UNT Theses and Dissertations - 55 Matching Results

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An analysis of the Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by Peter Maxwell Davies, identifying the use of historical forms, and the implications for performance.

Description: The Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by Peter Maxwell Davies is one of his earliest works, and a notoriously difficult work to perform. While using serialism and other twentieth-century compositional techniques, this work also uses older historical forms, including sonata-allegro and sonata-rondo forms. An analysis of the work is presented, identifying the older historical forms, and considerations for performers when making decisions on how to perform the work are provided.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Adduci, Kathryn James
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Nightingale in Poetry and Music

Description: This thesis surveys a variety of songs and arias for high soprano which feature the nightingale; examines the musical elements that symbolize, refer to, or imitate the nightingale; and compares these musical elements with transcriptions of the nightingale's song. The first chapter reviews the symbolic development of the nightingale and its role in poetry and literature. The interior chapters address a selection of musical compositions that feature the nightingale and its song. The final chapter establishes a relationship between the sound of the actual sound of the nightingale and the musical gestures created by composers to imitate the nightingale.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Blizzard, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Gunther Schuller and John Swallow: Collaboration, Composition, and Performance Practice in Eine Kleine Posaunenmusik, with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Berio, Bogle, Gregson, Pryor, Suderburg and Others

Description: Gunther Schuller is credited with coining the term Third Stream, meaning compositions where twentieth-century art music forms exist simultaneously with jazz. Furthermore, Schuller specifically states in the liner notes to the debut recording of Eine Kleine Posaunenmusik "The work is not a Third Stream piece." Yet the concerto alludes to jazz through a multitude of slide glissandi and plunger mute effects, Solotone mute passages, specific references to the jazz trombone styles of Tommy Dorsey and Lawrence Brown, musical quoting or indirect reference, and the use of a walking bass line in Movement V, Finale. What makes one piece Third Stream and another simply a modern composition with jazz implications? Is Third Stream primarily a compositional designation or a performance practice stipulation? How does a celebrated trombone soloist inspire and collaborate with a distinguished composer in the creation of a major work? The somewhat conspicuous title, Eine Kleine Posaunenmusik, seems to point towards Mozart's famous string serenade Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. What connection to Mozart, if any, does Schuller's title suggest? All of these questions are elucidated in this study through careful investigation and research of Gunther Schuller's Eine Kleine Posaunenmusik. New interviews with John Swallow and Gunther Schuller are included.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Bogle, James Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

José Antonio Gómez´s Versos Para Órgano (Section I): a Practical Guide for Performance

Description: José Antonio Gómez is an important figure in Mexican music history and his works are considered representative of the beginning of Mexico´s Independent era. Some musicians are familiar with Gómez´s choral output but his organ music is rarely considered. Due to the lack of an edition of Gómez´s Versets for Organ, a practical guide was found needed to aid its performance. This study is based on performance, analysis, and direct work on the only known source for it. The first chapter, Introduction, presents the argument for an edited version of the first part of the manuscript as a performance guide. The second provides biographical information on the composer. The third chapter discusses the background for the original performance of the Versets for Organ. Chapter 4 provides performance considerations for the works. The edition of the manuscript is included in chapter 5.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Carrasco Curíntzita, Laura A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reading Handel: A Textual and Musical Analysis of Handel's Acis and Galatea (1708, 1718)

