UNT Theses and Dissertations - 158 Matching Results

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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.
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Date: May 1999
Creator: Friedman, Arnold Jacob
Partner: UNT Libraries

Paintings and Palaces, or the Lament of the Burger Flipper

Description: The opera is scored for chamber orchestra consisting of one oboe, two Bb clarinets, two horns in F, one trumpet in C, one tenor trombone, two percussionists (playing snare drum, bass drum, tambourine, wood block, triangle, suspended cymbal, crash cymbal, agogo bells, cow bell, brake drum, metal whistle, whip, large gong, Glockenspiel, chimes, timpani in F (low) and C), eight or more violins in two parts, six or more violas in two parts, and eight or more cellos in two parts. The characters are Alejandro Jiminez, a dramatic tenor; the Manager of Burger Palace, a baritone; the Suits 1/Fast Food Workers, a choir (SATB) and the Suits 2/Customers, a second choir (SATB), each ideally consisting of eight vocalists for a total of sixteen; the Daydream Figures, which are mimed parts; the Man with Gun, which is a spoken part. The opera, in one act consisting of six scenes and an interlude, is based on a libretto by the composer. There is only one scene change: from an essentially empty stage to a fast food restaurant in Scene 4. The length of the work is approximately sixty to sixty-five minutes.
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Date: May 1999
Creator: Salfen, Kevin McGregor
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Marvelous Accidents": The Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra of John Cage

Description: John Cage’s Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1950-51) holds a unique position within the composer’s oeuvre as the first work based in part on chance-derived compositional procedures. Cage entered into such practice gradually, incrementally abandoning subjective taste and personal expression through the course of the work. Drawing from the philosophical framework provided by Cage’s "Lecture on Nothing" (1950) and "Lecture on Something" (c. 1951-52), this thesis explores the aesthetic foundations of the concerto and examines Cage’s compositional methodology throughout its three movements. Special attention is paid to the procedure underlying the first movement, whose analysis is based largely on the composer’s manuscript materials for the work.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Boutwell, Brett N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hearing History: Musical Borrowing in the Percussion Ensemble Works, Duo Chopinesque and Chameleon Music

Description: Duo Chopinesque by Michael Hennagin and Chameleon Music by Dan Welcher represent two of the most significant percussion ensemble compositions written in the last twenty years. Both works are written for the mostly mallet type of percussion ensemble wherein the keyboard instruments predominate. However, the most unique aspect of these two pieces is their use of musical quotation. Duo Chopinesque borrows Chopin's Prelude in E minor in its entirety, while Chameleon Music borrows portions from four Mozart Sonatas. This paper places each work within the history of the percussion ensemble, and in the larger history of musical quotation in the twentieth century. In addition, the compositional characteristics of both works are examined with particular emphasis on each composer's use of borrowed material from the music of Mozart and Chopin. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between quoted material and newly composed rhythmic motives.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Fulton, Stephen L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Resurrexit from Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle (1825): A Case Study in Self-Borrowing

Description: Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle, his first publicly performed work, was important to his establishment in Paris as a composer. Although he later destroyed the Mass, he reused parts of the Resurrexit movement in three of his later works: Benvenuto Cellini (1836), the Grand messe des morts (1837), and the Te Deum (1849). This study examines the Resurrexit and its subsequent borrowings. In each instance that Berlioz borrowed from the Resurrexit, he extracted large sections and placed them in the context of later works. Each time that borrowing occurred, Berlioz constructed the surrounding music so that portions from the Resurrexit would fit stylistically and a seamlessly into the texture. In each borrowing, he left the melody unaltered, changing harmony and orchestration instead. This pattern of borrowing demonstrates that Berlioz developed his concept of melody early in his career, and that his method of self-borrowing was consistent in each subsequent use of the Resurrexit.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Gill, Sarah M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Franz Liszt's Concepts of Changing Tonality as Exemplified in Selected "Mephisto" Works

