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'...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

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

The Fourteen Seréstas of Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)

Description: The Fourteen Seréstas of Heitor Villa-Lobos comprise a group of songs that expresses Villa-Lobos's compositional technique for the voice. These songs are challenging as a topic because not much historical or analytical research has been done on them. I approach the topic by providing historical background on the modinha and how it relates to the serésta. This is followed by a descriptive analysis in the order of the set, which includes musical examples, chart diagrams, and comparisons of the seréstas to other works. I hope to have contributed valuable information to the research of these songs since Villa-Lobos wrote over ninety solo vocal songs which still await analysis and discussion. This thesis is a contribution toward narrowing this gap.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Sánchez, Noé

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

A Mexican Postmodernist Vision Grounded on Structuralism: The Cases of Juan Trigos' Cuarteto Da Do (1988) and Victor Rasgado's Rayo Nocturnal (1989)

Description: This thesis contributes analyses of two works by Mexican composers: Rayo nocturnal (1989) by Victor Rasgado (b. 1959), and the Cuarteto da do (1988) by Juan Trigos (b. 1965). Although composed according to structuralist principles, a postmodern interpretation is offered. The analytical method applied is based on Allen Forte's set theory, including rhythmic and timbral dimensions that are integral to the conceptions of these works. A survey of modernism and postmodernism in twentieth-century Mexico serves to place these works in their cultural context.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Madrid-González, Alejandro L. (Alejandro Luis)

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

Preferential Strategies in Elliott Carter's String Quartet No. 2

Description: For the purposes of expressive intent, Carter developed compositional strategies that possess qualities congruent with the musical language in his Second Quartet (1959). He employed strategies including tempo modulation, triple groupings, and large-scale ratios to assemble the musical discourse and to guide the listener's perception of large-scale continuity. I label these devices collectively as "preferential strategies" because it is Carter who selects certain pre-compositional ideas that organize musical material and demarcate structural locations. Tempo modulations that organize dual meters and triple groupings that interact in transitional and transformational ways demonstrate his concern with controlling the overall time continuity through local level organization. Large-scale ratio relations between nine interlocking sections of this four movement work illustrate how Carter employs a local strategy that projects a large-scale structure. Recognizing that Carter's ultimate compositional goal prioritizes temporal processes, these proposed preferred strategies articulate a convergence of musical elements.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Crafton, Elizabeth B.

The Warp and Weft of Fabric: A Composition for Strings

Description: The six-movement work is scored for two violins, a viola, and a violoncello. A new approach toward the decision making of the compositional process is revealed which structures the parameters of the composition along an arbitrary frame of reference. This reference is selected prior to composition and influences every aspect of the work. The reference chosen is an existing musical work used in quotation and for stylistic modeling, paraphrase, and variation. Consonance, dissonance, and thematic development are defined in terms of this source.
Date: May 1999
Creator: McBride, Michael A. (Michael Anthony)

Musical Borrowing: Referential Treatment in American Popular Music

Description: This thesis examines the relationships between popular contemporary musical styles and classic-era art music. Analysis of pop-rock songs, and their referential treatment in art rock, classical music, and society will be examined. Pop-rock musicians borrow from the masters of the past and from each other. Rock guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen employ a virtuosic technique suggestive of Liszt and Paganini. The group Rush borrowed freely from opera seria. Frank Zappa referenced contemporary musicians as well as classical techniques. Referential treatment in popular music and the recent advancements in technology, have challenged copyright law. How these treatments and technologies affect copyright legislators and musicians will be discussed.
Date: December 1998
Creator: DiGiallonardo, Richard L. (Richard Lee)

Transcendentalism and Intertextuality in Charles Ives's War Songs of 1917

Description: This thesis examines a collection of three songs, "In Flanders Fields," "He Is There!," and "Tom Sails Away," written by Charles Ives in 1917, from primarily a literary perspective involving Transcendentalism and intertextuality. Ives's aesthetic builds upon the principles of Transcendentalism. I examine these songs using the principles outlined by the nineteenth-century Transcendentalists, and Ives's interpretations of these beliefs. Another characteristic of Ives's music is quotation. "Intertextuality" describes an interdependence of literary texts through quotation. I also examine these songs using the principles of intertextuality and Ives's uses of intertextual elements. Familiarity with the primary sources Ives quotes and the texts they suggest adds new meaning to his works. Transcendentalism and intertextuality create a greater understanding of Ives's conflicting views of the morality of war.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Brandt, R. Lynne (Rebecca Lynne)

Circumfusion: a Composition for Real-Time Computer Music Spatialization System

Description: Two of the leading methodologies for spatializing audio over multiple channels include non-real-time multi-track tape and variations of real-time systems that often involve complex configurations of hardware. Of the latter, composers relying on MIDI as a control source have used pairs of sound modules, effects units and automation capable mixers to achieve spatialization over four loudspeakers. These systems typically employ intensity panning, Doppler shifts and reverberation. The present research details the development of a compact spatialization system using a MAX patch controlling a Kurzweil K2500 sampler. This system supports real-time diffusion of up to six simultaneous sound files over eight loudspeakers while incorporating intensity panning, Doppler shifts, delays and filtering. The MAX patch allows composers to choose from several automatic sound spatialization trajectories or to use the mouse to draw and store their own trajectories for later playback. The piece, Circumfusion, is an eighteen-minute composition of electroacoustic music utilizing this spatialization system.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Morgan, Christopher R. (Christopher Robert)

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)