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Cultural and Technical Perspectives on Winter Landscape

Description: Winter Landscape is an interactive composition for erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle), flute, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. The total duration of the piece is approximately 15 minutes. Winter Landscape serves to demonstrate one particular approach to exploring the possibilities afforded in an interactive paradigm within a cross-cultural context. The work is intended to convey my personality and identity as a contemporary Chinese composer through diverse cultural and musical influences drawn to this particular piece while creating a balance between traditional and modern sounds. The influences of Chinese philosophy (especially Chán) and the essence of Chinese traditional music play a prominent role as demonstrated in the formation of structures, expressions, and concept of Yun in the work; these influences also play a great role in determining the instrumentation and basic pitch structures of the work. However, this work is equally influenced by techniques and practices of modern Western classical music. These diverse influences hopefully have resulted in a unique work that truly does represent a cross-synthesis of these varying influences. In Winter Landscape, the interaction that takes place between the computer and the live musician is intended to reveal the responsive human/machine relationships. The computer constantly shifts its roles as a musical instrument, conductor, performer, and improviser to facilitate the sonic realization of the solemn, nebulous, and peaceful nature of Chán philosophy, thus exploring the cultural and musical potentials; meanwhile, the design of algorithmic structures simulate the modeling of human performance, enabling the computer with intellectual ability and musical expressivity as a decision-maker, resembling its counterpart-the live performer.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Wang, Jing
Partner: UNT Libraries

GranCloud: A real-time granular synthesis application and its implementation in the interactive composition Creo.

Description: GranCloud is new application for the generation of real-time granular synthesis in the SuperCollider programming environment. Although the software was initially programmed for use in the interactive composition Creo, it was implemented as an independent program for use in any computer music project. GranCloud consists of a set of SuperCollider classes representing granular clouds and parameter objects defining control data for the synthesis. The software is very flexible, allowing users to create their own grain synthesis definitions and control parameters. Cloud objects encapsulate all of the control data and methods necessary to render virtually any type of granular synthesis. Parameter objects provide several simple methods for mapping grain parameters to complex changing data sets or to external data sources. GranCloud simplifies the complex task of generating granular synthesis, allowing composers to focus less on technological issues and more on musical considerations during the compositional process.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Lee, Terry Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rete Mirabile: An Installation

Description: Rete Mirabile is my new installation piece combining scientific principles with live computer generated music. The title is a Latin term meaning "Wonderful Net," which I use to refer to the highly convoluted network of biological data that drives my installation. The sonification of data, computer modeling of biological processes, kinetic sculptures, and user interactivity are central parts of the installation. The paper is organized as follows: First, brief history of the forerunners that inspired my work is given. This includes a short discussion on how John Cage and David Tudor influenced current artists works, and how those works have influenced my own work. Then I review current installation works that share similarities with my own. Finally, a detailed discussion and analysis of the construction and function concludes the paper.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Rivera, Philip Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Augeries, for Flute, Clarinet, Percussion and Tape: Aesthetic Discussion and Theoretical Analysis

Description: Augeries is a multi-channel electro-acoustic composition for flute, clarinet, percussion, and tape. It is intended to be diffused through an 8-channnel playback system. Inspired by the first four lines of William Blake's Augeries of Innocence, Augeries captures the qualitative aspects of Blake's poetry by presenting the listener with an equally aperspectival aesthetic experience. The small-scale structure reflected on the large-scale form - the infusion of vastness and expansiveness into the fragile and minute. Augeries incorporates techniques of expansion and contraction, metonymic relationships, dilation and infolding of time, and structured improvisation to create an experience that is designed to explore the notion of musical time, and to bring to the listener the sense of time freedom. The critical analysis suggests that the increase in the notions of musical time, the aesthetics with which they conform, and the new time forms created, encapsulate communicative significance. This significance exists within a horizon of meaning. Semiotics illuminates an understanding of the structuring techniques used to render time as an area of artistic play. Understanding the aesthetics and mechanisms through which these techniques can be used constitutes a shared horizon of meaning. The concepts of cultural phenomenologist Jean Gebser, as explicated in The Ever-Present Origin, are used to contextualize these notions, through a description of the various consciousness structures with specific attention to the space-time relationships. Of specific concern are the aperspectival manifestations in music in the twentieth century and beyond. Special emphasis is given to the area of electro-acoustic music, particularly spectral music. The theoretical analysis explores how the various techniques are used to create an aperspectival experience, and includes specific descriptions of the technique of refraction as metonymy, and pitch set analysis of the technique of expansion and contraction.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Gedosh, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perspectives on The Passion According to the Gospels of Matthew and John

Description: My thesis covers the materials and methods of my composition, The Passion According to the Gospels of Matthew and John. It features an extensive analysis of Penderecki's Passio et mors Domini nostri Iesu Christi secundum Lucam. The research also covers some history of the Passion genre and its development. The second half of the paper presents a background and analysis of my work. It details many of the creative processes and methods I employed.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Fryklund, Aaron
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clestrinye [El Carnaval del Perdón]: Traditional Rituals in Intermedia Composition.