Description: The purpose of this study is to analyze four late solo piano works of Franz Liszt that all bear the name "Mephisto" in their titles, in order to examine, identify and trace the development in the use of harmonic and melodic idioms that produced non-tonal or "omnitonic" effects, on the one hand, and to emphasize the need to duly accord Liszt a recognition of historical position as the nineteenth century's most influential avant garde composer whose attitude and approach had helped to shape much of the ideal of the atonal composition of this century, on the other. Chapter One presents the issues and the purpose of this study; Chapter Two investigates the principal forces that shaped Liszt's mature compositional style; Chapter Three identifies and discusses the requisites for tonal and atonal compositions; Chapter Four analyzes the four "Mephisto" dances: Waltz no.1 (1860); Polka (1883); Waltz no.3 (1883); and Bagatelle (1885). Chapter Five summarizes the findings from this study and attempts to identify in these late works of Liszt a pattern of conscientious, continuous, purposeful and progressive use of devices toward creating musical effect that would defy the established tonal requisites and undermine the tonal orientation in the composition. This study submits that it was Liszt who had first shown a way to free music from the shackles of prescribed idiomatic constraints, and to force us the listeners to approach and appreciate music for its own sound's sake. Additionally, this study submits that this effort of Liszt should be understood and appreciated in terms of programmatic association; that is, Liszt found in the persona of Mephisto the Diablo the ideal imagery for depicting the nature of the "music of the future" where tonality would be freed from any prescribed procedural requisites.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Kim, Jung-Ah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Nobody's Fool: A Study of the Yrodivy in Boris Godunov

Description: Modest Musorgsky completed two versions of his opera Boris Godunov between 1869 and 1874, with significant changes in the second version. The second version adds a concluding lament by the fool character that serves as a warning to the people of Russia beyond the scope of the opera. The use of a fool is significant in Russian history and this connection is made between the opera and other arts of nineteenth-century Russia. These changes are, musically, rather small, but historically and socially, significant. The importance of the people as a functioning character in the opera has precedence in art and literature in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth-century and is related to the Populist movement. Most importantly, the change in endings between the two versions alters the entire meaning of the composition. This study suggests that this is a political statement on the part of the composer.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Pollard, Carol 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.
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Date: December 1999
Creator: Henry, Jon L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Symmetrical Features of Nikolai Medtner's Language: The Grzovaya Sonata, Opus 53 No. 2

Description: Nikolai Medtner's works evidence an intense interest in symmetrical designs. This concern is manifest at all levels, from the large scale proportions of his numerous ingenious sonata forms to the symmetrically constructed themes and motives. Medtner's works include several instances of palindromic themes and periods. Some palindromic contours are achieved through immediate inversion, creating expansive, symmetrical waves. One of Medtner's thumbprints, symmetrical contrary voice-leading, consists of two or more voices which systematically expand or contract in exact mirror fashion. The contrary movement is usually stepwise, and may be either chromatic or diatonic. Occasionally even larger intervals, such as thirds and fourths, are subjected to this favourite mirroring technique. Such symmetrical expansion and contraction often controls the harmonic progression of several consecutive bars. One of the most striking aspects of Medtner's music is his sophisticated harmonic language. He was fascinated with symmetrical harmonic designs, such as the tritone, the French sixth chord, and the octatonic scale, and made endless and increasingly intricate explorations into these stuctures and the ways in which these apparently nontonal, non-hierarchical forms could be coordinated with the fundamental hierarchy of asymmetrical tonal forms, including triads, major and minor scales, and tonic-dominant relations. Medtner's late work, the Grozovaya Sonata, Opus 53 No.2, is the most concentrated and abstract of his works. The themes are built from highly lapidar motives, giving this work an intensely angular, rigorously mathematical character. All the symmetrical hallmarks of Medtner's language are in abundant evidence in this great work. Features include the extensive symmetrical mirroring of the opening section, frequent use of contrary voice leading as a generator of harmonic progression, and constant tritone shifting. Medtner also builds sequential chains based on two more symmetrical forms, the diminished seventh and the augmented triad. Finally, the design of this unique single movement sonata may be ...
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Date: December 1999
Creator: Pitts, James L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

As Darkness Falls: A Composition for Wind Ensemble

Description: As Darkness Falls is a composition that explores our interaction with several aspects of darkness through the use of musical imagery. The imagery attempts to reflect the moods, feelings, and impressions of a person as he or she interacts with darkness. The non-programmatic character of the composition allows listeners to superimpose their own experiences onto the musical tapestry in order to manifest a personal connection between the listener and the music. As Darkness Falls is a composition scored for a minimum instrumentation of piccolo, 6 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 bassoons, 9 B-flat clarinets, B-flat bass clarinet, 2 E-flat alto saxophones, B-flat tenor saxophone, E-flat baritone saxophone, 4 B-flat trumpets, 4 horns in F, 3 tenor trombones, bass trombone, 2 euphoniums, 2 tubas, timpani, and 4 percussionists. The music consists of three movements (slow-slow-fast) lasting a total of approximately seventeen minutes. The duration of each of the three movements is six minutes, four and one-half minutes, and six and one-half minutes, respectively. The document also contains an analysis of the work by the composer. The analysis explores the compositional style of the work, focusing on musical aspects within each movement that were governing parameters in the compositional process.
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Date: December 1999
Creator: Prinz, Kendall R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

