UNT Theses and Dissertations - 337 Matching Results

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"Among the Voices Voiceless": Setting the Words of Samuel Beckett

Description: Among the Voices Voiceless is a composition for flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), viola, cello, percussion, piano, and electronics, based on the poem "What would I do without this world faceless incurious" by Samuel Beckett. The piece is a setting for disembodied voice: the vocal part exists solely in the electronics. Having no physical body, the voice is obscured as the point of empathy for the audience. In addition, instrumental solos compete for focus during the work's twenty minute duration. In passages including a soloist, the soloist functions simultaneously as antagonist and avatar to the disembodied voice. Spoken word recordings and electronic manipulation of instrumental material provides further layers of ambiguity. The companion critical essay "Among the Voices Voiceless": Setting the Words of Samuel Beckett proposes the distillation of Beckett's style into the elements of prosaicness, repetition, fragmentation, ambiguity, and symmetry. Discussions of Beckett's works such as Waiting for Godot and Molloy demonstrate these elements in his practice. This framework informs the examination of two other musical settings of Beckett's poetry: Neither by Morton Feldman and Odyssey by Roger Reynolds. Finally, these elements are used to analyze and elucidate the compositional decisions made in Among the Voices Voiceless.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Lyszczarz, Joseph E
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interactive Networks in "Forgotten Lyres": Critical Analysis and Original Composition

Description: Forgotten Lyres is a musical response to Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem Mutability, which depicts the fragility and unpredictable nature of human life. Four independent chamber ensembles make up the performing forces of Forgotten Lyres; the musicians evoke the topics of Shelley's text as they interact and coordinate with one another according to a variety of paradigms and without the use of a conductor. This essay focuses on the approaches to coordination within and between ensembles, and the ways in which the musicians' interactions can evoke and convey Shelley's texts. The essay also examines works by Mel Powell, Toru Takemitsu, Witold Lutoslawski, and Pierre Boulez as examples and precursors for the coordination strategies employed in Forgotten Lyres.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Harenda, Timothy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Looking through a Different Lens, Beyond Censorship: The American Reception of "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District"

Description: The censorship of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District is a familiar story to musicologists, but reception of the opera is not frequently mentioned. Examining the reception of a work can bring a work's relative importance into focus. In this thesis, German literary and reception theorist Hans Robert Jauss's model of the horizon of expectations is applied to reviews of American productions of Lady Macbeth. Curiosity about communism following the Great Depression in 1930s, America and American music critics' knowledge that Soviet composers worked for the Soviet regime led to the belief that Lady Macbeth was officially approved export from the Soviet Union. When the article condemning the opera as a Western formalism appeared in the Soviet magazine, Pravda, Americans needed to adjust their understanding of Lady Macbeth as a socialist expression. Following the work's revival in San Francisco in 1981, the influence of Solomon Volkov's Testimony is prevalent in many reviews. Many reviewers use Volkov's narrative of Shostakovich as covert dissident of the Soviet Union to assert that the censorship of the opera was about the content of the plot and not the music. Following the Soviet rejection of the work, American critics tried to claim Shostakovich for the West based on the values of individual freedom and feminism set forth in Lady Macbeth.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Cassell, Holly Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Monolith: A Piece for Midi Piano, Mixed Sextet, and Fixed Electronics"

Description: Reference to a regular pulse is one of the most common ways of measuring time in music. As the basis for tempo, meter, subdivisions, and even formal symmetry, pulse, or the sonic articulation of regular units of time, is found throughout all levels of music. In this paper, I describe how I used a structure of twelve simultaneous pulses to compose "Monolith," a recent piece for MIDI piano, Pierrot ensemble, and fixed electronics. In the first chapter, I contextualize "Monolith" by briefly examining pulse's relationship to hierarchical structure in music and the possibilities for creativity in pulse-based hierarchical structures. In the second chapter, I analyze the use of pulse in Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians," György Ligeti's "Self-portrait with Reich and Riley (with Chopin in the background), and Conlon Nancarrow's "Study No. 36 for Player Piano." In the third chapter, I describe in detail the relationship between the twelve-pulse structure and the various movements that comprise "Monolith," focusing on the relationship between compositional freedom and prescribed structure throughout the work.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Vaughn, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries

Negotiating Decades of Change in America: The Houston Chinese Traditional Music Group