Description: In Part I of this thesis, I examine the use of Latin American rituals, ceremonies, and traditional folklore as conceptual and compositional material; studying and re-contextualizing concepts, cultures, and ideologies, and introducing them to foreign audiences. I explore issues such as laptop improvisation, interaction with other performance forces, and the utilization of the social elements of non-western celebrations, as explored in Clestrinye, a work for live and fixed electronics, mixed ensemble, dancers, and painters.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Salazar, Camilo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Just Intonation and the Revitalization of Neoclassicism: Three Works for Baroque Instruments

Description: For a composer of today, the relationship between new music and music from many centuries past remains problematic. In order to create something new, it is necessary to go beyond previous techniques of composition in some way. At the same time, new music that has no connection with music of the past runs the risk of irrelevance. Just tuning offers one possibility for reconciling this problem. By effectively warping music of the past through the lens of altered tuning and contemporary composition techniques, music of the past may be understood in previously unknown ways. Part I, the critical essay, presents historical background and analysis of a cycle of three works in altered/just tuning. Part II presents scores of the works.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Figg, Graham Elliot
Partner: UNT Libraries

Syncretisms for wind quintet and percussion: A study in combining organizational principles from Southeast Asian music with western stylistic elements.

Description: Syncretisms is an original composition scored for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and marimba (2-mallet minimum, 4 recommended) with an optional percussion part requiring glockenspiel and chimes, and has an approximate duration of 6 min. 45. sec. The composition combines modern western tuning, timbre, and harmonic language with organizational principles identified in music from Southeast Asia (including music from cultures found in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia). The accompanying paper describes each of these organizational principles, drawing on the work of scholars who have performed fieldwork, and describes the way in which each principle was employed in Syncretisms. The conclusion speculates on a method for comparing musical organizational systems cross-culturally.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Seymour, John
Partner: UNT Libraries

Snow Spell: An Interactive Composition for Erhu, Flute, Piano, Cello, and Max/MSP

Description: Snow Spell is an interactive composition for erhu, flute, cello, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. This one-movement piece, Snow Spell, is intended to depict the beauty of a snow scene by presenting four different impressions of snow envisioned by the composer through music. The definition, history, and significance of interactive music are explored. Various modes of interactivity to control signal processing modules, and technical considerations for signal routing and level control in the interactive computer music system are also explored. Chinese music elements in Snow Spell including pentatonic scales, glissandi, and quotations from the Chinese folk tune River of Sorrow are investigated.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Cheng, Chien-Wen
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.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Fakhouri, Fouad K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Rhetorical Guide to Ebb

Description: In the essay A Rhetorical Guide to Ebb I explore the diverse array of influences in art, and music that guided the creation of the composition Ebb, for 13 musicians and electronics. Of those influences, the boxes of the American artist Joseph Cornell played a particularly important role. Having based the conceptual framework for Ebb on ideas taken from Cornell, the essay, instead of being driven by a single thesis, involves the creation of conceptual boxes. These conceptual boxes emphasize the influence of the artist Joseph Cornell, along with the composers Iannis Xenakis and Gérard Grisey. In addition, a time line documenting the stages in Ebb's creation is included.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Zajicek, Daniel James
Partner: UNT Libraries

Aesthetic Models and Structural Features in Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band

Description: Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band was commissioned by Staff Sergeant Rone Sparrow, a percussionist with the West Point Military Academy Band. Funding for the project was provided by the Barlow Foundation. The piece was premiered April 13, 2005 in the Eisenhower Hall Theater at West Point, New York. Rone Sparrow performed with the USMA band, and Colonel Thomas Rotondi Jr., Commander/Conductor, conducted the piece. The concerto consists of three movements, and each movement features a different instrument: the first features marimba, the second, vibraphone, and the third movement features the drum kit together with a rhythm section (piano, bass, and drums). In addition to the piece, the dissertation paper discusses important technical detail related to the piece, including: harmony, form, rhythm, programmatic ideas as they relate to motivic strands, and the process of generating and discarding material. The paper also focuses on a number of factors that were influential to the piece, such as postmodern philosophy.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Anderson, Stephen Reg
Partner: UNT Libraries