'...and one of time.': A Composition for Full Orchestra with Narration

Description: ‘...and one of time.' is a reinterpretation of a small musical moment from Philip Glass' opera, Einstein on the Beach, centered around the phrase "Berne, Switzerland 1905." This reinterpretation is realized through the use of several different compositional techniques including spectral composition, micropolyphony and dodecaphony, as well as the application of extra-musical models developed by Alan Lightman, John Gardner, Italo Calvino and Albert Einstein.
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Date: December 1999
Creator: Rinker, John Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Examination of David Maslanka's Marimba Concerti: Arcadia II for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble and Concerto for Marimba and Band, A Lecture Recital, Together With Three Recitals of Selected Works of K.Abe, M. Burritt, J. Serry, and Others

Description: Although David Maslanka is not a percussionist, his writing for marimba shows a solid appreciation of the idiomatic possibilities developed by recent innovations for the instrument. The marimba is included in at least eighteen of his major compositions, and in most of those it is featured prominently. Both Arcadia II: Concerto for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble and Concerto for Marimba and Band display the techniques and influences that have become characteristic of his compositional style. However, they express radically different approaches to composition due primarily to Maslanka's growth as a composer. Maslanka's traditional musical training, the clear influence of diverse composers, and his sensitivity to extra-musical influences such as geographic location have resulted in a very distinct musical style. His exemplary attention to detail and sound timbres give his works an individualized stamp. The evolution of motivic gestures is the most distinctive characteristic of Maslanka's compositional process. Maslanka freely incorporates forms and structural principles of the baroque and classical periods, but these principles are not applied in a strict sense. These factors combine to produce two works that are both unique and significant in the literature for marimba. They exhibit a sensitivity to sound timbres while maintaining a mature approach to melody, harmony, and rhythm acknowledging the traditions of earlier eras. This study examines compositional techniques, aspects of formal structure, tonality, melodic content, and marimba technique found in David Maslanka's Arcadia II: Concerto for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble (1982), and Concerto for Marimba and Band (1990). Transcripts of personal interviews provide valuable insights into Maslanka's approach to composition and other issues pertinent to the study of his compositions for marimba. Biographical information and an overview of his works that include marimba will serve as background material.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Varner, Michael L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reconstructions: Nine Movements for Solo Soprano, Chorus, and Wind Ensemble

Description: Reconstructions is a nine-movement composition for solo soprano, chorus, and wind ensemble using texts from several of Emily Dickinson's poems. The soloist represents the main character in this dramatic work, and the narrative structure portrays abstract moments in this character's life. While the narrative structure of the reconstructed fragments is important to the form of the composition, other elements are also significant. Pitch structures generated from set theoretical systems, in addition to cyclic and palindromic structures are utilized throughout. Timbre also delineates the form, as various combinations of instruments and chorus create an evolving environment in which the soloist resides.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Makela, Steven L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Prologue in the Seventeenth-Century Venetian Operatic Libretto: its Dramatic Purpose and the Function of its Characters

Description: The Italian seicento has been considered a dead century by many literary scholars. As this study demonstrates, such a conclusion ignores important literary developments in the field of librettology. Indeed, the seventeenth-century operatic libretto stands as a monument to literary invention. Critical to the development of this new literary genre was the prologue, which provided writers with a context in which to experiment and achieve literary transcendence. This study identifies approximately 260 dramatic works written in Venice between the years 1637 and 1682, drawn together for the first time from three sources: librettos in the Drammaturgia di Leone Allacci accresciuta e continuata fino all'anno MCDDLV; the musical manuscripts listed in the Codici Musicali Contariniani; and a chronological list of seventeenth-century Venetian operas found in Cristoforo Ivanovich's Minerva al Tavolino. Of the 260 Venetian works identified, over 98 begin with self-contained prologues. This discovery alone warrants a reconsideration of the seventeenth-century Italian libretto and the emergence of the dramatic prologue as a new and important literary genre.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Miller, Robin A. (Robin Annette)
Partner: UNT Libraries