Description: The purpose of this dissertation is two-fold: one is to analyze the narratives of Acis and Galatea written by Ovid, and the two libretti by Handel's librettists including Nicola Giuvo (1708) and John Gay (1718) with John Hughes and Alexander Pope; the other is to correlate this textual analysis within the musical languages. A 1732 pastiche version is excluded because its bilingual texts are not suitable for the study of relationships between meaning and words. For this purpose, the study uses the structural theory- -mainly that of Gérard Genette--as a theoretical framework for the analysis of the texts. Narrative analysis of Acis and Galatea proves that the creative process of writing the libretto is a product of a conscious acknowledgement of its structure by composer and librettists. They put the major events of the story into recitative and ensemble. By examining the texts of both Handel's work, I explore several structural layers from the libretti: the change of the characterization to accommodate a specific occasion and the composer's response to contemporary English demand for pastoral drama with parodistic elements, alluding to the low and high class of society. Further, Polyphemus is examined in terms of relationships with culture corresponding to his recurrent pattern of appearance.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Chang, Young-Shim
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Stabat Mater of Herbert Howells: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Description: Herbert Howells composed three large works for chorus and orchestra: a requiem (Hymnus Paradisi), Latin mass (Missa Sabrinensis) and finally a Stabat Mater. Writings, performances and recordings of the Stabat Mater, however, have been few. As the Stabat Mater is believed to be the culmination of his musical prowess, it is important to bring this major work to light. Chapter 1 begins with a brief introduction to Herbert Howells, then continues as a brief biographical sketch. Howells's life is discussed from birth, as organ scholar, student at the Royal College of Music, his teaching professorship at the same institution, and important compositions by decade until his death. Chapter 2 is an overview of the Hymnus Paradisi and Missa Sabrinensis. The chapter gives historical information on each work, including reasons for commission, dates of composition and performance, orchestration and choral composition, type of soloists, conductor and recordings. Chapter 3 is an in depth study of the Stabat Mater. The chapter includes reasons for the genesis of the work, current and past events that affected the composition, musical influences, and the death of his son Michael Kendrick Howells. A second section to this chapter addresses the text of the Stabat Mater, including the history of the poem, liturgical use from the 11th century to the present, the rhythmic scheme of the poem, and variant stanzas used in the Howells's setting. Chapter 4 is a thorough musical analysis of the Stabat Mater. After a short introduction explaining the architecture of the work as a whole, each of seven movements is examined, including the introduction, main themes, musical elements and use of Latin text. A concluding final chapter restates the importance of Herbert Howells as a composer in the British musical renaissance of the 20th century, in addition to a supposition that this final ...
Date: August 2006
Creator: Childs, Kim J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reconsidering the Lament: Form, Content, and Genre in Italian Chamber Recitative Laments: 1600-1640

Description: Scholars have considered Italian chamber recitative laments only a transitional phenomenon between madrigal laments and laments organized on the descending tetrachord bass. However, the recitative lament is distinguished from them by its characteristic attitude toward the relationship between music and text. Composer of Italian chamber recitative laments attempted to express more subtle, refined and sometimes complicated emotion in their music. For that purpose, they intentionally created discrepancies between text and music. Sometimes they even destroy the original structure of text in order to clearly deliver the composer's own voice. The basic syntactic structure is deconstructed and reconstructed along with their reading and according to their intention. The discrepancy between text and music is, however, expectable and natural phenomena since text cannot be completely translated or transformed to music and vice versa. The composers of Italian chamber recitative laments utilized their innate heterogeneity between two materials (music and text) as a metaphor that represents the semantic essence of the genre, the conflict. In this context, Italian chamber recitative laments were a real embodiment of the so-called seconda prattica and through the study of them, finally, we more fully able to understand how the spirit of late Renaissance flourished in Italy in the first four decade of the seventeenth century.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Chung, Kyung-Young
Partner: UNT Libraries

Memento mori: Concert for Violoncello and Orchestra

Description: Death, as a subject, has been treated extensively throughout history, both in literature as well as in music. The focus of Memento mori is to portray the inevitability of death through music. The first part of the document is an essay exploring the topic of death, its inevitability, unpredictability and the fragility of life. This section also includes a number of examples of composer's whose works have influenced the composition of the piece. The title of the work is meant to reflect that death catches up with all of us and that humans no matter how invincible they feel at certain stages of life will, eventually, succumb to death. The second part of the document is the notated orchestral score. The work is for full orchestra and solo violoncello. It is in three acts that loosely resemble three stages of life; Youth followed by life in adulthood and finally death. The work is not programmatic and the piece's formal structure varies from a traditional concerto, for although comprised of three distinct acts, there are no pauses between them. The entire work is meant to be dark and morbid and the specter of death looms throughout the piece.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Fakhouri, Fouad K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Different Drummer: A Chamber Opera