Description: For over two hundred years, Chinese immigrants have brought ancient customs and musical traditions to their new homes in America. As in many immigrant communities, a new heritage that embodies and exhibits both the quintessential features of American culture and genuine Chinese heritage have come together to form new expressive cultures that are uniquely "Chinese American." As the youngest of the major American Chinese immigrant centers, the city of Houston, Texas provides an exemplary example of a distinct cultural cohesion that, in part, resulted from significant cultural and political upheavals in the latter half of the twentieth century. During this era of political unrest, many Chinese people's attitudes towards their traditional culture changed drastically. The Houston Chinese Traditional Music Group (HCTMG) is a Chinese orchestra comprised of amateur and professional musicians ranging in age from 13 to over 60 years old. Performing regularly for the Chinese immigrant population in Houston, HCTMG's take on traditional Chinese music deviates greatly from that of older, more established immigrant communities on the East and West Coasts and in some parts of mainland China. Via participant observation, interviews, and analysis of source materials, this paper examines how changing political and economic climates in China during the 1960s to the 1990s—when the majority of HCTMG musicians lived in China –are reflected in the musical decisions of HCTMG and the greater Houston Chinese immigrant community at large.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Mei, Yuxin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Recent Approaches to Real-Time Notation

Description: This paper discusses several compositions that use the computer screen to present music notation to performers. Three of these compositions, Law of Fives (2015), Polytera II (2016), and Terraformation (2016–17), employ strategies that allow the notation to change during the performance of the work as the product of composer-regulated algorithmic generation and performer interaction. New methodologies, implemented using Cycling74's Max software, facilitate performance of these works by allowing effective control of generation and on-screen display of notation; these include an application called VizScore, which delivers notation and conducts through it in real-time, and a development environment for real-time notation using the Bach extensions and graphical overlays around them. These tools support a concept of cartographic composition, in which a composer maps a range of potential behaviors that are mediated by human or algorithmic systems or some combination of the two. Notational variation in performance relies on computer algorithms that can both generate novel ideas and be subject to formal plans designed by the composer. This requires a broader discussion of the underlying algorithms and control mechanisms in the context of algorithmic art in general. Terraformation, for viola and computer, uses a model of the performer's physical actions to constrain the algorithmic generation of musical material displayed in on-screen notation. The resulting action-based on-screen notation system combines common practice notation with fingerboard tablature, color gradients, and abstract graphics. This hybrid model of dynamic notation puts unconventional demands on the performer; implications of this new performance practice are addressed, including behaviors, challenges, and freedoms of real-time notation.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Shafer, Seth N
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modern Api Design and Physical Computing Techniques in Just Intonation Performance Practice

Description: approached previously by both Harry Partch and Ben Johnston, and proposes the decoupling of interface and sound production as a way forward. The design and implementation of a software instrument and a hardware prototype are described, both using a simple API for variable tuning instruments. The hardware prototype uses physical computing techniques to control the tuning of a string with a servo motor, while the software instrument exists entirely in a web browser. Finally, potential algorithms for clients of the API are presented, and the effectiveness of the hardware prototype is evaluated by measuring its pitch accuracy.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Sonnabaum, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Natural Learning Process and Its Implications for Trombone Pedagogy

Description: This thesis considers the natural learning process as defined by Timothy Gallwey and Daniel Kohut. This learning theory is examined and applied to trombone pedagogy while also considering physiological attributes to trombone performance. a brief synopsis of the history and lineage of the trombone is considered in order to understand the current setting of the trombone medium.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Reider, Shane Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reviewing Commercial Music Resources: a Guide for Aspiring Singers and Vocal Professionals

Description: Contemporary commercial music is a broad label used to describe the styles of popular music including pop, rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, hip-hop, country and heavy metal. the vocal ability required for each of these genres varies greatly but may require the use of screaming, belting, utilizing vocal fry and growling or singing with a breathy or dark tone. Singers who wish to perform in these genres may need assistance with vocal technique to assure the longevity and the quality of their singing. Due to the rise in popularity and the accessibility of contemporary commercial music (CCM), commercial pedagogical guides and self-study manuals are abundantly available for purchase. Aspiring singers are searching for appropriate training for this genre without having an awareness of how the voice works and how to maintain good vocal hygiene. Those who seek out private instruction are often frustrated when traditional classical training techniques are offered, rather than techniques utilizing CCM styles. Because CCM pedagogy is relatively new and few pedagogues in this specialized field are well known, the self-taught singer is responsible for finding a reliable study source. Many vocal instructors and choral directors are interested in familiarizing themselves with new stylistic techniques to enhance the performance of their students while maintaining vocal health. By reviewing popular vocal method books and techniques, insight may be given to assist a singer or vocal teacher in selecting resources of CCM styles.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Hanlon, Susan Christina
Partner: UNT Libraries

