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An Analytical Perspective of the Developing Aesthetic Concepts in Sergey Prokofiev's "Choses en soi," Op. 45

Description: The purpose of this study is to analyze the compositional techniques in Choses en soi op.45, by Sergey Prokofiev, and to explore the new aesthetic concepts he claimed to include in this composition. Through the examination of the compositional elements and discussion of its salient characteristics.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Liu, Tzu-Yi

The Art of Borrowing: Quotations and Allusions in Western Music

Description: Music travels across the past in the form of composers borrowing from each other. Such musical borrowings and quotations involve not only the use of melodic materials but also musical structures, texts, symbolism and other types of inspiration. The pre-existing musical idea being used is linked to a specific memory of a particular composer and time. The artistic allusions of composers connect the present and the past. Music also travels across the present and into the future. The outcome of contemporary composers borrowing from each other influences the present period and affects later composers' musical inspiration, i.e., it affects future composers, and therefore, the future. Composers frequently refer to melodies or musical idea from contemporaries and reinterpret them in their own compositions. This is largely because composers do not write in isolation and have been inspired and influenced by contemporary musicians and cultural contexts. However, these musical borrowings sometimes raise questions about the composers' creativity and authenticity. This is largely due to the nature of inspiration and imagination, which determines who or what is original. With this in mind, why do composers still borrow musical ideas despite the risks involved? In what ways do they overcome criticism and demonstrate the excellence of their own compositions while referring to the work of others? In what ways do artistic allusions influence new compositions? In this dissertation, I attempt to examine these questions and address the reasons for and the effects of musical quotations and allusions.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Lee, MyungJi

Assessing Perception and Attitude of Pianists toward Ergonomically Scaled Piano Keyboards [ESPK]: Raising Awareness about ESPK and Evaluating Changes of Attitude through an Educational Survey

Description: As epidemiologic research demonstrates health concerns for hand problems among pianists, scientists are measuring historic piano keyboards and realizing that much of the piano literature was composed for and played on pianos with smaller keys compared to what is used on the modern piano. Having to play this literature on a larger keyboard is especially difficult for small-handed piano students and professionals. Fortunately, smaller keyboards are now available for use with standard pianos - and research shows that this ergonomic adjustment does reduce piano-related hand pain for small-handed musicians. Major universities are now offering this option to students, but only a few music schools possess these keyboards and not many people know about them. There are no known research studies to address people's awareness and attitude toward ergonomically scaled piano keyboards (ESPKs). The purpose of this study was to assess perception and attitude toward ESPKs and help to raise its awareness. To examine pianists' perception, two surveys was composed. First one was conducted on UNT campus in which ESPKs are available for their students, and the second survey was carried out on schools of music in the United States. The results reveal that substantial number of people already know about the existence of ESPKs, but they are not totally aware specific information about ESPKs. Subjects who are aware of ESPKs report significantly higher positive attitude compared to those have not known about ESPKs. Results from this study may have implications for health education initiatives within NASM schools of music.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Son, You Joo

Building an Effective Piano Technique while Avoiding Injury: A Comparison of the Exercises in Alfred Cortot's "Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique" and Carl Tausig's "Daily Studies for the Pianoforte"

Description: It is the teacher's responsibility to guide students in building an effective and injury-free piano technique. Improper technique, poor training and bad posture at the instrument all may cause problems such as lack of muscle control, weakness, or tension in the hands. Many teachers are interested in finding information about specific exercises dealing with finger strengthening, stretching, and warm-up strategies, as well as guidelines for safe practicing. It is therefore important for both teachers and students to understand how to build a technique from the earliest years of instruction. Carl Tausig (1841-1871) and Alfred Cortot (1877-1962) both contributed to the development of piano technique by writing books that include a significant number of exercises and excerpts. Their books incorporate detailed instructions on how to play each exercise effectively and without fatigue. Subsequently, Heinrich Ehrlich (1822-1899) collected and systematically arranged Tausig's notes, complementing them with detailed information on how to play Tausig's exercises without causing injury. This dissertation compares and contrasts the exercises found in Alfred Cortot's book, Rational Principles of Pianoforte Technique, and Carl Tausig's book, Daily Studies for the Pianoforte. The latter is based on the practical guidebook, How to Practise on the Piano: Reflections and Suggestions, written by Heinrich Ehrlich. Included in this study are references to the performing arts medical literature dealing with pianists' injuries. By comparing two different historical piano methods and considering their effectiveness in light of modern medical performance research, this dissertation aims to help teachers to determine which methods might be better for students to build a solid piano technique without injuring themselves.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Woo, Lae Hyung