Description: A Different Drummer is a chamber opera adaptation of Donald Davis's story "A Different Drummer" from his collection Listening for the Crack of Dawn, published by August House. The opera lasts about seventy minutes, and calls for a cast of three and an orchestra of sixteen players. It contains a prologue, epilogue and four scenes in a single act. The score is prefaced by a paper describing the musical strategies employed in setting the story as an opera. Three chapters describe the adaptation from short story to opera, the essential musical elements, and details of the application of the musical elements in each scene of the opera. The libretto is presented in the fourth chapter.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Friedman, Arnold Jacob
Partner: UNT Libraries

Voci Lontani for flute, trumpet, percussion, piano, and string quartet: Critical essay and score.

Description: This project consists of an original composition, Voci Lontani, and a critical essay about the composition. In this piece, the idea of musical simultaneity is explored. Therefore, the piece focuses on the idea of contrast: between measured rhythms and indeterminate rhythms, between tonality and atonality, and between musics in separate tempos. In order to explore the significance of musical simultaneity, four important compositional concepts-the simultaneous juxtaposition of different musics, polyrhythmic structure, controlled indeterminacy, and quotation-are discussed. Also, several examples of twentieth-century music that use these concepts are analyzed in the essay.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Goto, Yo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Selected Songs for Chamber Winds and Soprano: Rediscovering a Forgotten Repertoire of John Philip Sousa

Description: For over one hundred years, the music-going public has reflected on the life and influence of America's “March King,” John Philip Sousa. His popularity as a bandleader was unprecedented, and his reputation as an entertainer captivated the imagination and intrigue of a nation. Sousa's fame was attained through the high standards showcased by his unparalleled concert organization, the Sousa Band. He is interminably linked to the march, and for his seventy-seven years he proved to be its prolific and outspoken champion. Sousa's songs, however, were among his favorite works, and their presence on concert programs reinforced a variety of programming that was the hallmark of his success. The Sousa Band served as a cultural and musical ambassador, and annual transcontinental tours brought music to people where they lived. Sousa's songs were highly anticipated concert features, and were presented by soprano soloists known as the “Ladies in White.” A chamber winds instrumentation, rather than employment of the full-forces of the Sousa Band, allowed for an appropriate musical balance between instruments and voice. The “Forgotten Songs of John Philip Sousa Project” involved the research, editing, and performance of songs housed in the Sousa Archives for Band Research at the University of Illinois. Three songs discussed in this study, “Maid of the Meadow,” “The Snow Baby” from The Bride Elect, and “I've Made My Plans for the Summer” have been edited and performed in their intended setting for chamber winds and soprano. The songs in the Sousa collection resonate with a quintessential essence that recalls an American spirit and artistry that are closely linked with John Philip Sousa and his legendary band.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Hemberger, Glen J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Techniques of Sensual Perception: The Creation of Emotional Pathways

Description: Some artists strive to create artwork that has aesthetic value. If a piece of artwork has the ability to capture the attention of an audience, it must contain strong sensual attributes. Thus, understanding how to design an art form to contain strong sensual attributes may increase the possibility of an aesthetic experience. Since aesthetics is an experience of sensations perceived when in contact with a creative form in any artistic discipline, it is necessary for an artist to understand the nature of the sensual experience. In understanding the sensual experience, artists may be able to create techniques to enhance the aesthetic experience of their work. My video piece, entitled Ararat is a study of methods to enhance the sensual experience. I hope to accomplish this by means of using techniques that optimize an audience's perceptual experience.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Henry, Jon L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Music preferences, music and non-music media use, and leisure involvement of Hong Kong adolescents.