RevealingReveilingReveling

Description: This thesis explores the possibilities of communication in the context of a sound composition. In RevealingReveilingReveling, a series of questions concerning communication posed by John Cage, coupled with an extension of those questions posed by myself, are set to recorded sounds-in-the-world. The intention is to create a greater awareness of that which there is to listen in our world. The first part of this essay discusses influences of philosophical thought during the process of composing RevealingReveilingReveling. Two distinct twentieth-century thinkers that have impacted the creation of this piece and their areas of thought are Martin Heidegger: language and Being; and John Cage: sound, silence, and awareness. The second part of the essay is a structural analysis of the piece, discussing the recording of Cage's questions, sounds-in-the-world, sound-manipulation techniques and thought-processes, as well as periodic mention the aesthetic decisions made.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Colaruotolo, John
Partner: UNT Libraries

Prayers of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication: A Composition for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble

Description: This paper examines the relationship between text and music in Prayers of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication - a four-movement composition, fourteen minutes in length, for soprano, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, violin, double bass, and percussion. The text of the composition is taken from the Psalms and The Book of Common Prayer. The names and themes of the movements follow an ancient pattern for prayer identified by the acronym, A.C.T.S. Compositional considerations are contrasted to those of Igor Stravinsky and Steve Reich, with special emphasis on the use of musical structures, motives, and text-painting to highlight the meaning of religious texts.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Monroe, Deborah J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Secret Art of Science: An Aural-Based Analysis of Jonty Harrison's Acousmatic Work "Pair/Impair"

Description: This paper observes the problems that impede meaningful analysis of form and structure in modern music, specifically electronic music. The premise of this research is to present methods, tools and practice for analyzing music whose visual interpretation, if any, do not represent the aural result of the composition. The means for suggesting a method are derived from documented observations in aural psychology, as well as composers' writings about musical perception. The result is an analytic model that focuses on the aural experience rather than the composers' compositional strategies which do not always agree with the resultant composition. The results from the analysis of music by Parmegiani, Harvey, Vega and Harrison help prove the general applicability of this research.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Vega, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries

Symphonic Fantasia Han-Kook Oui Ja-Yeon (Nature in Korea): Score and Critical Commentary

Description: The Symphonic Fantasia Han-Kook oui Ja-Yeon (Nature in Korea ) is a single-movement orchestral piece, which is divided into 5 characteristic sections - each section has programmatic subtitles (Rocks, River, Sea, Wind, and Mountain) and its own idée fixe motive. The degree of texture (homophonic/polyphonic), dynamics (strong/weak), density (thick/thin), velocity (fast/slow), and orchestration (emphasizing various sections of the orchestra) is determined by depiction of the subtitles. The critical commentary of the Symphonic Fantasia Han-Kook oui Ja-Yeon (Nature in Korea ) includes a discussion of form, pitch content (melodic and harmonic), and texture of the piece. The commentary also includes a discussion of the use of programmatic subtitles (Rocks, River, Sea, Wind, and Mountain) and depiction of these concepts in the orchestration of the work. A comparison with other orchestral works is added for explanation and support of the composer's concept. Some of the other composers who are discussed in this paper include Richard Strauss (Alpine Symphony), Gustav Holst (The Planets), Frank Bridge (The Sea), Aaron Copland (Billy the Kid), and Joseph Klein (Pathways: Interior Shadows).
Date: August 2004
Creator: Han, Sang-Eun
Partner: UNT Libraries

UNRAVEL: Acoustic and Electronic Resynthesis

Description: UNRAVEL, a work for alto saxophone and interactive electronics. Examines works for saxophone and electro-acoustic music. Analyzes modes of interactivity using Robert Rowe's guidelines, with sonogram, score, and programming examples. Investigates hybrid serial-parallel signal-processing networks, and their potential for timbral transformations. Explores compositional working methods, particularly as related to electro-acoustic music.
Date: August 2004
Creator: McCulloch, Peter
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.
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Date: August 2004
Creator: Goto, Yo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clockwork Plums

Description: Based on a story by Joshua Forehand with additional lyrics by Joshua Bradford, Clockwork Plums is an original musical work that integrates techniques and ideas from composers and different cultures. The accompanying essay about the work includes a summary of the story, "Clockwork Plums," some historical background covering 30 years of pop music, an analysis focusing on the use of African and Reichian compositional devices, and discussion about controlled improvisation and use of the voice as compositional tools. The music consists of three sections scored for 5 voices (lead male vocalist and SATB), flute (doubling tenor saxophone), Bb clarinet (doubling baritone saxophone), violin, cello, piano, electronic keyboard, electric guitar, electric bass, drum set, and percussion.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Bradford, Joshua
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Prayer of Daniel: for flute (with alto flute), clarinet (with bass clarinet), violin, cello, doumbek, percussion, piano, bass-baritone voice, and men's chorus