A Comparative Study of Piano Etudes by György Sandor Ligeti and Unsuk Chin: A Technical and Stylistic Guide to Mastering the Difficulties of Their Etudes

Description: Unsuk Chin (b.1961), a Korean-born woman composer, was a student of Gyorgy Sandor Ligeti (1923-2006). Chin's work reflects the influence of Ligeti but also undeniably has its own style. This study investigates the six piano etudes so far published from 12 Piano Etudes (1995-2003) by Unsuk Chin and compares them with Ligeti's piano etudes to highlight the influence of the teacher on the student and to aid pianists in facing the unique technical challenges posed by both sets of etudes. The practice guide provided in this study for each specific technical difficulty requires a degree of patience from a student which, if followed, will enhance the performance.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Jang, Miyoun

Composer/Performer Collaboration as Seen in the Solo Piano Part of Percy Grainger's Edition of the Edvard Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Opus 16

Description: The purpose of this document is threefold. First, it demonstrates what Grieg contributes to the musical text compared with the original Peters edition, particularly, those additions that refer to expression, interpretation, and style. Second, this document focuses on presenting Grainger's changes that were approved by Grieg. Third, the document evaluates Grainger's own suggestions for pedaling, hand redistribution and fingering, addition of notes, tempo markings, and other performance guidelines.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Lee, Sung Yo

First Movement of Robert Schumann's Piano Sonata Op. 14 in F Minor from the Performer's Perspective: An Analytical Study of Four Editions

Description: The objective of this dissertation is to review the discrepancies between Concert Sans Orchestre and Grande Sonate edited by Ernst Herttrich, Grosse Sonate No.3 Op.14 Erste and Zweite Ausgabe edited by Clara Schumann of Robert Schumann's No.3 Op.14, providing assistance for performers by clarifying inconsistencies between the three editions. Information in reference to major aspects such as notes, rhythms, metronome marking and expression signs is presented. Examples of discrepancies found throughout the first movement are discussed in Chapter 3. Suggested solutions are followed by each example.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Wang, Xiao

Functional Orchestral Collaboration Skills for Wind Band Pianists: A Study Guide

Description: As opportunities to perform as a soloist diminish, more pianists consider chamber and orchestral playing as an alternative solution. By so doing, ample performance opportunities are introduced. Although most university music programs offer ensemble courses for pianists and have begun to offer degrees with an emphasis in accompaniment, their curriculum lacks instructions specifically designed to train and prepare pianists for playing in large ensembles, especially wind bands. This dissertation addresses the difficulties, which one might encounter in large ensemble collaboration, and recommends useful suggestions for acquiring functional skills to solve these difficulties. Pianists can attain professional status by acquiring the functional skills presented in each chapter. The goal of this study is to provide pedagogical support and direction for novice pianists in the larger ensemble collaboration.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Kim, Jisoo Grace

A Guide to Franz Liszt's Piano Transcriptions of Franz Schubert's Songs

Description: Franz Liszt (1811-1886) made fifty-six transcriptions of Schubert's songs over a period of eight years (1838-46) to introduce the name of the composer, who was little known both in and outside Vienna during his lifetime. Because Liszt intentionally preserved all the details of the original songs, these transcriptions present challenges for a pianist, such as how to produce a vocal line on the piano, as well as interpretive issues such as ornamentation, style, and conveying the meaning of the lyrics on the piano. The purpose of this study is to introduce pianists to study practices employed by singers, with the goal of interpreting the vocal aspects of Liszt's Schubert song transcriptions. The composer Robert Schumann once remarked that Liszt's transcriptions were perhaps the most difficult pieces written for the piano up to that time, and only an intelligent artist could satisfy Liszt's high level of virtuosity without destroying the identity of the original work. This could be considered a warning to pianists not to focus on the technical aspects only. The pedagogical guide presented in the study, based on singers' approaches to the actual songs, should help pianists to "see beyond the notes" and achieve a performance closer to the heart of the songs.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Kim, Ah Young

An Instructional Guide to Teaching Dan Beaty's Woodsprite and Waterbug Collection for Intermediate Piano Students and Instructors

Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to offer a pedagogical guide to Woodsprite and Waterbug Collection (1977) by Dan Beaty (1937-2002) through an analysis of its pedagogical values and teaching applications. This set consists of twelve short, intermediate-level pieces, featuring various contemporary idioms. Each piece is also pedagogically written to help intermediate students to refine specific pianistic techniques beyond the elementary level. In addition, Beaty's collection expands students' musical vision and musicianship for more advanced studies via the incorporation of contemporary music theory and techniques. These qualities make Woodsprite and Waterbug Collection a valuable tool for intermediate piano students. It is also useful for instructors searching for repertoire to introduce contemporary idioms. The author hopes that this study will encourage performers, teachers and scholars to consider this work and Beaty's other piano compositions. By studying Woodsprite and Waterbug Collection, students will be more appreciative of contemporary repertoire and will welcome learning similar pieces in the future.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Hung, Shuo Hui

John Ireland's Piano Sonata (1918-1920) and the Influence of Johannes Brahms

Description: John Ireland is one of the most important British composers of the twentieth century. Many scholars believe the works of his early period were deeply influenced by Brahms. After graduating from the Royal College of Music, Ireland went on to develop a much more individual musical language, with influence from contemporary French composers. However, the young composer found himself confronted with the challenge of finding a new and personal style without turning wholly to impressionism or to chromaticism. In Ireland's Piano Sonata, Ireland adopted several of Brahms' compositional techniques. This piano sonata is an excellent example of one of Ireland's mature works that still demonstrates Brahms' influence.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Su, I-Shan Jonathan

Louis Vierne’s Pièces de Fantaisie, Opp. 51, 53, 54, and 55: Influence from Claude Debussy and Standard Nineteenth-Century Practices

Description: The purpose of this research is to document how Claude Debussy’s compositional style was used in Louis Vierne’s organ music in the early twentieth century. In addition, this research seeks standard nineteenth-century practices in Vierne’s music. Vierne lived at the same time as Debussy, who largely influenced his music. Nevertheless, his practices were varied on the basis of Vierne’s own musical ideas and development, which were influenced by established nineteenth-century practices. This research focuses on the music of Louis Vierne’s Pièces de fantaisie, Opp. 51, 53, 54, and 55 (1926-1927). In order to examine Debussy’s practices and standard nineteenth-century practices, this project will concentrate on a stylistic analysis that demonstrates innovations in melody, harmony, and mode compared to the existing musical styles.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Lee, Hyun Kyung

Musical Time and Memory: A Bergsonian Interpretation of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Prelude Op. 32 No. 10 in B Minor

Description: This study uses Bergson's concepts of duration and spontaneous (now termed episodic) memory to reveal how musical material in Rachmaninoff's Prelude Op. 32 No. 10 in B Minor (1910) turns back on itself in recurring remembrances of its own past, bringing the listener out of ordinary time; a process that mirrors themes both from Rachmaninoff's life, and Arnold Böcklin's Die Heimkehr, the painting that inspired this piece. Time perception slows or even suspends when one reflects on the past, either a personal past or the historical past. Musical material in the Prelude undergoes analogous time warps. In conversation with Bergson's ideas, this study illustrates the unique temporal qualities in the musical language of the Prelude, for which standard forms of analysis fail to completely capture the essence. The overall aim is to demonstrate Rachmaninoff's idiosyncratic approach to piano writing, which many have discredited as anachronistic. This study suggests a new methodology – Bergsonian musical analysis – with which to understand the concealed innovations in Rachmaninoff's piano idiom. This study of Rachmaninoff's B Minor Prelude builds on publications concerning other Bergsonian interpretations of music in pursuing a thorough investigation of one work and its relationship with broader issues in philosophy and visual art. The result is a theoretical engagement with the Prelude that establishes a new methodology to deal with Rachmaninoff's piano idiom in general. A Bergsonian analytical technique reveals the real artistry behind Rachmaninoff's compositions – not just remnants of some past romantic idiom, but an idiosyncratic musical grappling with the nature of time and memory.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Buxton, Robert S

The Orchestral Mentality of Johannes Brahms' Piano Sonata No. 3

Description: Although the current, exhaustive studies of Brahms' works have covered many aspects of the composer's art, it is still surprising that his large-scale, five-movement Piano Sonata No.3 has in many ways been insufficiently studied by scholars who have emphasized the genre of the piano sonata and the aspect of performance practice over the work's more diverse features. Another reason that this early work has been understudied could in fact be that his later compositions in other genres, such as his symphonies, chamber music or choral music, have been perceived by scholars to represent best his most mature, comprehensive style. This dissertation will therefore examine the orchestral underpinnings of this monumental work which owes most often its already mature artistic essence to Brahms' multi-instrumental approach.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Hsu, Yu-Ching

