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161 Glass: Site Specific Music in an Artistic Context

Description: The composition 161 Glass is a 17-minute musical work with percussion, wind and brass instruments in which the intersection of mid-century architecture, and the art and culture of a dynamic city are inextricably linked. Through this paper, I explore the process of composing a musical work in relationship to the significance of site specific context. The paper begins by defining the concept of site specific art works; then reviews the discourse of the intersection of art, music and architecture. I then delve into the cultural and geographic context surrounding this project from the modern era through the present, and how those perspectives apply to the building and my piece. I reveal how the composition relates the musical ideas to the site. Finally, I describe the collaborative process between myself, the musicians and the Dallas Contemporary staff.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Rusnak, Christina S.

D. A. Kolb’s Theory of Experiential Learning: Implications for the Development of Music Theory Instructional Material

Description: This research project evaluates the effectiveness of specific music theory instructional strategies in terms of D. A. Kolb’s theory of experiential learning and Kolb’s typology of individual learning style. The project provides an original methodology for the adaptation of music theory instructional material to the individual learning style types described in Kolb’s typology. The study compares the relative effectiveness of two music theory instructional sequences, one of which is adapted for all of the learning style modalities described in Kolb’s typology, and the other adapted for only a limited number of Kolb’s learning style types. In order to compare the potential “learning outcomes” produced by these instructional sequences, a detailed study is proposed, in which computer based instruction (CBI) will deliver the instructional sequences to research participants and electronically record the participants’ responses. The current study demonstrates the effective aspects of the original methodology and suggests methods for the successful adaptation of music theory instructional material to individual student learning styles.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Lively, Michael

Accessibility and Authenticity in Julia Smith's Cynthia Parker

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

The Adagio of Mahler's Ninth Symphony: A Schenkerian Analysis and Examination of the Farewell Story

Description: Mahler's Ninth Symphony, since its premier in 1912, has sparked much debate about its programmatic meaning. This thesis provides an in-depth analysis of the Adagio and an examination of the controversy of the farewell story. In the process of the analysis I have compared my findings to some of the important authors in Mahler's field such as Vera Micznik, Henry-Louis de La Grange, and Christopher Orlo Lewis. Some of the conclusions are that a closer investigation of the music is necessary and that the programmatic reading of the farewell story can be appropriate.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Patterson, Jason

The Aesthetics of Minimalist Music and a Schenkerian-Oriented Analysis of the First Movement "Opening" of Philip Glass' Glassworks

Description: Philip Glass' Glassworks (1981) is a six-movement composition for two flutes, two soprano saxophones/clarinets, two tenor saxophones/bass clarinets, two French horns, violas, cellos, and the DX7 electric piano. Glassworks consists of six movements titled "Opening," "Floe," "Island," "Rubric," "Facades," and "Closing." This thesis covers the first movement "Opening." Repetition in musical minimalism confronts traditional prescriptive codes of tonal music and post-tonal music. While challenging the traditional codes, repetition in musical minimalism established new codes for listening to minimal music. This thesis explores the implications of these ideas.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Wu, Chia-Ying

Alberto Ginastera and the Guitar Chord: An Analytical Study

Description: The guitar chord (a sonority based on the open strings of the guitar) is one of Alberto Ginastera's compositional trademarks. The use of the guitar chord expands throughout forty years, creating a common link between different compositional stages and techniques. Chapters I and II provide the historical and technical background on Ginastera's life, oeuvre and scholar research. Chapter IV explores the origins of the guitar chord and compares it to similar specific sonorities used by different composers to express extra-musical ideas. Chapter V discusses Ginastera's initial uses and modifications of the guitar chord. Chapter VI explores the use of the guitar chord as a referential sonority based on Variaciones Concertantes, Op. 23: I-II, examining vertical (subsets) and horizontal (derivation of motives) aspects. Chapter VII explores uses of trichords and hexachords derived from the guitar chord in the Sonata for Guitar Op. 47.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Gaviria, Carlos A.

