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I, Blavatsky: A One-Act Opera

Description: I, Blavatsky is a one-act opera based on the life of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a nineteenth-century Russian princess and co-founder of a religious organization called the Theosophical Society. The libretto, by the composer, involves a cast of three principal soloists and minor roles for six more singers who are also participants in a small chorus. The text format features free verse alternating with regular, rhymed strophes. Accompaniment is provided by a piano. Melodic structure combines some nineteenth-century Romantic idioms with twentieth-century style. Most of the melodic and harmonic material was intuitively composed to express the text. Rhythmic and stylistic contrasts are accomplished in the representation of the extensive travels of the main character. Stage directions involve a stylized set, several scenes requiring minimal set changes, magical effects to represent that facet of Blavatsky's life, and onstage costume changes for several characters. Approximate duration is one hour.
Date: May 1990
Creator: Cooper, Steve, 1951 Dec. 4-

Selected Contemporary Performance Problems as Found in Karel Husa's Sonata No. 2 for Piano

Description: The purpose of this study is to identify some of the performance problems associated with contemporary piano music, using the Sonata No. 2 for Piano by Karel Husa (1921 - ) as the basis for the discussion. In so doing, this study identifies Karel Husa as an important contributor to twentieth century piano repertoire. Personal interviews and correspondence with the composer provided biographical, analytical, and stylistic insight for this study. Supplemental information on Karel Husa was obtained from journals, newspaper articles, and dissertations. The first chapter provides biographical information gleaned from the interview, with emphasis on Husa's keyboard compositions and early compositional influences. The second chapter offers a detailed formal analysis of the Sonata No. 2 from the perspective of motivlc development and cyclic unity. The final three chapters focus on twentieth century performance problems as exemplified in Karel Husa's Sonata No. 2 for Piano. In Chapter 3, the discussion of notation provides a general background on notational developments in pitch and rhythm in the twentieth century, with the Sonata illustrating these procedures. The fourth chapter concentrates specifically on Husa's individual rhythmic language. The final chapter is devoted to Husa's coloristic use of the piano, addressing his unique contributions to the tonal and timbral resources of the instrument. Innovations in dynamic gradations, playing inside of the piano, and extensive use of all three pedals are discussed, as well as the special techniques required to achieve these sounds. In all the chapters, musical examples from the Sonata Illustrate the discussion, and reprinted by permission from the publisher. Throughout the dissertation, Karel Husahas provided Invaluable assistance and insight thus offering readers an important link to both the Sonata No. 2 and the composer himself.
Date: May 1990
Creator: Humm, Mary Mosher

Stylistic and Technical Considerations for Pedaling the Debussy Preludes, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of L. van Beethoven, A. Berg, J. Brahms, F. Chopin, C. Debussy, W.A. Mozart, S. Prokofieff, A. Schoenberg, F. Schubert, and R. Schumann

Description: The lecture recital was given November 6, 1989. Five Preludes by Claude Debussy were preformed following a lecture on some important considerations of approaching the pedaling complexities in his solo piano works. In addition to the lecture recital, three other solo piano recitals were performed. The first solo recital consisted of works by Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann, and was performed on November 17, 1980. On March 1, 1982, the second solo recital was presented. This performance consisted of works by J. Brahms, W.A. Mozart, S. Prokofieff, and A. Schoenberg. The third solo recital was performed on November 21, 1988 and included the works of L. van Beethoven. A. Berg, F. Chopin, and C. Debussy. The four programs were recorded on tape and filed with the written version of the lecture as part of the dissertation.
Date: May 1990
Creator: Etheridge, Kay, 1954 Apr. 18-

Copland's "Single Vision" and the Piano Sonata: A Lecture Recital, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of J.S. Bach, B. Bartok, L.v. Beethoven, F. Chopin, F. Liszt, W.A. Mozart, J.P. Rameau, M. Ravel, and F. Schubert

Description: Difficulties are encountered in any discussion of Copland's style, for his works cover the spectrum from harsh, dissonant works to folk music. To avoid the task of defining a style which encompasses this array of vastly different pieces, a sharp distinction is frequently made between the abstract and popular works. However, Copland has repeatedly objected to such categorization, claiming that he composed from a single vision. A careful examination of his total output proves the validity of his claim. Many common characteristics are found throughout works from all categories and time periods. These traits include a basic economy of materials, emphasis on thirds, consistent method of development, use of declamation, jazz-influenced rhythms, cyclicism, and a slow/fast/slow sequence of movements, as well as within single movements. This document uses the Piano Sonata as a model of Copland's style, for it exemplifies these characteristics more clearly than any other major piece for piano. By making numerous comparisons with other works, Copland's single vision is revealed.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Morris, Gregory W. (Gregory Wayne)