A Pedagogical Analysis of Articulation, Balancing, Voicing, and Interpretation in Giuseppe Concone's "Vingt Études Chantantes," Op. 30, for Upper Intermediate Piano Students

Description: Giuseppe Concone's piano études number over a hundred, and are collected in seven various sets. They consist of pieces for elementary, intermediate, and advanced level pianists. A few of them have been printed in anthologies but most of them remain unknown. The present research consists of two parts: an overview of Concone's complete sets of piano études, and a detailed analysis of Op. 30, with a detailed focus on articulation, balancing, voicing, and interpretation. First is a brief overview of the Études Opp. 37, 46, 24, 25, 31 and 34. Then in the analysis of Op. 30, after explaining the salient features of this set of études, there is an illustration of the method by giving an analysis of each étude. Concone's Vingt Études Chantantes Op. 30 are a fine supplement of teaching repertoire for the intermediate piano students. The Op. 30 incorporates a diversity of technical requirements and musical merits that can help students transition from intermediate level to early-advanced level. They may also contribute to being aware of binary and ternary forms, and prepares students for learning other genres of the 19th century piano literature.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Cao, Chenyi

A Performer's Guide to Samuil Feinberg's Sonata No. 6: A Window into Russian School Pianism

Description: Samuil Feinberg was an important performing pianist, composer, and one of the protagonists of Russian Piano School. Among his numerous piano compositions, the Sixth Sonata is one of the most complex and illustrative of his deeply personal musical ideas. The following performer's guide offers some ideas on interpreting and performing the sonata from the perspective of Russian school pianism. Having trained in Russia for nearly a decade with two of Feinberg's most eminent disciples and assistants (Tatiana Galitskaya and Liudmila Roschina) makes this author part of living chain back to his pedagogical principles. I will draw upon my knowledge and expertise to illustrate how interpretation of Feinberg's Sonata No. 6 embodies many of the particular and subtle aspects of the Russian piano school technique.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Georgievskaya, Liudmila

Ross Lee Finney's 32 Piano Games and Stephen Chatman's Amusements: A Comparison of Two Pedagogical Approaches to Contemporary Musical Elements and Techniques

Description: Piano instructors often have to work as a bridge connecting music from the past and the future. From a pedagogical viewpoint, contemporary works should be considered just as important as those in the standard repertoire. Yet, most piano instructors are skewed towards modern music and their teaching materials are focused on eighteenth and nineteenth century repertoire. It is essential for them to introduce various kinds of music from different periods and cultures in order to fully develop a student's musicianship. The purpose of this study is to compare two modern works that are designed mainly for pedagogical purposes: 32 Piano Games by Ross Lee Finney (1906-1997) and Amusements by Stephen Chatman (b. 1950). These compositions are intended for beginner and intermediate students and incorporate a number of contemporary elements and techniques. This study can help instructors and students understand how these elements are being used and the ways they have evolved over time. Most importantly, this dissertation can provide teachers with a distinct methodology that enables them to present modern pieces to beginning level students in a more approachable fashion, further providing theoretical and technical assets that will allow them to play advanced contemporary music in the future.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Kim, Sooyun

A Study of Neoclassical Elements in Ernst Krenek's George Washington Variations, OP.120

Description: The purpose of this study is to explore neoclassical elements present in Krenek’s George Washington Variations. By identifying the stylistic features associated with the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, the study will examine Krenek’s application of his neoclassical tendencies. Key neoclassical elements include musical form and structure, key relationships, melody and harmony, and chromaticism. Since at this time there is little research on Krenek’s piano works, and none on the George Washington Variations, the result of this examination provides pianists and instructors with historically constructive information about Krenek’s musical style, as well as a deeper understanding of Krenek’s Neoclassicism in his George Washington Variations.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Jeon, Eundeok

A Study of Selected Compositional Techniques Found in Young Ja Lee's Variations Pour Piano "Umma ya, Nuna ya" (1996)

Description: Young Ja Lee (b. 1931) is regarded as one of the most important living female composers in Korea. She leads and contributes to the Korean classical music society as a gifted composer and a dedicated educator. This study focuses on how she has combined Western compositional techniques with elements of Eastern traditional music in some of her compositions, in particular, her Variations pour piano "Umma ya, Nuna ya." An interpretation of her Variations pour piano "Umma ya, Nuna ya" reveals that the composition features many of the particular and sublime aspects of Western compositional techniques in conjunction with traditional Korean music style. This study is an investigation of the interaction and assimilation of these disparate elements. The results of this study may inspire further research into traditional Korean music and bring recognition to important Korean composers, as well as encourage music educators to teach Korean composers' compositions.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Shin, Eun Young

Teaching Late Intermediate-level Technical Skills Through the Study of Leschetizky, Vengerova, and Neuhaus: Exercises or Repertoire?