Helen Kotas (1916-200): A Female Pioneer in Major US Orchestras

Description: Helen Kotas was an accomplished musician and teacher who helped open the door for women in major US orchestras. In 1941 the Chicago Symphony hired its first female brass musician, principal hornist Helen Kotas. With that daring move, she became a pioneer for her gender in the major orchestras of North America. Despite her many contributions to the musical community, Kotas's life has not been researched and documented. This paper looks at Helen Kotas's career as well as a glimpse at her life and personality. In addition to documenting her life, this dissertation attempts to show at least a portion of Kotas's philosophy of teaching and horn playing. She was an accomplished horn soloist and studied the literature extensively. Kotas performed in the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Woman's Symphony Orchestra, and Leopold Stokowski's All-American Youth Orchestra. Kotas was hired by Fritz Reiner as third horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony. When Frederick Stock, conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, heard that Helen Kotas was going to Pittsburgh, he insisted that she audition for the CSO. Kotas auditioned on the Concerto for Horn by Richard Strauss and the concertmaster said, "Hire her!" She performed as principal horn with the orchestra until Artur Rodzinski was hired as conductor in 1948 and replaced Kotas with Philip Farkas. Following her time with the CSO, Kotas was principal horn of the Chicago Lyric Opera and taught at the Sherwood and American Conservatories. She was an active soloist and premiered works by Arne Oldberg and Hugo Kauder.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Thayer, Heather Leweise
Partner: UNT Libraries

Nihilism and the Formulation of a Philosophy of Art

Description: Nihilism is often associated with feelings of despair, hopelessness and meaningless. It is certainly true that once the implications of this philosophy become apparent that these feelings are valid. However, this reaction is merely the first stage of dealing with nihilism and stopping here fails to examine the various types of nihilism that deal specifically with knowledge, ethics, metaphysics, truth, and art. Nihilism at its base is a philosophy that recognizes the history of human thought and what it means to be and to think. My focus is the way in which a completed nihilism is in fact an emancipatory act and the implications it has for art and the artist in the 21st century.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Hernandez, Brian
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Pattern Oriented Data Structure for Interactive Computer Music

Description: This essay describes a pattern oriented data structure, or PODS, as a system for storing computer music data. It organizes input by sequences or patterns that recur, while extensively interlinking the data. The interlinking process emulates cognitive models, while the pattern processing draws specifically from music cognition. The project aims at creating open source external objects for the Max/MSP software environment. The computer code for this project is in the C and Objective-C computer programming languages.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Lockhart, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Schenkerian Analysis of Beethoven's E Minor Piano Sonata, Opus 90

Description: This thesis examines the history and origins of Beethoven's E minor Piano Sonata and examines the possibility of the programmatic conception of the work. Dedicated to Beethoven's friend Count Moritz Lichnowsky, the sonata may have been inspired by the Count's illicit affair with his future wife, the singer and actress Josefa Stummer. Providing a thorough Schenkerian analysis of both movements, the inner harmonic structure of the composition is revealed and explained. The author also investigates and details the unpublished original analyses of the composition by Heinrich Schenker, Erika Elias, and Hans Weisse. Both English and German language sources are incorporated into a comprehensive examination of Beethoven's Piano Sonata, op. 90.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Treber, Stefan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Something About Marybell

Description: Something About Marybell is a children's book with audio compact disk, in which I combined three art forms: storytelling, illustrating, and music composition. The nature of the story reflects my love of animals, which has been the essence of all my previous works as well. Beyond the technical matters I practiced and obstacles I encountered while working on each of the aforementioned art forms, the most important point I discovered was that all three were consistently interrelated, and I never could develop one medium without considering the others. Working on this project also was a journey to trace my major influences in different subjects. My drawing style is influenced by cartoons and animation films, which are now considered significant artistic styles in Japanese subculture. My music composition reflects a broad influence from many composers' works working in a variety of genres, especially piano works, of all eras. There are two specific works I studied as model works for this project: Poulenc's L'Histoire de Babar le petit éléphant (The Story of Babar the Little Elephant) and Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. It was a challenge to blend one stylistic approach into another to accurately realize my musical conception.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Yonemaru, Tomoko
Partner: UNT Libraries

Manuel M. Ponce: A critical study of his Concierto Romántico for piano and orchestra.

Description: The Concierto Romántico for Piano and Orchestra is one of Manuel M. Ponce's outstanding compositional accomplishments from his Romantic period, reflecting both the state of Mexican music at the turn of the 20th century, and his early nationalist tendencies. However, it remains the only concerto in Ponce's output in need of a more comprehensive analysis. This treatise focuses on a global investigative that examines descriptive and analytic references to the work, as well as a comparison and clarification of the existing score sources. An analytical and stylistic musical study using conventional theoretical techniques leads to a musicological interpretation of the work's extra-musical meaning, based on close assessments of Ponce's compositional practice and social principles.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Vázquez, Carlos Balam
Partner: UNT Libraries

