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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

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)

Piano Quintet

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

Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel : A Bridge between Felix Mendelssohn and Johannes Brahms

Description: This thesis is a study of four compositions written by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, older sister of Felix Mendelssohn. Her music is compared with four pieces composed by Felix. This study shows that Fanny was a gifted and creative composer, even surpassing Felix and predating Brahms with her compositional ideas and progressive uses of harmony. Despite her excellent education and recognition among those who knew her well, she did not publicize her talent in any way because of pressure from her father, Abraham, and Felix to stay within the prescribed societal confines of wife and mother.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Tarpenning, Emily

The Function of Oral Tradition in Mary Lou's Mass by Mary Lou Williams

Description: The musical and spiritual life of Mary Lou Williams (1910 - 1981) came together in her later years in the writing of Mary Lou's Mass. Being both Roman Catholic and a jazz pianist and composer, it was inevitable that Williams would be the first jazz composer to write a setting of the mass. The degree of success resulting from the combination of jazz and the traditional forms of Western art music has always been controversial. Because of Williams's personal faith and aesthetics of music, however, she had little choice but to attempt the union of jazz and liturgical worship. After a biography of Williams, discussed in the context of her musical aesthetics, this thesis investigates the elements of conventional mass settings and oral tradition found in Mary Lou's Mass.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Fledderus, France

The Use of the Clarinet in Selected Viennese Operas, 1786-1791, With Three Recitals of Selected Works by Brahms, Muczynski, Benjamin, Widor, Hindemith, and Others

Description: In an appendix section, three notable arias have been transcribed for two clarinets, voice, and piano. A further evaluation of Classical period opera orchestration will aid modern performers and musicologists in their understanding of what clarinets and clarinetists were able and expected to do.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Thrasher, Michael, 1972-

Comparative Study of the Bel Canto Teaching Styles and their Effects on Vocal Agility

Description: This thesis examines the historical significance of the vocal methods employed from the middle of the seventeenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century in what became known as the bel canto era. It provides further exploration into the pedagogical procedures of the bel canto technique through a study of the premier instructors and singers from this period. The resurgence of interest in this tradition is addressed along with its impact on current vocal pedagogy. The vital role that vocal agility played as one of its most distinguishing traits is the primary factor under investigation. A discussion of the bel canto teaching styles in relation to their approach to agility is a major point of inquiry. By maintaining a link between present artists and pedagogues and the old Italian school, it helps the singer understand the historical implications of vocal agility as an integral part of healthy vocal development.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Harper, Portia

I Never Saw Another Butterfly: A Composition for SATB Choir and Chamber Orchestra

Description: ...I never saw another butterfly... is a twelve movement chamber work scored for SATB choir, narrator, percussion I [vibraphone, and tomtoms (4)], percussion II [timpani (4), tam-tam, snare drum, and bass drum], guitar, violins I and II, viola, and cello and is based on the book of the same name. It contains a variety of compositional techniques, forms and genres.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Schneider, Gregory Alan

The Use of Jazz in Opera

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

The Wanderer

Description: The Wanderer is an orchestra piece 18'42" in duration. The purpose of this project is to provide the composer an opportunity to express through music his experience with God, rebellion, and returning as the wanderering son did in the Bible's parable.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Wu, Dien-Foon

Mobiles

Description: Mobiles is a composition for an ensemble consisting of 12 instruments. The piece, in one movement, incorporates intuition, chance, and twelve tone techniques and reflects the relationship between motion and rest or tension and release. The structure is modeled according to principles of growth and decay, starting off slowly, building, and then dying away. Much of the material is inspired by mental images invoked from modern theories concerning chaos. Mobiles' character stems from the principal use of two motives, the chaos motif and the echo motif. Primarily, the chaos motif is representative of a state of motion while the echo motif represents a state of rest. Mobile architecture is usually characteristic of symmetry, balance, and proportion, but because of uncertainty in a natural environment, this proportion often falls short of a perfect symmetrical balance as in the case of a crystal or a fractal design. It is this kind of architecture that Mobiles portrays in its form and developmental process.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Whitworth, Clifford K. (Clifford Kirk)