Description: Too be successful and be effective teaching, one must be familiar with a variety of methods in instruction and teaching strategies. This also includes becoming aware of any challenges that student and teachers might confront at all levels. Advanced-level piano students, such as those who are at the collegiate level, study the masterpieces of the great composers. However, they may still be in need of developing certain technical and musical skills which should have been covered at the late intermediate level. This study focuses both on exercises and on late intermediate-level repertoire. This study examined the methodical approaches of Russian technical school primarily through the exercises of Theodor Leschetizky, Isabelle Vengerova, and Heinrich Neuhaus and compared these exercises with passages from appropriate great literature suitable for late intermediate-level students. This may not only in preparing for more advanced piano repertoire but also broadening general piano techniques. All together, this may further promote in prevention of musical problems that might occur at a more advanced-level of piano study.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Lee, Jihyun

Two Argentine Song Sets: A Comparison of Songs by De Rogatis and Ginastera

Description: Latin American classical vocal repertoire is vast, but in the United States, we only hear a fairly limited part of this literature. Much of this repertoire blends western European classical music traditions and native folk music traditions. One example of such a Latin American vocal work that is well-known in the United States is Alberto Ginastera's frequently performed song set from 1943, Cinco canciones populares argentinas. However, another lesser-known, earlier work, Cinco canciones argentinas (1923), by fellow Argentine composer Pascual De Rogatis (1880-1980) deserves attention as well. As with Ginastera's set, De Rogatis' songs are based on Argentine folk genres, but contain stylistic features of European classical music of its time. De Rogatis' neglected songs are a significant, overlooked part of Argentine classical music history, and a full understanding of well-known works such as Ginastera's song set and of the genre as a whole, must include attention to De Rogatis' Cinco canciones argentinas. Beyond vocal repertoire, De Rogatis' songs are an important part of the development of Argentine classical music. While Western musical trends change rapidly, folk music remains largely unchanged. Both De Rogatis and Ginastera were proud of their Argentine heritage, and incorporated traditional music into their compositions. I believe that De Rogatis's composition had a direct influence on Ginastera, and that the similarities between the two sets are not coincidental.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Abe, Shoko

Two Piano Editions of the Third and Fifth Movements of Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra: Their Textual Fidelity and Technical Accessibility

Description: In the case of Concerto for Orchestra, Béla Bartók transcribed one of his most emblematic orchestral compositions to his own solo instrument, the piano. This transcription's primary function was to suffice for ballet rehearsal accompaniment for the choreography to be introduced alongside a performance of the orchestral work. György Sándor, Bartók's pupil and pianist, prepared the original manuscript for publication. Logan Skelton, pianist-composer, used this published edition as a point of departure for his own piano arrangement of the same work. György Sándor took an editorial approach to the score and followed the manuscript as literally as possible. On the other hand, Logan Skelton treated the same musical material daringly, striving for technical simplicity and a richer orchestral sound. The purpose of this study is to examine and identify the contrasting treatments pertaining to playability, text, and texture in the Bartók-Sándor edition and Skelton arrangement of the two movements, Elegia and Finale, of the Concerto for Orchestra piano arrangement.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Polgar, Eva

Unorthodox Pianism and Its Unexpected Consequences: A Performance Guide to Leo Ornstein's Seventeen Waltzes

Description: Leo Ornstein's most significant piano oeuvre, the Seventeen Waltzes, stand out as a unique example of a pianism as a foundation for the composer's musical thoughts. The purpose of this document is to provide musical and technical suggestions based on Ornstein's pianistic patterns, which will help pianists understand the composer's complex writing and form a coherent interpretation. The guide covers the main avant-garde musical devices used by Ornstein such as tone clusters, polymeter, and polyrhythm. A comparison process within the collection will help performers to address Ornstein's unmarked waltzes by underlining the composer's similar ideas and traits.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Kharitonov, Arsentiy