The Full Anthems and Services of John Blow and the Question of an English Stile Antico

Description: John Blow (1649-1708) was among the first group of boys pressed into the service of King Charles II, following the decade of Puritan rule. Blow would make compositional efforts as early as 1664 and, at the age of nineteen, began to assume professional positions within the London musical establishment, ultimately becoming, along with his pupil and colleague, Henry Purcell, London's foremost musician. Restoration sacred music is generally thought of in connection with the stile nuovo which, for the first time, came to be a fully accepted practice among English musicians for the church. But the English sacred polyphonic art, little threatened by England's largely political Reformation, embodied sufficient flexibility as to allow it to absorb new ideas, thereby remaining vital well into the seventeenth century. Preserved from decisive Italian influences by the Interregnum, the English sacred polyphonic tradition awoke at the Restoration full of potential for continuing creative activity. In addition to studying Blow's polyphonic compositions, including the transcription of several not available in modern edition, this paper seeks to address the unique nature of the English polyphonic tradition which allowed it to retain its vitality throughout the seventeenth century, while other polyphonic traditions were succumbing to the ossifying influences of the stile antico concept. Identification of the Continental stile antico through pertinent treatises and scores revealed a marked distinction between its application and the English polyphonic art as seen in the work of John Blow. In the end, the peculiar nature of Restoration polyphony is seen to be derived from a number of factors, among them, the continuation of liturgical ceremonial within the independent English church, the flexibility of the English polyphonic medium with regard to new musical developments, and the interruption of England's cathedral music tradition just as Italian influence was beginning to be felt in liturgical music. ...
Date: August 1990
Creator: King, Deborah Simpkin

The Solo Piano Works of John Corigliano: Etude Fantasy (1976) and Fantasia on an Ostinato (1985)

Description: John Corigliano (b. 1938) is a contemporary American composer who has in the last twenty years established himself as a composer whose versatility and accessibility are appreciated by a wide range of audiences. He has labeled himself an eclectic composer who unashamedly borrows from other musical styles and periods in an effort to create works that appeal to a variety of listeners. He has been mentioned along with George Rochberg, George Crumb, and Jacob Druckman as an advocate of the post-modern movement in contemporary American music, a trend that has been crucial to the development of contemporary concert music. The purpose of this study is to examine the two solo piano works of Corigliano in terms of style, structure, and musical influences. The Etude Fani-agy (197 6) is a set of five etudes, performed without pause. The etudes are unified through an elaborate use of thematic transformation in which a row-like idea generates most of the material. The keyboard writing is varied and dramatic, with similarities to Debussy, Bartok, Prokofiev, and Copland. Fantasia on an Qstinato (1985), commissioned for the van Cliburn International Piano Competition, is an atmospheric tone poem that transforms the theme from Beethoven's Symphony no« 7 (second movement) . The rhythmic and harmonic structure of this theme are retained through much of Corigliano's work. Full quotations and fragments of the symphony are combined with newly-composed material influenced by Beethoven's theme. Influence of minimalist techniques associated with Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass is apparent throughout the work; rhythmic phasing, repetitive patterns, and musical stasis are used extensively in the second section. A comparison of the Etude Fantasy and Fantasia nn an OstinatQ confirms the eclectic characteristics of Corigliano's style. In both works, the composer borrows freely from a variety of musical traditions, combining and modifying traditional ...
Date: August 1990
Creator: Simms, Beverley

A Spectral Analysis of Selected Vowels Sung by Bass and Baritone Student Singers

Description: While a limited body of research pertaining to vocal sound quality exists, technological advances in sound analyses have facilitated a reexamination of vocal timbre. The sound quality of sung vowels ([ a], [e ], C i ]) produced by ten baritone/bass singers at the University of North Texas was analyzed by the use of Fourier analysis and electronic digital equipment. This procedure and equipment produced results over a wider frequency range with greater accuracy than prior studies on vocal timbre. The study sought to answer the following questions: (1) Using formant regions between 0-20 kHz for comparison, what similarities and differences can be observed among spectra produced from [a], [e], and [ i ] vowels sung by baritone/bass singers? (2) Using formant regions between 0-20 kHz for comparison, what similarities and differences can be observed among spectra produced from [a], [ e ], and [ i ] vowels sung by baritone/bass singers with regard to individual singers? (3) Approximately what vocal-tract tube lengths were used by baritone/bass singers when performing [a], [e ], and [ i ] vowels? (4) What similarities in vocal-tract tube lengths can be generalized as to [ a], L e ], and [ i ] vowels sung by individual baritone/bass singers? The results of the study suggested that: (1) Below approximately 4 kHz formant frequency location can be generalized by a specific vowel between subjects. (2) Above 4 kHz the generalization of formant frequency location is difficult between subjects singing the same vowels, but general frequency location for formants can be identified between samples produced by the same singer performing different vowels. (3) Subjects did alter their vocal-tract lengths as different vowel sounds were performed, but no overall pattern of tube length with reference to specific vowels was indicated. (4) Each singer did use a unique ...
Date: August 1990
Creator: Tolin, Craig Edmond

