents a reappraisal of the Essercizii musici based on criteria presented in Quantz's Versuch. A major source of the period, the Versuch provides an analytical framework for a deeper understanding of the sonatas that comprise Telemann's last publication. A comparison of contemporary publications of similarly titled collections establishes an historical framework for assessing the importance of the Essercizii musici as part of a tradition of publications with didactic objectives that may be traced to the late 17th century.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Volcansek, Frederick Wallace
Partner: UNT Libraries

Expanded Perceptions of Identity in Benjamin Britten's Nocturne, Op. 60

Description: A concentrated reading of Benjamin Britten's Nocturne through details of the composer's biography can lead to new perspectives on the composer's identity. The method employed broadens current understandings of Britten's personality and its relationship to the music. After creating a context for this kind of work within Britten scholarship, each chapter explores a specific aspect of Britten's identity through the individual songs of the Nocturne. Chapter 2 focuses on how Britten used genres in a pastoral style to create his own British identity. Chapter 3 concentrates on the complex relationship between Britten's homosexuality and his pacifism. Chapter 4 aims to achieve a deeper understanding of Britten's idealization of innocence. The various aspects of Britten's personality are related to one another in the Conclusion.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Perkins, Anna Grace
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Famous Mr. Keach: Benjamin Keach and His Influence on Congregational Singing in Seventeenth Century England

Description: Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) was a seventeenth-century preacher and hymn writer. He is considered responsible for the introduction and continued use of hymns, as distinct from psalms and paraphrases, in the English Nonconformist churches in the late seventeenth century, and is remembered as the provider of a well-rounded body of hymns for congregational worship. This thesis reviews the historical climate of seventeenth-century England, and discusses Keach's life in terms of that background. Keach's influence on congregational hymn singing, hymn writers, preaching, and education is also examined. Keach's writings and contributions to hymn singing are little known today. This thesis points out the significance of these writings and hymns to seventeenth-century religious life.
Date: August 1984
Creator: Carnes, James Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries

Finding the "Indian" in Amy Beach's Theme and Variations for Flute and String Quartet, op. 80.

Description: Music that is categorized as part of the Indianist movement in American music (ca. 1890-1925) typically evokes Native American culture, ritual, story, or song through compositional gestures. It may also incorporate Native American tunes. Amy Beach (1867-1944) is considered to have composed five Indianist works, but her Theme and Variations for Flute and String Quartet, op. 80 has not been included as one of them. This thesis rethinks categorization of the piece, seeking the "Indian" in it through examination of its gestures, instrumentation, and relationship to contemporary Indianist compositions.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Burgess, Stephanie J.
Partner: UNT Libraries