Description: The study sought to determine the relationships of preference responses to grade, gender, familiarity, musical training, peers'/parents' listening habits, music media use, and listening contexts. Grade six through nine Hong Kong students (N = 310) completed the audio preference test followed by verbal responses to training, peers'/parents' preferences, leisure/music media involvement, and listening context. Results indicated: The preferred genres, in descending order, were Western pop/rock, Cantopop/rock, Western classical; the disliked genres were jazz, Chinese, and non- Western/non-Chinese. Preference correlated strongly with genre familiarity. Pop genres were the most familiar to all adolescents. The students' preference toward Western pop/rock and Cantopop/rock associated with several listening contexts: solitary listening, having great freedom to choose one's desired music for listening, listening to music in one's room, and listening to music as background activity. The adolescents expressed that their leisure activities were spent with their family and friends. However, they made it clear that music listening was a personal activity that very likely was listened to alone. On all listening occasions, the girls exhibited a more positive response than the boys did. With four to five hours daily leisure time, the adolescents watched TV for three to four hours while spending less than two hours on listening to recorded music, and less than an hour on listening to radio music, MTV/karaoke, and music websites. Cantopop/rock was the most pursued music style in terms of the records bought, concerts attended outside of school, their peers', and parents' most-listened-to music. Some weak correlations of preference with grade and gender were identified: the grade six students showed more tolerance to Chinese and non-Western/non-Chinese music. Boys preferred jazz more than the girls did. Private music study and extracurricular musical experiences related to Western classical and non-Western/non-Chinese music preferences whereas school music training failed to show any association with ...
Date: December 2001
Creator: Hui, Viny Wan-Fong
Partner: UNT Libraries

Extemporizing Reawakened: Saxophonist Branford Marsalis's Approach to the Cadenza for Concertino da Camera for Alto Saxophone and Eleven Instruments by Jacques Ibert

Description: Whether provided by a composer, written out by a performer or completely improvised, the cadenza became a vehicle for performers' creativity, lyricism and technical prowess in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The debate about whether to notate or improvise cadenzas, a question as old as the cadenza itself, continues today. Saxophonists have not been involved in this debate, since the instrument is a product of the mid-nineteenth century and was in its infancy just as the practice of improvising cadenzas was fading. This study documents an unprecedented, recently-recorded, improvised cadenza in one of the most significant twentieth-century saxophone works: Jacques Ibert's Concertino da Camera for Alto Saxophone and Eleven Instruments (1935). Saxophonist Branford Marsalis's neo-cadenza for Ibert's composition presents an aggregate of the twenty-first-century performer improvising a cadenza to a twentieth-century work, in a tradition that was common centuries ago. The document begins with an inquiry into improvised cadenzas, and proceeds to an examination of the performance history of the cadenza for the Concertino da Camera. Twenty professionally-recorded versions of the cadenza are presented in order to understand the performance history of the cadenza, and to place the Marsalis cadenza into context. This research culminates in a transcription and analysis of the cadenza as improvised and recorded by Marsalis. Remarks from a personal interview with Marsalis are also included.
Date: December 2006
Creator: James, Matthew T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

William Bolcom's Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1989)

Description: Composer William Bolcom (1938-) has shown a remarkable capacity for incorporating disparate materials and combining them to create original compositions, while often using traditional genres and forms. This style has earned Bolcom the reputation as a leading composer of American postmodernism. This study provides a brief sketch of Bolcom's development as a postmodern composer, his repertoire for violoncello and piano, and it examines his compositional style as applied in his Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1989). In the Sonata Bolcom applies a wide variety of musical vocabulary from serious and popular traditions. He juxtaposes contrasting ideas to create and resolve rhythmic, melodic and harmonic tensions and amalgamates concepts of three centuries of music history into one new integral work. All these disparate elements with classical, romantic, impressionist, expressionist, modernist and popular connotations are molded together to form a serious piece of musi c with a sense of humor. The three contrasting movements of the Sonata share many common rhythmic, melodic and harmonic traits. The movements form a congruent work of Classical and Romantic spirit, often reminiscent of Brahms' music, despite the mixed use of traditional, popular, and modernist musical languages.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Janssen, Tido
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Performer's Guide to John Musto's Penelope: A Cycle of Seven Songs for Soprano and Piano