French Accompanied Keyboard Music from Mondonville's Opus III to Mondonville's Opus V: The Birth of a Genre, a Lecture Recital, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of J.S. Back, F. Couperin, G. Frescobaldi, W.A. Mozart, C. Balbastre, D. Scarlatti, J.P. Rameau and Others

Description: In mid-eighteenth-century France, a type of ensemble music was introduced for harpsichord and another instrument(s) in which the harpsichord part is completely written out, instead of a bass line with figures to be realized. Composers of this genre used the word "accompanied" in the tides or in the prefaces of their collections to describe the genre. This study examines the earliest examples of this genre, the works of seven composers, published in the 1740's, (Mondonville, Rameau, Boismoitier, Clement, Dupuits, Guillemain, and Luc Marchand), and compares the various styles of the written out parts, both harpsichord and additional instrument, to determine the nature of the word, "accompaniment."
Date: December 1993
Creator: Patterson, Yumi Uchikoda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cyril Scott's Piano Sonata, Op. 66: A Study of His Innovative Musical Language, With Three Recitals of Selected Works by Mozart, Schumann, Scriabin, Debussy, Ravel and Others

Description: The objective of the dissertation is to examine Cyril Scott's musical language as exhibited in his Piano Sonata, Op. 66. Subjects of discussion include Scott's use of form, rhythm, melody, tonality, and harmony. Also included are a biographical sketch of the composer and his philosophical view of modernism. A comparison of the original version and the revised edition of this sonata, as well as references to Cyril Scott's two other piano sonatas are also included during the examination of his harmonic and rhythmic style.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Cheung, Ching-Loh
Partner: UNT Libraries

Piano Quintet

Description: The thesis is a traditional piano quintet in the manner of Bartok, incorporating compositional techniques such as golden ratio and using folk materials. Special effects on strings are limited for easy conversion to wind instruments. The piece is about 15 minutes long.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Tan, Chee-Tick
Partner: UNT Libraries

Kurt Weill: a Song Composer in Wartime with Three Recitals of Selected Works of Mozart, Strauss, Bach, Schubert, and Others

Description: During World War II the composer Kurt Weill was in America writing for the Broadway stage. On August 27, 1943, he became an American citizen and was eager to volunteer his talent to the American war effort. Among his many wartime musical contributions are fourteen songs, all with war-related texts, which can be divided into three distinct groups: the American propaganda songs (8), the German propaganda songs (2), and the Walt Whitman songs (4). It is the purpose of this paper to present a comparative analysis of a representative group of these war songs (two from each group) in order to illustrate Weill's musical versatility. The American propaganda songs were written in a purely popular song style; sung by Broadway actors; directed toward an American audience; with texts by the Broadway lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II and the Hollywood movie executive Howard Dietz. The German propaganda songs were written in a cabaret song style; sung in German by Weill's wife, Lotte Lenya; directed toward a German audience behind enemy lines; with texts by the German playwright Bertolt Brecht and the German cabaret writer Walter Mehring. The Four Walt Whitman Songs were written in a classical art song style; sung by classically trained singers; directed toward a general audience; with texts by the nineteenth-century American poet Walt Whitman. After an initial discussion of Weill's early musical training and career in Europe, his exile from Germany, his reception in America, and his contributions to the American war effort, each group of war songs is analyzed musically, textually, vocally, in reference to the audience to whom it was directed, and with regards to vocal performance practice. Comparisons and conclusions are then drawn. Kurt Weill's war songs are valuable for musical study, both in terms of examining his ability to write equally well in various ...
Date: August 1993
Creator: Wyatt, Susan Beth Masters
Partner: UNT Libraries

Practical Aspects of Playing Domenico Scarlatti's Keyboard Sonatas on the Guitar, a Lecture Recital, together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by W.A. Mozart, M. Ponce, A. Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, J. Turina and Others