Contemporary Swedish Music for Solo Trumpet and Trumpet in Mixed Chamber Ensembles with a Performance Analysis of Selected Works of Bo Nilsson, Folke Rabe, and Tommy Zwedberg

Description: This study discusses how cultural and social aspects of contemporary Swedish society impact the musical arts. It contains biographical information on representative Swedish composers, and analyzes technical and structural elements of their compositional styles. Finally, it recommends performance practice considerations regarding technical and interpretive details in Tommy Zwedberg's Face the Music for trumpet and prepared audio tape, Folke Habe's Shazam for unaccompanied trumpet, and Bo Nilsson's Infrastruktur for brass quintet.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Engstrom, Larry M. (Larry Milton)

Evolution, Symmetrization, and Synthesis : The Piano Sonatas of Alberto Ginastera

Description: When Alberto Ginastera's oeuvre is viewed as a whole, an essential continuity between compositional ideas often appears in different works. This is especially apparent in the three piano sonatas, where each sonata represents an evolution and a condensation of ideas occurring in the previous one. The evolution of ideas throughout the three sonatas takes place through two primary processes. The first is a shift in cultural focus from reliance on Ibero-American material in the first sonata (1952) to Amerindian in the second (1981), to a synthesis of the two cultural elements in the third (1982). The second means of evolution from sonata to sonata is through a process of symmetrization. Along with constructions using symmetrical scales, material in each of the three sonatas is subjected to various symmetrical procedures which correspond musically to basic geometric symmetry types or operations (bilateral, rotational, and translatory, for instance). The decreasing number of movements evidences a negative dilatation of material, moving from four movements in the first sonata to three in the second, to one in the third. In each case, corresponding material from the previous sonata is integrated into the following sonata. Both independently and as a group the three piano sonatas exhibit "invariance under a transformation."
Date: August 1991
Creator: Campbell, Grace M.

A Study of Idiomatic Piano Compositions During the Cultural Revolution in the People's Republic of China

Description: This study demonstrated that the piano, a typical Western instrument, became the Chinese composer's tool for expressing the sound ideals and tone qualities that are intrinsic to Chinese music. A new musical idiom was created in these piano compositions, an idiom that combined Western compositional techniques and traditionally-based Chinese ideals.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Fan-Long, Grace (Chun Grace)

Historical and Analytical Aspects of William Flackton's Sonatas for Viola and Keyboard (OPUS 2. Nos. 2, 4. 6. 8) with Particular Attention to the Sonata in D Maior (OPUS 2. No. 4)

Description: These four sonatas of William Flackton (1709-1798) are probably the earliest collection of sonata literature written for the viola. They exist with a few other string sonatas from the Baroque period in England. It is essential to establish their place in English baroque music and to develop a performance milieu or stylistic preference that leads up to and lasts through the time span of Flackton's sonatas. The final tool to establish an interpretive plan will be to present a general analysis of the four sonatas with special emphasis on the D major sonata (opus 2, no. 4).
Date: December 1991
Creator: Rosenbaum, George G. (George Gene)

The Offstage Effect: An Historical and Stylistic Perspective with Performance Considerations for Trumpet

Description: The present study does not attempt to present a complete or exhaustive survey of the myriad spatial orchestrational devices occurring in the symphonic and operatic repertoire. Rather, the study is limited to an examination of the specified use of the trumpet as an offstage instrument in selected representative works. The study's purpose is to identify trends in the use of this orchestrational device, to serve as an aid to the trumpeter in matters of interpretation, and to provide a practical reference for the solution of acoustical and technical problems common to the performance of spatially conceived music in the orchestral literature.
Date: December 1991
Creator: Trout, Marion T. (Marion Thomas)

Harmonic and Contrapuntal Techniques in the Late Keyboard Works of Cesar Franck

Description: This study examines the five late keyboard works of Cesar Franck: the Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue and the Prelude. Aria, and Finale for piano, and the three organ chorales. The study focuses on harmonic and contrapuntal techniques and their interrelationships, placing the discussion in the context of an analysis of the whole piece. The primary goal is to identify the salient characteristics of each piece; a secondary goal is to identify common harmonic and contrapuntal aspects of Franck's style.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Cranford, Dennis R. (Dennis Ray)