Description: Award-winning composer John Musto stands at the forefront of modern American art-song composition. Many of his songs, such as "Litany" from Shadow of the Blues, have already achieved a place in the standard contemporary repertory for singers. His compositional technique weaves influences of jazz, blues, ragtime, and popular music with classical technique to make music that is decidedly modern but accessible and well liked both by critics and audiences. Unfortunately, though he is still actively composing, very little has been written about Musto and there is a lack of information available about his more recent compositions. This performance guide addresses one of Musto's acclaimed song cycles, Penelope, (a cycle of seven songs for soprano and piano) commissioned and premiered in 2000. The story of the cycle is an updated version of the character Penelope from Homer's The Odyssey and was a collaboration between Musto and poet Denise Lanctot. Including interviews with Musto, and his wife, soprano Amy Burton, who premiered the cycle and for whom it was written, the document provides background information on how the cycle was conceived and gives in-depth performance information on each of the seven songs of Penelope. In addition to musical examples and poetry from the songs, this study also contains a catalogue of Musto's compositions listing premiere dates, performers, and information about the commission of each work.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Kanakis, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Five Seasons: A composition for flutist and percussionist

Description: Five Seasons is a musical work for flute and percussion. The flutist alternately performs on the C flute with a B foot, alto flute, piccolo, and bass flute in each movement. The percussionist also plays different instruments in each movement: the vibraphone for Mid-Summer; the xylophone for Fall; the woodblock, temple block, and cowbells for Spring; the glockenspiel for Summer; and the marimba for Winter. The five movements of this work - Mid-Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter - are based on a combination of Eastern performing practices with Western instruments. The musical characteristics are based on the techniques of fifteenth-century (e.g., isorhythmic technique) and twentieth-century Western music.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Kim, Chol-Ho
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Breath Management as Treated by Four Major American Vocal Pedagogues: Appelman, Reid, Vennard, and Miller

Description: Trained musicians cannot use the same breath process in daily living as for singing. Also, the normal breath cycle applied to speech is not efficient. Therefore, students who are learning to sing need to know proper breathing techniques. In this thesis, I will describe the breathing process and the correct way to breathe while singing, based on studies of four American pedagogues; Appleman, Reid, Vennard and Miller. To understand the breathing process for singing, it is necessary to study and understand the anatomical system and the mechanics of the respiratory system. Therefore, the first chapter contains anatomical system of breath management. Then, in the second chapter, the specific breath management techniques of four American pedagogues will be examined and compared. Three of them, Appelman, Vennard, and Miller, suggested some exercises in order to develop correct and efficient breathing habits.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Kim, Jisuk
Partner: UNT Libraries

A study of Franz Liszt's Totentanz: Piano and orchestra version, and piano solo version.

Description: Undoubtedly, Totentanz has been one of the most famous works by Franz Liszt. Totentanz has been recorded by many pianists and addressed in much of the vast literature about Liszt and his works; however, little research has been focused on this work. Most studies of Totentanz address only the historical background of the piece in relation to the theme based on Dies irae. Currently, there are no specific studies about the solo piano or two piano versions and only one recording was located. Liszt's own piano solo transcription of this famous work is an excellent addition to the concert repertoire. Totentanz consists of six variations that include canonic and fugato sections. The main theme is based on the Gregorian chant Dies irae, a melody that has been used by many other composers, most notably Berlioz in Witches Sabbath of Symphonie fantastique, op. 14 and Rachmaninoff in Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. This study contains five chapters. Chapters I and II provide background information, historical background and influences of Totentanz. Chapter III presents an outline of Liszt's achievement as a transcriber. Liszt revised his own works numerous times from the 1840s and 1850s, including Transcendental Etudes, Paganini Etudes, and piano and orchestra works. Like in the case of Totentanz, transcribed form piano and orchestra into piano solo, Liszt transcribed and paraphrased hundreds of other composers' works as well. Chapter IV discusses and compares the two main versions for solo piano and piano and orchestra. Form and harmonic language in particular the use of tritone in Totentanz is discussed. The adjustment required in transcribing the work for piano solo is discussed in detail, followed by a conclusion.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Kim, Min
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.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Kinnett, Forest Randolph
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.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Kochbeck, Olivia M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Young-Jo Lee's Variations on the theme of Baugogae: In search of his own language, a lecture recital, together with three recitals of selected works of J. Haydn, S. Rachmaninoff, R. Schumann, O. Messiaen, and F. Liszt