Three Motivic Topics in Beethoven's Piano Quintet, Op. 16

Description: The first movement of the Piano Quintet, Op. 16 of Ludwig van Beethoven works out three significant motivic "topics": a chromatically filled-in second, appearing first as 5 - #5 - 6 (Bb - B - C in Eb major); the emphasis om the submediant, both as vi in Eb major and as the tonal region of C minor; and the melodic interval of the sixth, which, when inverted to become a descending third, determines the structure of tonal regions at crucial points in the movement. These three motivic topics are introduced in the opening measures of the piece and are subsequently unfolded throughout the movement; the focus of the thesis will be to trace the unfolding of these three topics.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Gratton, J. Brian (John Brian)

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)

Schoenberg, Polyphony, and Mode : A Reception of the Composer's Twelve-tone Method in American Publications, c. 1925-1950

Description: Although Schoenberg viewed his twelve-tone method as an extension of the Germanic musical evolution from Bach to Brahms, one group of writers in America identified twelve-tone antecedents with Medieval and Renaissance polyphony. Such a correlation of Schoenberg's practice with this textural orientation of the past was part of a larger movement (what I term "neopolyphony") recognizing twentieth-century musical developments as the genesis of a polyphonic epoch reviving both the technical and aesthetic concerns of the former era. With Schoenberg's practice applied to this analogical context, other writers (Hill, Krenek, Perle) advanced certain modal theories based in various degrees on the internal organization and functional role of the Church modes.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Finnegan, Sean Justin

A Capella Eletronnica

Description: The intent of A capella Eletronnica is to explore the possibility of the human voice as the most versatile of musical instruments. The voice, capable of melodic, harmonic, percussive and rhythmic effects, is also employed for spoken text and conversational elements as musical sources. My aim was to enlarge this array of vocal techniques with the use of electronic processing and amplification.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Bonneau, Paul G. (Paul Gregory)

The War Poems: An Intermedia Composition for Chamber Orchestra and Chorus

Description: Expanding on the concept of Richard Wagner's Gesamptkunstwerk, The War Poems was written to combine various elements for an intermedia composition, including music, five slide projectors, lighting, and costume. Text used in the piece was taken from the writings of the English World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Schindler, Karl W. (Karl Wayne)

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

Expectation as Narrative Strategy in Richard Wagner's Parsifal

Description: The story of Parsifal is presented in two manners: through action and through narrative. Using the formalist theories of Vladimir Propp, the overall narrative is articulated in three narrative episodes. This thesis interprets the structure of narrative episodes in Parsifal on the basis of expectation. Propp's theory of functions provides labels for an interpretive analysis. Levi-Strauss' reconstruction of Propp's functions into paired structures identifies key points in the drama as moments of "functional" saturation. This "functional" saturation coincides with Wagner's practice of Leitmotivic saturation. The semiotic theories of Charles Sanders Peirce, specifically his notion of sign, clarify the dense accumulation of meanings accrued by the Leitmotifs. Finally, Parsifal, as a "quest" for the unobtainable object, fits into the matrix of desire as formulated in the theories of Jacques Lacan.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Straughn, Greg, 1972-

An Investigation of the Influence of Evaluator Background on Appraisals of a Music Lesson Using the Texas Teacher Appraisal System

Description: This study's purpose was to investigate the differences in scores and written comments given by two appraisal groups in their evaluation of a music teacher using the Texas Teacher Appraisal System (TTAS). One appraiser group had musical training while the other group specialized in other subjects. Analyses of both group's appraisal scores showed no significant differences. An examination of the written comments revealed that both appraisal groups focused on the same aspects of the lesson and used similar vocabulary. The TTAS instrument was a consistent measure of generic teacher behaviors in the music lesson, but it did not measure specific music teaching behaviors or encourage suggestions for improving musical instruction.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Bohnstengel, Carol

An Investigation of Personal Investment Levels Among Nonmusic Major Piano Students Using Portfolio Assessment

Description: The purpose of this study was to compare personal investment levels among nonmusic major piano students in the contexts of portfolio and teacher-directed assessment. Three problems were addressed: 1) identifying students' perceptions of direction, persistence, continuing motivation, intensity, and performance in the context of teacher-directed goal setting, choice of instructional activities, and evaluation of performance; 2) identifying students' perceptions of the five personal investment behaviors in the context of portfolio assessment; and 3) comparing student perceptions as identified in problems one and two.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Heisler, Paul K.