Jindrich Feld's Introduzione, Toccata E Fuga Per Flauto Solo With Three Recitals of Selected Works of J.S. Bach, Mozart, Messiaen, Berio, Martinu, Persichetti, and Others

Description: The Czechoslovakian composer Jindrich Feld (b.1925) composed Introduzione, Toccata e Fuga per Flauto Solo, for the Italian flutist Roberto Frabbriciani. Feld's Introduzione is from his third style period. This work may be labeled as a synthesis of the experiments and experiences that have enabled him to create his own mature style of expression.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Derby McDermott, Dennette

Parallels in the Development of Electronic and Percussion Music and an Examination of Performance Problems in Lejaren Hiller's Machine Music for Piano, Percussion and Two-Channel Tape Recorder with Three Recitals of Selected Works of Rolnick, Kessner, Xenakis, Winsor, Niimi, and Others

Description: This study traces the significant developments in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which led to the development of electronic music and increased writing for percussion. Whether by coincidence or premeditation, the field of percussion in Western culture and electronic music share many parallel aspects in their history. Carlos Chavez, Edgard Varese and John Cage foresaw a time when electronic music would allow composers to realize compositions with ease, provide new sounds to the spectrum of possible material for pieces and aid in the conception of works. Significantly, these same composers were important figures in the development of percussion composition. In many ways, Lejaren Hiller's Machine Music can be seen as a culmination of the developments which had been taking place in the history of electronic music and percussion music. A product of the innovations in both fields, it poses some formidable problems for the performers. This study will give some background into its composition, examine its structure and deal with its performance problems.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Smith, Jeffrey B., 1957-

Paul Hindemith and Neue Sachlichkeit: Zeitoper in the Weimar Republic

Description: The focus of this study will be the impact of Neue Sachlichkeit on Zeitoper, specifically its influence upon Hindemith's operatic output. The purpose of this paper is not to.subject these works to detailed musical analysis, but rather to place Hindemith's Zeitopern in historical perspective, examining how they were influenced by and mirrored the aesthetic atmosphere of the Weimar Republic.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Kresge, Kristine Helene

Structure and Form in Two Late Works for Flute and Orchestra by Ernest Bloch (1880-1959): Suite Modale (1956) and Two Last Poems (Maybe. . .) (1958) -- a Lecture Recital, Together With Three Recitals of Selected Works of J.S. Bach, Jolivet, Mozart,and Others

Description: The lecture was presented on November 18, 1991. This presentation focused on the only two compositions for solo flute and orchestra by Ernest Bloch. Written during the last three years of the composer's life, the pieces are representative of his last style period. While Suite Modale is neobaroque in style, Two Last Poems is much more subjective. Together they represent a synthesis of many of the stylistic characteristics of Ernest Bloch. The musical parameters discussed included form, melody, texture, rhythm, harmony, and expressive devices.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Stirzaker, Kim E. (Kim Elizabeth)

The Christmas Cantatas of Christoph Graupner (1683-1760)

Description: An assessment of the contributions of Christoph Graupner's 1,418 extant church cantatas is enhanced by a study of his fifty-five surviving Christmas cantatas, written for the feasts of Christmas, St. Stephen's, St. John's, and the Sunday after Christmas. Graupner's training in Kirchberg, Reichenbach and at the Thomas School in Leipzig is recounted as well as his subsequent tenures in Hamburg and Darmstadt.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Schmidt, René R.

Twentieth-Century Works for Textless Voice and Various Woodwinds with Three Recitals of Selected Works of Stamitz, Roussel, Albinoni, Weber, Milhaud, and Others

Description: The purpose of this study is to explore the literature for textless voice and woodwind instruments. The primary focus concerns the timbral and ensemble possibilities exploited in three twentieth-century works in which the voice is treated as an instrument i.e., without the usual preoccupation with textual meaning. An historical overview of vocal works with obbligato woodwinds and concerted works for textless voice serves as an introductory chapter. The variables of voice and instrument acoustical makeup, vocal vowel formation and instrumental voicings, volume, vibrato, resultant tones, range, and extended techniques (fluttertongue, special vibrato demands, non-vibrato, etc.) are the focus of the performance considerations for this study. Over thirty twentieth-century textless works for voice and at least one woodwind instrument were located. The three, chosen for this study represent different periods in the century, and present contrasting styles and musical merit: Aria (1931) by Jacques Ibert, Three Vocalises (1958) by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Duos I (1976) by Nancy Chance. A style and performance analysis of these works with pertinent research on the composers is presented. Appendices include an annotated bibliography of selected works for the medium, a written interview with Nancy Chance, and performance notes provided by the composer, concerning Duos I.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Gamso, Nancy M. (Nancy Margaret)