Description: The Prayer of Daniel is a chamber piece in the style of an oratorio for vocal bass-baritone soloist, flute doubling on alto flute, B flat clarinet doubling on bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion on vibraphone and marimba, doumbek (a middle eastern drum), and men's chorus (TTBB). The approximate duration is thirty minutes. The text comes from the Old Testament book of Daniel, Chapter 9 verses 4 through 19. In these passages the prophet Daniel rends from his heart a prayer of repentance, mercy and forgiveness on the behalf of a fallen nation. The harmonic language of the composition combines both classical contemporary and jazz sonorities. The rhythmic language is drawn from the meter of the text, and is used to underscore the emotion of the prayer. These elements combine to form a rich music experience that conveys the penitent heart of the prophet Daniel.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Gutierrez, Jason
Partner: UNT Libraries

Systematic Composition and Intuition in a Concerto for Organ and Orchestra

Description: Historically, composers have used methods in addition to inspiration in writing music. Regardless of the source materials they used, composers ultimately rely on their musical sensitivity to inform the compositional decision-making. Discuses the rotational aspects of decimals that are created from certain prime-number denominators, and focuses on the prime number 17. Shows how these decimals can be transformed by converting them to different number bases. Looks at the Golden Proportion and its use in creating formal structures. Examines compositional and aesthetic issues arising from using number series to generate the pitches, rhythms, and sections in the Concerto for Organ and Orchestra. This process of composition reveals musical gestures that may not have been discovered using more intuitively based approaches to composition. Shows how musical sensitivity was necessary in shaping the numerically derived material in order to create aesthetically satisfying music.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Worlton, James Timbrel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tele: Using Vernacular Performance Practices in an Eight-Channel Environment

Description: Examines the use of vernacular, country guitar styles in an electro-acoustic environment. Special attention is given to performance practices and explanation of techniques. Electro-acoustic techniques-including sound design and spatialization-are given with sonogram analyses and excerpts from the score. Compositional considerations are contrasted with those of Mario Davidovsky and Jean-Claude Risset with special emphasis on electro-acoustic approaches. Contextualization of the piece in reference to other contemporary, electric guitar music is shown with reference to George Crumb and Chiel Meijering.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Welch, Chapman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Till Millennial Kingdom: A Composition for Trumpet, Three Percussionists, and Tape

Description: Till Millennial Kingdom is a single-movement composition, eleven minutes in length, combining a trumpet, three percussionists, and tape. Throughout this text, use of the word "tape" will refer to pre-recorded audio on compact disk. This is also a programmatic composition, in that it uses music to depict a non-musical event. The form and instrumentation of Till Millennial Kingdom create a musical depiction of natural and supernatural events as they relate to biblical prophecy. The trumpet makes a significant thematic contribution throughout the work and particularly during the end of the piece. The use of percussion grants an element of rhythmic agitation, and the tape part provides a musical canvas upon which all sonic elements of the work are arranged. The combination of percussion and electro-acoustic gestures represents the programmatic concept of wrath and tribulation. Ironically, the closing stages of this work musically represent the beginning of eternity.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Stegall, Jermaine Edward
Partner: UNT Libraries

jn4.gesture: An interactive composition for dance.

Description: jn4.gesture is an interactive multimedia composition for dancer and computer designed to extend the possibilities of artistic expression through the use of contemporary technology. The software produces the audiovisual materials, which are controlled by the movement of the dancer on a custom rug sensor. The software that produces the graphic and sonic material is created using a modular design. During run-time, the software's modules are directed by a scripting language developed to control and adjust the audiovisual production through time. The visual material provides the only illumination of the performer, and the projections follow the performer's movements. The human form is isolated in darkness and it remains the focal point in the visual environment. These same movements are used to create the sonic material and control the diffusion of sound in an eight channel sound system. The video recording of the performance was made on April 22, 2002. The work was produced in a specialized performance space using two computer projectors and a state of the art sound system. Arleen Sugano designed the costumes, choreographed and performed the composition in the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theatre (MEIT) at the University of North Texas. The paper focuses on the design of the program that controls the production of the audiovisual environment. This is achieved with a discussion of background issues associated with gesture capture. A brief discussion of human-computer interface and its relationship with the arts provides an overview to the software design and mapping scenarios used to create the composition. The design of the score, a graphical user interface, is discussed as the element that synchronizes the media creation in "scenes" of the composition. This score delivers a hybrid script to the modules that controls the production of audiovisual elements. Particular modules are discussed and related to sensor mapping routines that ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Holmes, Douglas B.
Partner: UNT Libraries