Artistic Expression in Music and Poetry

Description: This paper delineates meaningful relationships of passions, emotions, feelings, affections, nuances and aural perceptions of expressions and utterances, for understanding human artistic possibilities historically and contemporarily in the fraternal arts of music and poetry, with reference to sounds, silences, sequences, rhythms, rhymes, repetitions, retards, accelerations, tempos, harmonies, melodies, forms, etc., in four poetic and three musical compositions uniquely created by its author.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Wertz, Charles Bradley
Partner: UNT Libraries

Miles Davis: The Road to Modal Jazz

Description: The fact that Davis changed his mind radically several times throughout his life appeals to the curiosity. This thesis considers what could be one of the most important and definitive changes: the change from hard bop to modal jazz. This shift, although gradual, is best represented by and culminates in Kind of Blue, the first Davis album based on modal style, marking a clear break from hard bop. This thesis explores the motivations and reasons behind the change, and attempt to explain why it came about. The purpose of the study is to discover the reasons for the change itself as well as the reasons for the direction of the change: Why change and why modal music?
Date: May 2007
Creator: Camacho Bernal, Leonardo
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Castrato Sacrifice: Was it Justified?

Description: One of the greatest mysteries in the history of music is the castrato singers of the Baroque era. Castration has existed for many thousands of years, but for the first time in history, it was used for artistic purposes. Who were these men who seemingly gave up their masculinity for the sake of music? By examining the time period and circumstances in which these musicians lived, an answer may be found. Exploring the economic, social, and political structure of the 17th and 18th centuries may reveal the mindset behind such a strange yet accepted practice. The in-depth study of their lives and careers will help lift the veil of mystery that surrounds them. Was their physical sacrifice a blessing or a curse? Was it worth it?
Date: August 2006
Creator: Sowle, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring the Private Music Studio: Problems Faced by Teachers in Attempting to Quantify the Success of Teaching Theory in Private Lessons through One Method as Opposed to Another

Description: I present strategies and methods for teaching fundamentals of music theory in the context of the private music studio through a variety of techniques and research. Beginning with a background in educational psychology, examples of behaviorist and cognitive teaching models are presented, and how each applies to teaching music is explained. Two detailed examples of actual lessons are presented, coupled with musical examples, to describe both the process and the concepts that can be presented. A qualitative experiment based upon the learning styles of three music students and the effect of different teaching styles when teaching the same concept is presented and discussed in detail.
Date: August 2006
Creator: McKnight, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Financial Resource Guide for the Beginning Secondary Choral Music Director

Description: The purpose of this study was to confirm the necessity of a financial resource guide for beginning secondary choral directors in Texas. Budgetary information was gathered through an on-line survey addressing the financial knowledge of 25 participants made up of choral directors, college professors, fine arts directors and student teachers. Further information was gathered from college course guides, music periodicals and college textbooks. From the gathered survey data, a definite need for better financial education was identified. Collected data also demonstrated the necessity for additional courses to be added to the college curriculum with expanded literature on budgeting. Recommended college courses, as well as a calendar time line, Web sites for on-line music software, fundraising tips and budget proposals are also included resources.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Devous, Donald Michael
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.
Access: This item is restricted to the UNT Community Members at a UNT Libraries Location.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Kim, Jisuk
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Early Music Ensemble in 21st Century America

Description: The early music ensemble has evolved from a counterculture to a mainstream musical genre. Because of this early music is having to learn arts management. Once a unique force it now competes with other arts organizations for funding and audience. Unlike other arts groups, early music has little help from within to clarify non-profit management. Through three types of surveys that were e-mailed to 239 early music organizations and 20 early music societies, an assessment of what is currently happening with early music ensembles in terms of growth, funding and over all well-being can be made. The information obtained revealed that most early music ensembles have little or no training in how to run an organization. This inexperience is creating problems and changing the face of early music. Information from the surveys also reveals that even with the economic problems over the last three years, early music is continuing to survive.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Assid, Tonya
Partner: UNT Libraries

Presencing Absence

Description: This thesis is a 'big-picture' look at the course of Western philosophy and its eventual arrival at ideas that look remarkably similar to the revelations of Guatama Buddha 2500 years ago. I look at the roots of how the West has understood itself and understood "being" through the centuries and at the revolutions in thought that took place in the 20th century. I look more closely at 20th century thinkers to demonstrate how their thinking begins to align with the ancient insights of Eastern philosophy, particularly the notions of a prevailing emptiness as "ground" of Being and of the fallacy of the individual subject. I also look at how some 20th century artists have engaged with these new ideas. I see generally two responses to the postmodern (post-subject) position: that of a play of surfaces, such as in the work of Andy Warhol and the philosophy of Jean Baudrillard; and that of an embracing of absence, presented in the philosophy of Martin Heidegger and the works of such artists as John Cage, George Brecht, Pauline Oliveros, Bill Wegman, David Hammons and others.
Date: August 2003
Creator: McMullen, Tracy
Partner: UNT Libraries