Description: The objective of the dissertation is to examine Young-Jo Lee's (b. 1943) musical language as exhibited in his piano composition, Variations on the theme of Baugogae. Subjects of discussion include Lee's use of direct and indirect musical borrowings from past European composers and traditional Korean folk idioms. Also included are a biographical sketch of the composer and historical overview of modern Korean composers. This dissertation investigates Lee's effort to synthesize traditional Korean music and Western music in one art form and ultimately, to create his own musical language.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Kwon, Suk-Rahn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Still life in black and white: An intertextual interpretation of William Grant Still's "symphonic trilogy."

Description: William Grant Still's musical achievements are legion. Because he was the first African American to break the color line in America's concert halls, Still earned the sobriquet "Dean of Negro Composers." Paradoxically, Still's reception suffers from this list of "firsts." The unintended consequence of cataloging his achievements venerates his position as an iconoclast while detracting critical attention from his music. Conversely, if we ignore the social context in which Still produced his music, we risk misinterpreting his compositional choices or trivializing the significance of his accomplishments prior to the Civil Rights Movement in America. Still's so-called symphonic trilogy-Africa, Symphony No. 1 ("Afro-American"), and Symphony No. 2 ("Song of a New Race")-is the subject of an intertextual analysis that demonstrates how extra-musical concerns, such as race, and musical elements can be brought into alignment. Chapter one discusses black music scholarship in general and Still scholarship in particular by tracing the development of black music historiography. The second chapter explores one of the various modes of inquiry used to study black music-intertextuality. The context for Still's self-titled racial and universal periods is the subject of chapter three. For the first time, arguments from both sides of the racial divide are reconsidered in the debate about what constitutes American music. The fourth chapter is devoted to an intertextual interpretation of Still's symphonic trilogy. Each work is subjected to an anterior, interior, and posterior intertextual reading. An anterior reading takes into account how context determines perception. The interior reading examines the inter-play of topics and texts that are created as the work is experienced. The posterior reading is concerned with the relationship between the work and its audiences and any new texts that are generated from this interaction. The final chapter challenges the notion that the three works discussed form a trilogy. In the ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Lamb, Earnest
Partner: UNT Libraries

Roger Reynolds' Variation (1988): New Concepts of Form and Sound

Description: American composer Roger Reynolds was born on July 18, 1934, in Detroit, Michigan. At age 14, he determined to study piano after hearing a recording of Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat major, Opus 53 played by Vladimir Horowitz. Even though his piano teacher Kenneth Aiken recommended that he continue his study at the Curtis Institute of Music, Reynolds followed the suggestion from his parents that a musical career was not practical. After receiving a bachelor degree of engineering physics at the University of Michigan, he worked in the industry for a short period of time. In 1957, he returned to Michigan and resumed his study of music by taking a class called Composition for Non-Composers under the instruction of Ross Lee Finney. Reynolds continued his compositional study with Finney and Gerhard who were influenced by the Second Viennese School until he finished the master's degree (B.M. 1960, M.M. 1961). Variation was written under the auspices of The Banff Centre for the Arts in 1988. This piece was dedicated to Peter Serkin and premiered by Alec Karis, a faculty member at UCSD, on December 3, 1991 at Merkin Concert Hall, New York. This large-scale set of variations for piano is one of the rare instances in which Reynolds used a conventional genre. What concerned Reynolds most in Variation was "the notion that transformations of meaning could occur entirely as a result of changes in context." He designed this variation as five sections -capriccioso and I, grave and II, III, scorrevole and coda. Capriccioso, grave and scorrevole also refer to the three basic thematic elements of this piece. These three main themes appear throughout the whole piece employing fragmentations or superimpositions. Reynolds used two computer algorithms (SPLITZ and SPIRLZ) to make transformations on these three thematic ideas. He cut the themes up into ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Lee, JooHee
Partner: UNT Libraries