American Choral Music in Late 19th Century New Haven: The Gounod and New Haven Oratorio Societies

Description: This study examines two of the smaller American choral societies that together existed for just over 30 years, 1888 to 1919: The Gounod and New Haven Oratorio Societies of New Haven, Connecticut. These societies are important because, especially in the case of the New Haven Society, they were closely related to Yale University and the work of Horatio Parker. One must assume from the onset that the two choral groups examined in the following pages did not have the prominence of the many larger New England choral societies. However a more detailed knowledge about the struggles, successes, influence and leadership of two smaller societies illuminates a field of research in the history of American choral music that has been largely ignored.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Clark, R. Andrew

An Analysis of Periodic Rhythmic Structures in the Music of Steve Reich and György Ligeti

Description: The compositions of Steve Reich and György Ligeti both contain periodic rhythmic structures. Although periods are not usually easily perceived, the listener may perceive their combinations in a hierarchy of rhythmic structures. This document is an attempt to develop an analytical method that can account for this hierarchy in periodic music. I begin with an overview of the features of Reich's and Ligeti's music that contribute to the property of periodicity. I follow with a discussion of the music and writings of Olivier Messiaen as a precedent for the periodic structures in the music of Reich and Ligeti. I continue by consulting the writings of the Israeli musicologist Simha Arom and describing the usefulness of his ideas and terminology in the development of my method. I explain the working process and terminology of the analytical method, and then I apply it to Reich's Six Pianos and Ligeti's Désordre.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Isgitt, David

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.
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Date: May 2000
Creator: Kochbeck, Olivia M.

'...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

Applications of Reductive Analytical Techniques in the Phrygian Settings of the Orgelbüchlein by J.S. Bach

Description: This study aims to two problematic aspects of the Phrygian mode: a. the development of a harmonic pattern at the cadence that differs from that of the other modes and of the major and minor modes as well; b. the observation that the Phrygian scale inverts all of the intervallic properties of the Major scale. The result of these two observations is that when the reductive techniques of Heinrich Schenker are applied in the Phrygian repertory, melodic and harmonic properties are brought into conflict with each other. However, application of alternative models of the Ursatz developed by Lori Burns has certain benefits for demonstrating musical properties in the Phrygian repertory.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Leite, Zilei de Oliveira

An Argument for the Reassessment of Stravinsky's Early Serial Compositions

Description: Between 1952 and 1957, Igor Stravinsky surprised the world of music by gradually incorporating serialism into his style of composition. Although Stravinsky still used the neo-classical trait of making strong references to the music of earlier periods, musical analyses of this transitional period have focused on serial aspects to the exclusion of anachronistic elements. Evidence of Stravinsky's possible use of musical structures adapted from earlier times is found in his consistent use of musical figures that are closely related to the cadences of the late Medieval and Renaissance eras. By fully addressing these neo-classical traits in future analyses, music theorists will gain an additional perspective, which is helpful in understanding the music of Stravinsky's transitional period.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Hughes, Timothy Stephen

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

Arvo Pärt and Three Types of His Tintinnabuli Technique

Description: Arvo Pärt, an Estonian composer, was born in 1935. Most of the works at the beginning of his career were for piano in the neo-classical style. After that, he turned his interest to serial music and continued creating works with serial techniques throughout the 1960s. After his "self-imposed silence" period (during the years 1968-1976), Pärt emerged with a new musical style, which he called tintinnabuli. Although, this technique was influenced by music from the medieval period, the texture and function of its musical style cannot be described easily in terms of any single musical technique of the past. This study explores the evolution of Arvo Pärt's tintinnabuli technique in its first decade 1976-1985, which is divided into three different types. It provides musical examples from the scores of selected works, Für Alina, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Cantate Domino canticum novum, Missa Sillabica, Stabat Mater and Es sang vor langen Jahren, and their analyses with supporting interpretative sketches. The goal of this thesis is to provide the reader a basis for understanding and recognizing the different types of Pärt's tintinnabuli technique.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Kongwattananon, Oranit

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

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

Assimilation of Baroque and Classical Essence with Romantic Sentiment: a Structural Analysis of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's Sonata in C Minor for Organ, Opus 62, No. 2

Description: The purpose of this study is to examine Sonata No. 2 in detail from many analytical perspectives including melodies, rhythms, harmonic progressions, tonal plans, voice leading, and cadential patterns on macro- and micro-levels. It is believed that a more in-depth discussion of the composition from the perspective of harmony and voice leading may provide answer for the questions raised, and correct some misinterpretations in the works of certain writers. Furthermore, through analysis of Sonata No. 2. this study will show the relationship of the use of formal, stylistic, harmonic features between Mendelssohn and other composers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Chou, Kwong-Yan Godwin

Autographs 1928 : Four Songs for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble

Description: Autographs 1928: Four Songs for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble is a composition of approximately 16 minutes' duration and is scored for mezzo-soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, horn in F, viola, violoncello, one keyboardist (piano and celesta), and two percussionists (marimba, xylophone, chimes, timpani, bass drum, temple blocks, triangle, and slapstick). The work consists of four songs and four readings with texts from Walls's maternal grandmother's autograph book. The composition opens with a reading and alternates between readings and songs. The music is intended to reflect the playful, tender and humorous nature of the lyrics.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Walls, Jay Alan

Bach's Mass in B minor: An Analytical Study of Parody Movements and their Function in the Large-Scale Architectural Design of the Mass

Description: Most studies of the Mass in B Minor deal with the history of the work, its reception history, primary sources, performance practice issues, rhetoric, and even theological and numerical symbolism. However, little research focuses on an in-depth analysis of the music itself. Of the few analytical studies undertaken, to date only a limited number attempt to explain Bach's use of parody technique or unity in the whole composition. This thesis focuses on understanding three primary concerns in regards to the Mass in B minor: to comprehend how preexistent material was adapted to the context of the Mass, how this material functions in the network of the entire composition, and how unity is achieved by means of large-scale voice leading. The results of this study not only provide new information about this monument of Western music, but also provide insight to the deep sense of large-scale structure in Bach's work.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Pérez Torres, René

Beethoven's Opus 18 String Quartets: Selected First Movements in Consideration of the Formal Theories of Heinrich Koch as Expressed in Versuch Einer Anleitung Zur Composition

Description: Heinrich Koch completed his treatise in 1793, a pioneering work regarding the musical phrase as well as a sonata form description (lacking that term). Composition of Opus 18 began in 1798, a momentous project for several reasons in Beethoven's early career. Here, the theories expressed in Koch's Versuch are taken as an analytic springboard into a thorough analysis of the first movement of the quartet published no. 3, which was the first composed; additionally, nos. 1 and 6 are explored to a lesser degree. This study in phrase-analysis demonstrates significance in the fundamental ideas of Koch as applied to a masterwork of the turn of the 19th century.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Tompkins, Robert

“Before I Die…”: Original Composition with a Critical Essay Exploring the Techniques of Six Crossover Composers

Description: Candy Chang developed a public art installation where people are given the opportunity to write their answers to "Before I Die I want to ________." in a public space. I created one of these walls in Denton, TX and set it to music in a 12 minutes and 42 second piece titled Before I Die..., which combines elements of South Indian carnatic music, gospel, R&B, jazz fusion, and minimalism. The composition was influenced by the music of several crossover artists Becca Stevens, Michael League (Snarky Puppy), Nico Muhly, Poovalur Sriji, Tigran Hamasyan, and James Blake. Crossover music, fusion, and third-stream are all synonymous terms used to describe music where multiple genres or styles are authentically combined. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the balance of musical elements in crossover works as well as how specific works composed by the artists mentioned have influenced the creation of the Before I Die... piece.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Trusko, Robert

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

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

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

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

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

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