Aspects of Performance in Three Works for Piano and Tape : Larry Austin's Sonata Concertante, Thomas Clark's Peninsula, and Phil Winsor's Passages

Description: This dissertation primarily concerns performance aspects in compositions for piano and tape, using three specific works as the basis for discussion: Larry Austin's Sonata Concertante, Thomas Clark's Peninsula, and Phil Winsor's Passages. These compositions are representative of the medium as a whole, yet each offers its own unique set of performance problems.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Brandenburg, Octavia

A Historical Survey of Woodwind Doubling and A Form/Style Analysis of Four Works for Doubler and Wind Ensemble, a Lecture Recital together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by W.A. Mozart. A. Glazounov. P. Tate. A. Szalowski. A. Copland and Others

Description: Four works are selected to demonstrate the stature and demands of this craft and to represent a pinnacle in the art of contemporary woodwind doubling. Concerto for Doubles, by Thomas Filas, Concerto Tri-Chroma. by Michael Kibbe, Rhapsody Nova, by Clare Fischer and Suite for Solo Flute. Clarinet and Alto Saxophone by Claude Smith all represent rare, major solo works written specifically for three individual woodwind doublers. The paper will begin with a history of the practice of woodwind doubling from the fifteenth century to the present. The four works will then be examined by considering form, style and related performance practices.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Thompson, Phil A.

Joan Tower's Hexachords for Solo Flute: an Analysis and Comparison of its Flute Writing to Tower's Flute Concerto with Three Recitals of Selected Works of Vivaldi, Rivier, Mozart, Davidowsky, and Others

Description: This dissertation discusses two flute works by Joan Tower (born 1938). The performance medium consists of flute alone, Hexachords for Solo Flute (1972), and flute and orchestra, the Flute Concerto (1989). The discussion on Hexachords consists of a theoretical analysis; discussion on the Flute Concerto pertains to Tower's flute writing through an investigation into her musical language and specific performance techniques. Numerous examples are included to illustrate various aspects of Tower's style. Conclusions follow. The purpose of the paper is, first, to illustrate that basic knowledge of the twelve-tone method can bring a composition out of uncertainty for the performer and allow him to present what is unique within it. Secondly, it is to investigate the stylistic maturation of Joan Tower's flute works. In order to facilitate a better understanding of Tower's music and to provide commentary about the performance of each work, the writer has quoted from personal interviews with the composer and with flutists Carol Wincenc and Patricia Spencer, to whom the works are dedicated.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Jones, Margo S.

The Multi-percussion Writing of William Kraft in his Encounters Series With Three Recitals of Selected Works of Erb, Ptaszynska, Redel, Serry, and Others

Description: The paper is divided into six chapters. The first two provide a brief summary of the evolution of multiple percussion and biographical information about Kraft. The remaining chapters are an examination of the origin, sound sources, compositional style, and performance problems of the ten Encounters pieces. The paper concludes with several appendices, including a chronological listing of Kraft's compositions which use percussion, a list of percussion equipment and notational symbols used in the Encounters pieces, and a discography of Kraft's music.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Bridwell, Barry D.

Structure and Performance of El Polifemo de Oro for Solo Guitar by Reginald Smith Brindle

Description: El Polifemo de Oro was written in 1956 and revised by the composer in 1981. This two-fold investigation clarifies the structure of El Polifemo through careful analysis of the work and its revision, and by Smith Brindle's approach to composition based on his interviews and books. The second aspect is aimed toward the pragmatic performance issues of tempo, articulation, timbre, voice leading, and the other details of execution. Although the work was written according to serial techniques, the presence, in the twelve-note row, of triadic formations (minor triad, dominant seventh, fully-diminished seventh) juxtaposed with many tritone intervals suggests the use of tonal devices, which Smith Brindle does employ to effect tension and relaxation. It is assumed that tonal devices such as leading tones, stepwise movement in the bass, fourth and fifth relationships, and triadic constructions are heard against a traditional contextual basis and are therefore ways of implying resolution. Where tonal devices are not present, other structural components, i.e., rhythm, dynamics, timbre, etc., are examined with regard to their functions in creating or dissipating tension. Following the analysis of each of the four fragments is a discussion of performance implications based on the analysis. Both the analysis and performance aspects are non-prescriptive and are presented in the spirit that there are many other valid interpretations.
Date: May 1993
Creator: LeBlanc, Paul G.