Description: The ornamentation in the keyboard sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti is investigated in light of evidence from late seventeenth and early eighteenth century Spanish treatises and collections. Additionally, calligraphic and statistical evidence from the earliest known manuscripts and printed source for the keyboard sonatas is explored. The study is focused on three ornaments--the appoggiatura, trill, and tremulo--and concludes that: the appoggiaturas in this repertoire were short unless cadential or present in a cantabile tempo, in which case they could be one-third to two-thirds the value of the resolution note; trills were begun on the main note unless preceded by a grace note; tremulo was usually an alternation of a main note with its lower neighbor note and this ornament is normally indicated at points of harmonic prolongation. The last chapter discusses general approaches to arranging these works for the guitar and the specific influence of ornamentation on the performance of the sonatas on guitar. Details from eight sonatas arranged for the guitar are used to exemplify the conclusions of the research.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Quantz, Michael O.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Nationwide Investigation of High School Band Directors' Reasons for Participating in Music Competitions

Description: The purpose of this study was to assess on a national level, high school band directors' reasons for their bands' participation in six different types of competitive music activities, identify important reasons for participation in competitive music activities, and examine if statistically significant differences existed between the magnitudes of importance reasons for participation when subjects' responses were grouped by type of competitive activity, frequency of participation in a competitive activity, and by groupings of U. S. states similar in terms of general participation in competitive music activities, emphasis upon ratings or rankings as an indication of a high school band directors' success, and emphasis upon participation in competitive music activities.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Hurst, Craig Willmore
Partner: UNT Libraries

Orchestral Accompaniment in the Vocal Works of Hector Berlioz

Description: Recent Berlioz studies tend to stress the significance of the French tradition for a balanced understanding of Berlioz's music. Such is necessary because the customary emphasis on purely musical structure inclines to stress the influence of German masters to the neglect of vocal and therefore rhetorical character of this tradition. The present study, through a fresh examination of Berlioz's vocal-orchestral scores, sets forth the various orchestrational patterns and the rationales that lay behind them.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Lee, Namjai
Partner: UNT Libraries

Jonah's Prayer: a Composition for Solo Tenor, Mixed Chorus and Two Pianos

Description: Jonah's Prayer is a choral work for solo tenor, a mixed choir of not fewer than 30 members, two pianos and a few percussion instruments to be played by choir members. The piece lasts about 13 minutes; it is a work intended for church choir use but could be performed in other venues as well.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Au, Siu-ming Stefan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Musical Fallout of Political Activism: Government Investigations of Musicians in the United States, 1930-1960

Description: Government investigations into the motion picture industry are well-documented, as is the widespread blacklisting that was concurrent. Not nearly so well documented are the many investigations of musicians and musical organizations which occurred during this same period. The degree to which various musicians and musical organizations were investigated varied considerably. Some warranted only passing mention, while others were rigorously questioned in formal Congressional hearings. Hanns Eisler was deported as a result of the House Committee on Un-American Activities' (HUAC) investigation into his background and activities in the United States. Leonard Bernstein, Marc Blitzstein, and Aaron Copland are but a few of the prominent composers investigated by the government for their involvement in leftist organizations. The Symphony of the Air was denied visas for a Near East tour after several orchestra members were implicated as Communists. Members of musicians' unions in New York and Los Angeles were called before HUAC hearings because of alleged infiltration by Communists into their ranks. The Metropolitan Music School of New York, led by its president-emeritus, the composer Wallingford Riegger, was the subject of a two day congressional hearing in New York City. There is no way to measure either quantitatively or qualitatively the effect of the period on the music but only the extent to which the activities affected the musicians themselves. The extraordinary paucity of published information about the treatment of the musicians during this period is put into even greater relief when compared to the thorough manner in which the other arts, notably literature and film, have been examined. This work attempts to fill this gap and shed light on a particularly dark chapter in the history of contemporary music.
Date: August 1993
Creator: McCall, Sarah B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Use of Jazz in Opera

Description: Methods of incorporating jazz in opera range from using simple blue notes and fox-trot rhythms, to utilizing jazz instruments, to employing elaborate passages of improvisation. Current definitions of "jazz opera" do not consider variations in the genre, which, because of their evolving nature and the varied background of their composers, are diverse. This study attempts to collectively discuss these third-stream works. Jazz rhythms and harmonies first appeared in the 1920s in the works of Gershwin, Harling, Krenek, and Freeman. In 1966, Gunther Schuller was the first composer to use improvisation in an opera, which has become the primary distinguishing factor. There has since been a tremendous interest in this genre by such jazz musicians as Dave Burrell, Anthony Davis, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Anthony Braxton, George Gruntz, and Jon Faddis.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Ottervik, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries