Pedagogical methods in piano instruction are constantly evolving. Traditional approaches for beginning students typically focus on teaching music theory and developing the skills necessary to read music. Some contemporary methods, however, are centered on training students to use their whole body while playing the instrument. These more recent methodologies allow students to bond with the piano in a more personal manner, as if they were playing a game with a big toy. One of the most representative works of this approach is the eight-volume collection Játékok (1973) by György Kurtág (b.1926). Volume 1 of Játékok consists of short pieces featuring a new graphic notation devised by Kurtág himself. It also incorporates the use of unusual piano techniques, such as playing with the palm, fist, and forearm. The method also explores the use of the entire range of the instrument. Though the work is over 40 years old, Játékok is only infrequently used as a teaching tool for piano instructors in Hungary, and is unknown in the United States. This probably stems from the fact that it presents students and teachers with atypical musical elements such as unusual notation, use of an unlimited register, and pieces that feature varying degrees of difficulty within the same volume. This study provides a guideline which will assist instructors in implementing Játékok’s Volume 1 effectively as a pedagogical tool by introducing instructor’s teaching content, rearranging the original order of pieces in ascending level of difficulty, and providing a methodology to creatively teach the three most significant musical skills to be developed through Volume 1.
Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kathinkas Gesang als Luzifers Requiem presents mental, physical, and musical challenges that go beyond the usual expectations of an instrumentalist, extending and redefining the traditional idea of virtuosity. Using firsthand performance experience, score and recording study, and flutist interviews, this document explores the effects of some of these heightened demands and argues that the particular performance situation presented by Kathinkas Gesang brings up critical questions about the performer’s role, the nature of performance and of the musical work, and the existence of an authoritatively “authentic” interpretation. Employing an expanded definition of virtuosity that includes interpretation and encompasses both choices and actions, the document discusses the extensions of virtuosity into two main areas: first, memory; and second, staging and movement, covering both practical suggestions and larger implications. Finally, it examines how the performer’s negotiation of these challenges relates to questions about authenticity and agency. Performance is defined here as a creative and collaborative act, not attempting to duplicate previous performances or recordings, but rather to give the best realization of the piece possible in the given circumstances, according to the individual’s interpretation of the score’s directions. There is no single “authentic” interpretation, but rather a rich multiplicity of possibilities, and the performer’s creative agency and personal authenticity are necessary for the full realization of the work.
In 1939, during his studies at the Eastman School of Music, John La Montaine (1920-2013) composed a Scherzo for four trombones. The Scherzo was revised more than 60 years later, becoming the third movement of a three-movement trombone quartet completed in 2001. Interestingly, the same Scherzo subsequently appeared in two of his later works: first the final movement of his Piano Concerto No. 4 Op. 59 (1989) and 12 years later as the final movement of a three-movement Trombone Quartet. The thesis presents a detailed account of the compositional history of the Scherzo, its connection to the first two movements, and a performance edition of the Scherzo based on my collaboration with the composer between for five years from 2003 to 2007.
This dissertation focuses on three of Busoni’s late orchestral works known as “orchestral elegies”: Berceuse élégiaque (Elegie no. 1, 1909), Gesang vom Reigen der Geister (Elegie no. 4, 1915), and Sarabande (Elegie no. 5, 1918-19). The study seeks to provide a better understanding of Busoni’s late style as a crucial bridge from late nineteenth-century chromaticism in the works of Liszt, Wagner, and others to the post-tonal languages of the twentieth century. At the heart of this study lies a particular concept that forms the basis of many characteristic features of Busoni’s late style, namely the concept of polyphonic harmony, or harmony as a cumulative result of independent melodic lines. This concept is also related to a technique of orchestration in which the collective harmony is sounded in such a way that the individual voices are distinct. In the highly personal tonal language of Busoni’s late works, passages often consist of a web of motives weaved throughout the voices at the surface level of the music. Linear analysis provides a means of unravelling the dense fabric of voices and illustrating the underlying harmonic progressions, which most often consist of parallel, primarily semitonal, progressions of tertian sonorities. Chapter 1 provides a backdrop for this study, including a brief summary of Busoni’s ideas on the aesthetics of music and a summary of his influence and development as a composer. Chapter 2 addresses the concept of polyphonic harmony in more detail, some theoretical ideas related to it, and characteristics of Busoni’s late style that reflect this concept. Chapter 3 is dedicated to analytical methodology, addressing concepts which emerge from various linear approaches to the analysis of some twentieth-century music. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 are each dedicated to a specific work, the purpose being to illuminate through linear analysis compositional characteristics and techniques related ...
Jet travel and the widespread availability of recordings are factors that have led to an increasingly homogenous sound concept in American trumpet playing; this is a stark contrast to the unique regional sounds that existed in the United States in the middle of the twentieth century. Despite the growing dissipation of these regional sound concepts from the mid-century, it is important to understand the styles and pedagogy associated with these schools. In this paper, six player/teachers are associated with specific regional playing styles: Vincent Cichowicz in Chicago, Louis Davidson in Cleveland, Armando Ghitalla in Boston, John Haynie in the Southwest, James Stamp on the West Coast, and William Vacchiano in New York City. Each of these players made a notable impact on the trumpet world through their performances, recordings, and unprecedented legacy of students. It would be difficult for many modern American trumpet players to trace their “trumpet lineage” without one of these individuals in the picture. Not only are these players an important part of the modern trumpeter’s heritage, but the vast success of their students warrants that their pedagogical methods are still relevant today. This study is unique due to this comprehensive and categorical comparison of pedagogical techniques, and this paper additionally examines the distinct sounds of each player’s regional style through the use of spectrograms. Ultimately this paper provides a myriad of teaching strategies from some of the most influential American trumpet players, which will aid trumpet teachers in negotiating the diverse needs of their students.
The study introduces the Cornelius Reid Archive and provides biographical and functional context for Reid’s teaching method, which he referred to as functional voice training. Biography, summary of Reid’s ideas on environmental control and vocal registration, together with descriptions taken from Reid’s own writings of the function and purpose of various exercises transcribed from the Archive, constitute the primary chapters. Appendices include complete transcription of ca. 170 exercises and several illustrations of Dr. Douglas Stanley’s overt teaching methods.
In 2003, Jan Bach completed his monumental Concerto for Tuba and Chamber Orchestra. This concerto requires unique performance techniques and technical skills unlike the majority of available tuba repertoire. In addition to these techniques, the guide explores the influence of popular songs, jazz/rock/funk styles, implied humor, and personal experience through an interview with the composer.
A large segment of society is either preparing to enter the work force, or is already engaged in some chosen line of work. Preparing to enter the work force takes a considerable amount of time and effort. The decision to follow one career path over countless others may, on the surface, appear to be discretely individual. But when viewed from a sociological perspective, occupational choices are implicitly and explicitly reached through a consensus of contributing factors. Consequently, an occupational identity is not how an individual describes a personal work-related self, but is rather dialectic. It is the merging, albeit, negotiation of viewpoints which causes persons to view themselves in relationship with how others think of them. It is expected that students newly enrolled in music education degree programs will, with time, replace erroneous lay conceptions of music teaching with those presented in curricula and espoused by significant role models. However, the professional socialization process, characteristic of music education degree programs, has not always been successful in transforming students’ personal perspectives of music teaching. This transformation process is critical toward the development of occupational identities that are congruent with school music teaching positions. There has been an established line of research in music education that examines who school music teachers are from a sociological perspective. When pursuing this literature, however, it became evident that, over time, the term identity had been used under many different guises, incorporating mixed perspectives from among the social sciences. The studies that have dealt with occupational identity have done so for different purposes, employing different theories and methodologies. While any of these previous research protocols may be useful for particular purposes, the reality is that the terms identity and occupational identity have become interchangeable. The term identity is sometimes used to denote self-concept or role concept ...
Until Serge Prokofiev’s 1924 ballet score Trapèze, the double bass occupied a background or at best a doubling role in almost all composers’ use of the instrument. Technical challenge was limited in these pieces, because composers did not see the instrument’s potential in a chamber music environment. As luthiers developed the instrument, the technical ability of players grew, and composers began writing more challenging music for the instrument. As one of the first major composers to see the double bass in a new light, Prokofiev wrote challenging music for the instrument. This paper illuminates the alluring pedagogical aspects of Prokofiev's Quintet in G Minor, Op. 39 and provides recommendations for accomplishing some difficult passages with ease.
Gordon Binkerd (1916-2003) was an influential and well-known twentieth century composer. While his choral works are renowned worldwide, his piano music is rather unfamiliar to present-day scholars and performers. Binkerd’s Essays for the Piano (1976) is a set of six pieces that was greatly influenced by Brahms’ music. Especially noteworthy is the first piece of the set, titled “Intermezzo,” which is based on Brahms’ “Intermezzo” Op. 118, No. 1. The fact that Binkerd’s compositional procedures allow for a “recasting” of Brahms’ piece in a way that disguises the original source of his work are intriguing and call for further research on the topic. As such, the main purpose of this study is to analyze Binkerd’s modern transcription-style writing, and consequently examine how it incorporates a series of influences and compositional elements from Brahms’ music. This dissertation is divided into five chapters. The first chapter contains a general overview of piano works by Binkerd that incorporate quotations of works by other composers are addressed. These include Five Pieces for Piano, Suite for Piano: Five Fantasies (Nos. 2, 3, and 4), and the Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-3. The second chapter provides an analytical study of the fundamental structure found in Brahms’ Intermezzo, No. 1 from Sechs Klavierstücke, Op. 118 The third chapter equally analyzes the fundamental structure of Binkerd’s “Intermezzo,” No. 1 from Essays for the Piano. The fourth chapter consists of a comparative study of the findings in Chapter 3, as they relate to both Brahms’ and Binkerd’s intermezzi. The fifth and final chapter is a conclusion.
Zoltán Gárdonyi is described as having exemplified “the continuation of the Liszt tradition” in his music; however, since for so much of his compositional life he was forbidden to publish by the Communist government in Hungary due to his connection to the Christian church, he has been largely forgotten. Shortly after the composer’s death in 1986, Gárdonyi’s son, Zsolt (b.1946) began publishing his father’s music in addition to his own. However, the elder Gárdonyi’s works are still not widely known outside Hungary and Germany. Gárdonyi’s ability to support and reflect text musically makes his songs excellent teaching tools and recital repertoire. A characteristic example of this may be found in his Fünf Lieder nach Gedichten von Rainer Maria Rilke. According to his son, Zoltán wrote these songs “in the German romantic tradition (e.g. Brahms) like a mirror for the romantic influenced lyrics.” Examination of the Rilke-Lieder, and of the poems which make up the cycle, demonstrates the composer’s ability to “mirror” text in both general tone and specific idea. Discussion of imagery, textures and sonorities, and elements of harmony, melody and rhythm as they relate to interpretation of the poetry, reveal the depth to which the poetry is embedded in the music of the songs. At times the piano becomes another “narrator” or even a character in the poems, expressing not only text but subtext as well. This document explores the illustration of the extensive imagery of Rilke’s texts in the music of Fünf Lieder nach Gedichten von Rainer Maria Rilke, with the purpose of both introducing Gárdonyi’s song literature to American singers and voice teachers, and making the case for its inclusion in the canon of repertoire for the studio and the stage.
The Concerto in F, Op. 4 (BI 549) by Alessandro Rolla (1757-1841) is a relatively unknown work that can serve as a complement for existing standard Classical repertoire for the viola, thus providing the means for greater stylistic education and technical foundation for viola study from this time period. In order to make the music from this lesser-known composer more readily available for future performers, a performance edition has been created from uncirculated sources using the notation software “Finale,” combining separate parts into a conductor’s full score, which did not exist before. This performance edition will provide greater access to Rolla’s music for viola performance and study. In addition to addressing the challenges to creating a performance edition, this lecture secondarily addresses Rolla’s biographical details relevant to the concerto and his stylistic influences.
This dissertation will focus on the concepts of musical time of two solo multiple-percussion compositions, Thirteen Drums (1985) by Maki Ishii and Rebond A (1987-1989) by Iannis Xenakis. The aesthetic experience of musical works is tied to the perception of musical time. Performers have to understand the concepts and methods of construction of musical time in order to interpreting composer’s works. The model of cognitive process in neuroscience of music and the information processing theory from cognitive psychology is provided to explain the perception of musical time and its importance to the aesthetic experience of music. The rhythmic structure, which is essential in temporal structure to the perception of musical time, is examined in depth to show its significant influence on the aesthetic experience in both works. Rhythmic tension will also affect the aesthetic experience.
This study investigates the pedagogical applications of scat-singing within the jazz trombone studio. In addition to the obvious ear-training benefits that the student player can gain from this synthesis, the palette of articulation subtleties and overall musically expressive qualities for trombonists can also be greatly enhanced. These commonalities will encompass the pedagogical focus of this document, utilizing performance recordings and publications by prominent jazz artists and writers to document existing teaching strategies as well as develop new concepts. The first section of this document presents an introduction that includes a historical overview of scat-singing, prominent scat-singing instrumentalists, and concepts and current literature. The second section presents selected biographies on Wycliffe Gordon and Bill Watrous, both prominent jazz trombonists who sing as well as play the trombone. The third section investigates jazz articulation, scat-singing articulation, and doodle-tongue articulation and their relevance to this topic. The fourth section explores musically expressive qualities as analyzed in Bill Watrous’ solo transcription of “Body and Soul.” The final section draws conclusions about the pedagogical applications of scat-singing within the jazz trombone studio and summarizes current teaching strategies. Although this document is not a performance guide, an informed performance of the concepts and examples contained herein is required.
Candy Chang developed a public art installation where people are given the opportunity to write their answers to "Before I Die I want to ________." in a public space. I created one of these walls in Denton, TX and set it to music in a 12 minutes and 42 second piece titled Before I Die..., which combines elements of South Indian carnatic music, gospel, R&B, jazz fusion, and minimalism. The composition was influenced by the music of several crossover artists Becca Stevens, Michael League (Snarky Puppy), Nico Muhly, Poovalur Sriji, Tigran Hamasyan, and James Blake. Crossover music, fusion, and third-stream are all synonymous terms used to describe music where multiple genres or styles are authentically combined. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the balance of musical elements in crossover works as well as how specific works composed by the artists mentioned have influenced the creation of the Before I Die... piece.
When the dust settles, John Adams’s Nixon in China and Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach may stand as the most important operas of the latter twentieth century. The critical essay portion of this thesis examines the trajectory of minimalist opera, from its beginnings with Glass’s Einstein on the Beach through the more romantic operas of John Adams, Steve Reich’s multimedia opera The Cave, David Lang’s musical-influenced The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, and finally the post-minimalist operas currently being staged by young composer Nico Muhly. It examines the differences between the more abstract trajectory established by the early Glass operas and the plot driven trajectory established by operas more commonly associated with John Adams, most significantly Nixon in China. Additionally, the aforementioned pieces are compared and contrasted with the author’s newly composed chamber opera Violetting through August’s End (or the sunset in water, the carillon-chime in square).
The Vienna Tonkünstler-Verein (1885-1929) was established for the sole purpose of providing extensive support to the music and musicians of Vienna. The society became renowned in Vienna for its outstanding performances of chamber music and counted among its members many of the city’s foremost musicians and composers. Johannes Brahms had a significant influence on the society as its honorary president and assisted in establishing its composition competitions, aimed at promoting and reviving under-developed chamber genres. Of particular interest to clarinetists is the Verein’s competition of 1896, which aspired to promote chamber music literature for wind instruments. Brahms’s recently completed chamber works for clarinet were clearly influential in fin-de-siècle Vienna; for of the twelve works chosen as finalists in the competition, ten included the clarinet in the chamber combination.The purpose of this document is to provide an English-language history of the Vienna Tonkünstler-Verein and a thorough account of its1896 competition based on my study of the society’s annual reports. In addition, this document will provide the first published account of the anonymous submissions for the 1896 competition. It is my hope that this paper will serve as a springboard for future endeavors aimed at uncovering the identities of the anonymous finalists for this competition.
The purpose of this study was to investigate constructions of choir identity among high school choir students in the United States public school classroom setting. The research questions were (a) what are the processes involved in construction of choir identity and (b) how are the processes related to the group identity of the choir. The data were collected through participant observations in one selected choir classroom and semi-structured interviews with students from the choir class. The results included six processes of identity construction as well as identification of the ways in which each process was related to the choir group’s identity. The processes and their links to the overall choir group identity provided further insight into the ways in which high school choir students construct their identities, and they also supported methods of teaching commonly used in high school choir settings.
À la Manière de Stravinsky is one piece in a series of works composed by Jean-Michel Defaye that written emulating the compositional styles of significant composers of the past. This dissertation compares Defaye’s work to common compositional practices of Igor Stravinsky (1882 – 1971). There is currently limited study of Defaye’s set of À la Manière pieces and their imitative characteristics. The first section of this dissertation presents the significance of the project, current literature, and methods of examination. The next section provides critical information on Jean-Michel Defaye and Igor Stravinsky. The following three chapters contain a compositional comparison of À la Manière de Stravinsky to Stravinsky’s use of rhythm, articulation, and harmony. The final section draws a conclusion of the piece’s significance in the solo trombone repertoire. This study will add to the published material on Jean-Michel Defaye and this influential series of pieces and is intended to further the interest of research into the works of this important composer.
Very few Latin American pieces for trombone as a solo instrument have entered the canon of trombone repertoire worldwide, despite the large number of compositions in this medium. Therefore, when a major composer writes a full sonata for trombone efforts need to be made to bring these compositions to light. The Argentine composer Carlos Guastavino wrote a sonata for trombone and piano that is virtually unknown outside of Argentina, despite the composer’s importance. He is known for his artistic choice of cultivating a traditional romantic style of composition apart from the new tendencies and influences of the artistic novelties of the twentieth century. Guastavino’s artistic position is very clear in the sonata’s highly strict formal organization and Guastavino’s unique treatment of tonality and modality. He was also loyal to his own style as composer, which is ultimately an Argentine song style. He utilized the lyrical qualities of the trombone to convey the type of melodic approach that he used in his vocal works. This paper investigates the Argentine song and Western sonata conventions featured on Carlos Guastavino’s Sonata para Trombón o Trompa y Piano. The paper argues that these features represent his unique approach to musical composition in the twentieth century, thus making this sonata an important addition to the trombone repertoire.
The objective of this dissertation is to review the discrepancies between the first edition, Stradal’s edition and Marzocchi’s edition of Reubke’s piano sonata, providing assistance for performers by clarifying inconsistencies between the three editions. Information in reference to major aspects such as fingerings, pedaling, phrasing, tempo markings is presented. Examples of discrepancies found throughout the first movement are discussed in Chapter 3. Detailed assessment of these discrepancies, accompanied by the author’s comments are listed in the comprehensive comparison table in Appendix A. Additionally, directions are given in cases of presumptive errors, and discrepancies are addressed with possible variant solutions. In conclusion, the relative merit of the three editions is assessed in Chapter 4.
Aboulker’s operatic works present an opportunity for opera workshop programs in the United States to perform contemporary operatic works in a foreign language, revitalizing the operatic repertoire and giving students the opportunity to prepare and perform roles without the weight and influence of significant performance history. Aboulker’s style, which has been called “effectively simple,” allows developing students to work on new French language repertoire without the burden of excessively difficult or atonal vocal lines. Aboulker’s works are tuneful and humorous and her longest operatic work lasts a mere hour and a half. These qualities also serve to mitigate the challenge presented to the student by the French language. Many of Aboulker’s works are conceived specifically to be performed with piano only, or have already been published in piano reduction. Most of her operatic works are very short or divide easily into scenes that could be performed separately where the performance of a longer work is either not feasible or not desired. All of these characteristics combine to make the operas of Isabelle Aboulker a viable repertoire option for the university opera studio.
In January 1989, a much-rumored work by Dmitri Shostakovich titled Anti-Formalist Rayok received its public premiere. Rayok is a single-act satirical opera/cantata for bass soloist and mixed chorus. Each character represents a prominent Soviet political figure: Joseph Stalin, Andrei Zhdanov, and Dmitri Shepilov. The text of the libretto is either taken directly from actual speeches given by these political figures or follows their idiosyncratic style of public speaking. Rayok often falls victim to criticism for its lack of musical depth, a point of view that could easily lead one to see it as one of Shostakovich's lesser works. The purpose of this document is to examine the political environment of the Soviet Union in the early twentieth century in order to provide context for Shostakovich's Anti-Formalist Rayok and to show how Shostakovich uses satire in this piece. This dissertation document looks at the broader concepts of Formalism and Socialist Realism, traces how Socialist Realism became the established Soviet cultural aesthetic, and examines specific historical events in the 1940s and 1950s that relate to Rayok. Musical examples are taken from the section of the piece centering around D.T. Troikin. These examples demonstrate how Shostakovich uses Socialist Realist clichés in order to satirize the overly bureaucratized state of Soviet musical aesthetics. This leads to the conclusion that Shostakovich created a paradoxical work of art only posing as kitsch, and that he was not only satirizing the political figures presented in disguise but also the entire Soviet Socialist Realist aesthetic.
In Ghoera, Afrika-verse vir kinders, poet Hennie Aucamp demonstrates an affiliation with and reflection of his surroundings, such as the tribal communities he experienced as a child. This group of African children’s poems, published by Protea Boekhuis in 2011, became the source of inspiration for composer Niel van der Watt’s song cycle Die wind dreun soos ‘n ghoera, ‘n Siklus Boesman-mites. This study investigates and identifies significant compositional traits that contributed to van der Watt’s song cycle. To explore and understand the nature of such influences, the second chapter considers the composer’s early childhood; religious world views; student life; social, environmental, and political ideas; personal tonal language; and western musical elements. To ascertain possible indigenous Bushmen musical elements in van der Watt’s song cycle, the third chapter traces the history of the Bushmen and their marginalization, followed by a brief survey of historical writings on Bushmen music, and an identification process utilizing musicologist Percival R. Kirby’s research on Bushmen music as a foundation. The fourth chapter explores the origins of the cycle and other significant compositional influences. This study suggests that Hennie Aucamp’s poetry and Niel van der Watt’s song cycle represent a reconciling vehicle for cross-cultural understanding generating awareness and greater appreciation of the life, myths, oral traditions, and the music of the Bushmen.
American composer, author and conductor Leonard J. Lehrman (b. 1949) has spent a majority of his lifetime devoted to the scholarship on the music of Marc Blitzstein (1905-1964). Lehrman completed Blitzstein’s Idiots First in 1973, and finished his own one-act opera Karla in 1974. In an effort to honor Blitzstein, Lehrman included Karla along with Idiots First to begin the set of one-act operas to be titled Tales of Malamud. Lehrman coined the term “selective serialism” in reference to Blitzstein’s use of serial techniques representing something associated with death or something diabolical. Lehrman applies a similar technique in that he uses serialism to reference the presence of a handwritten notes that are tied to the dramatic context of the opera. This study examines Lehrman's use of serialism in Karla as it was directly influenced by Blitzstein’s use of serialism in Idiots First.
In many of his choral works, Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström has sought a connection with the musical masters of the past. The number of Sandström works that bear a strong connection to Bach’s music is quite extensive and includes High Mass (1994), Magnificat (2005), the six motets (2003-2008) which constitute the Bach Motet Project under current discussion, and St. Matthew Passion, which recently premiered in Germany and Sweden in 2014. This study explores the extent to which Sven-David Sandström emulated the motets of J.S. Bach in the composition of his own motets. Further, this paper investigates these motets as a collection and examines two individual works within the collection as case studies for in-depth analysis. Ultimately, through analysis and discussion of the text, the division of text, the scoring of the motets, points of imitation, and specific compositional devices, the discussion explains how Sandström pays homage to Bach in the Motet Project primarily through the use of similar structural elements while maintaining his unique compositional voice to forge his own expressive path.
Orchestral excerpts have been used as a teaching material by violin pedagogues to develop violin techniques in addition to scales and etudes in the twentieth century. However, instructions on developing specific techniques and the relationship to its musical content have been left out. This dissertation provides an analytical study guide addressing the common challenges for violinists. Ten orchestral excerpts are selected from surveying frequently requested orchestral excerpts for the first violin. Through analysis of each excerpt, insight from the other violinists and pedagogues are included. Fifty-four functional exercises with comments are created to help violinists practice effectively and serve as a pedagogical tool in violin instruction.
Isang Yun employed several contrasting methods to achieve the combination of two different musical worlds, Eastern and Western, in his Tänzerische Fantasie für Großes Orchester, Muak. In presenting Eastern elements, he adopts Taoism as his musical philosophy, describes the Korean traditional dance motion Chun-Aeng-Mu (Dance of the Oriole), and applies Korean traditional performance practice in the use of Western instruments. Showing the influence of aspects of Western music, he employs a musical form similar to that of the Baroque Concerto Grosso, evokes Igor Stravinsky’s rhythmic mood and tension from Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), and even uses his own compositional technique Hauptklangtechnik within the format of Western orchestration. In its analysis of Muak, this research project addresses how Korean performance practice can be applied to the modern Western symphony orchestra. This research project also provides insights regarding the sounds of instruments in the Korean tradition and explains how it is possible to create those sounds with modern instruments in order to make Yun’s dream sounds possible. This study provides several examples and describes various performance techniques that appear in Korean traditional music. It provides indications to orchestras and conductors, assisting them to arrive at effective basic performance ideas for the performance of Muak.
Babel is a work for rock ‘n’ roll band (two electric guitars, electric bass, drum set), four soprano singers, and a twenty-one instrument mixed chamber ensemble. The 50-minute composition is based on the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11:1-9, and the four-movement structure is derived from the form of this narrative. The first movement, “building rebellion,” establishes man’s intent to build a grand city and tower in a rebellion against God, while the second movement, “seeing/coming down,” describes the all-seeing God’s knowledge of man’s rebellion and God’s descent to the city. Movements three and four, “confusion” and “scatter,” depict the actions of God, confusing humankind’s language and scattering him over the earth. This project fuses rock ‘n’ roll influences with contemporary classical improvisation, creating a work that is sonically and dynamically excessive. One compositional goal was to use small amounts of material as the impetus for directed improvisation, which would be developed to create intricate and evolving textures. Each movement’s score is confined to a single page of music per part, necessitating highly graphic and aleatoric notation. The musical history and musicianship of each player greatly shapes the sonic outcome of Babel. Rigorous structure was mixed with extra-musical associations to create intricate layers of musical and metaphorical meanings. Every decision regarding form, pitch, rhythm, and improvisatory state is linked to a meaningful mathematical, philosophical, or theological idea. Out of the intention to illustrate a multi-layered, Biblical text interpreted in vastly different ways, came a complex work of art that challenges, yet welcomes, performers and listeners of all kinds.
In 1924, Herbert Eimert’s Atonale Musiklehre was the first published text to describe a systematic approach to composing atonal music. It contains significant contributions to the discourse on the early development of twelve-tone composition. While Eimert uses the term “atonal” to describe his compositional approach, his definition of atonality demands that all twelve tones be present with none repeated, and that they present as complexes not ordered rows. Eimert’s discussion of atonality differs from others of the same period because he focuses on vertical sonorities and introduces “interlocking complexes”, wherein two separate statements of the aggregate can overlap by one pitch or by a set of pitches. Interlocking complexes are an important feature of Eimert’s string quartet Fünf Stücke für Streichquartett, which was published in 1925 and composed at the same time as Atonale Musiklehre was written. In the foreword to Atonale Musiklehre, Eimert clarifies that he is not the originator of the concept of atonality, rather that he absorbed the ideas of Josef Matthias Hauer and Jefim Golyscheff. Twelve-tone complexes appear first in Golyscheff’s 1914 String Trio. He refers to them as “twelve-tone duration complexes” and labels them in the score. As the name “duration complexes” implies, there are examples of serial rotation of rhythm in the Trio, a technique that is not developed further until the 1950s. Combined with the text of Atonale Musiklehre, the compositions of Golyscheff and Eimert from the year immediately following the book’s publication provide insight into the early development of “atonality” and twelve-tone compositional methods. Investigation of these documents that have not been thoroughly discussed in print provides a broader perspective of the development of these methods of composition.
Judith Weir (b. 1954) composed King Harald’s Saga: Grand Opera in Three Acts for Unaccompanied Solo Soprano Singing Eight Rôles (1979) for radio broadcast. She wrote the libretto for the opera based on Snorri Sturluson’s book, King Harald’s Saga. This opera illustrates Weir’s remarkable compositional style, including her treatment of the libretto in narrative style and her representation of multiple characters by one singer. Despite Weir’s fame as an opera composer, King Harald’s Saga is rarely performed owing to three major musical and performing challenges. These challenges are performer’s ability to delineate eight separate characters (dramatic challenges), to sing wide leaps and long melismas (vocal challenges), and to perform a cappella with wide leaps and complex rhythms (musical challenges). This dissertation presents a performance guide for the soprano addressing these three challenges and suggesting possible solutions. Such a guide will assist the soprano in preparing and performing this grand opera, which thus far has not received the due attention and appreciation of either performers or audiences.
The Crucifixion, a composition for three vocal soloists, four-part mixed chorus, and instrumental ensemble, is a setting of passages taken from the four Gospels of the Holy Bible. It describes the mocking of Christ and includes the Seven Last Words of Christ on the cross. It uses serial technique in the structuring of pitches and rhythm. Special attention is paid in designing and combining pitch and rhythm to create monophonic, homophonic and polyphonic textures. Besides traditional performance techniques, the work employs some modern vocal and instrumental techniques.
Ka is a one movement composition for chamber orchestra consisting of three sections. The work's harmonic, melodic and rhythmic materials are derived from the Chinese I Ching ("Book of Changes"). The middle section was composed with the aid of a computer program written by the composer. The program generated the interval sequence arrays forming the harmonic basis for the piece. Ka is scored for flute, oboe, B𝄬 clarinet, bassoon, French Horn, trumpet, trombone, three percussionists, violin, viola, cello and double bass. The score is 62 pages with a 39 page analysis preceding the score. Ka has a duration of approximately 10 minutes with no pauses between sections.
Animations is a composition in six movements (Fish, Seals, Birds, Cats, Zebras, Snakes) for percussion and computer music on tape. One percussionist performs on various percussion instruments: two suspended cymbals, crotales, triangle, vibraphone, glockenspiel, marimba, three bongos, snare drum, field drum, large tom-tom, bass drum, kettle drum, temple blocks and vibraslap. The computer music on tape employs sampled sounds in a MIDI sequencing environment. The melodic and harmonic materials for the piece are derived from a matrix of twelve heptatonic scales. The individual movements are notated using both traditional and proportional notation systems. The score is 37 pages long with a twenty-two page analysis preceding the score. Animations is approximately nine minutes in duration.
House in Heaven is a theatrical piece for five solo voices (one soprano, two mezzo sopranos, one baritone, and one bass), two trumpets, four French horns, one trombone, two flutes, two clarinets, two bassoons, string orchestra, vibraphone, timpani and a synthesizer which produces pipe organ sound. The composition consists of an introduction followed by a single act in three Scenes. The piece employs the cyclical device in engaging themes associated with particular characters. The texture grows from simple alternating dialogues to arias and, finally, to tutti passages in which all voices are combined to form a quintet, at the climactic point of the entire composition, which occurs at the end of the piece. The scenes depict imaginary events in a Church and at a flower garden. Rear-stage slide projections are used to project the scenes of these locations, and lighting is used to emphasize actions, characters and changes of scene. The singers also serve as actors. The duration of this work is approximately 20 minutes.
The Last Seven Words is an orchestral piece with double woodwind, double brass, and two sets of timpani. The duration of the work is seventeen minutes. The forty-six pages which precede the musical score present a discussion and an analysis of the composition. The purpose of this project was to provide the composer an opportunity to write an orchestra piece with a single scale and seven rhythmic patterns.
Disputes concerning the origin of the term bambuco persist among scholars in Colombia, as well as controversies regarding the process of notating the traditional bambuco (3/4 or 6/8), when it penetrates the written tradition of popular music. Composers writing popular and salon bambucos increasingly perceived the advantage of notating it in 6/8. This study investigates the traditional bambuco and its assimilation into nineteenth and twentieth-century cultivated tradition, with emphasis on piano pieces by representative Colombian composers of art music. I include specific analyses of Cuatro preguntas (ca. 1890) by Pedro Morales Pino (1863-1926), ChirimÍa y bambuco (1930) by Antonio MarÍa Valencia (1902-1952), Bambuco en si menor by Adolf o MejÍa (1905-1970), El bambuco by Manuel MarÍa Párraga (c. 1826-1895), and Trozos Nos. 6 and 158 (1927-1970) by Guillermo Uribe HolguÍn (1880-1971).
The composition is scored for the following instruments: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons and a large percussion section requiring 7 performers. Beneath the Dancing Moon is a programmatic piece in one movement form composed of 5 continuous sections. It depicts a night scene when the elves begin to dance beneath the moon. Later, the moaning ghosts from the dark forest and the witches with brooms come to join them. They dance furiously until the moon disappears, the sea stops dead and all the dancers suddenly vanish. The approximate performance time is 17 minutes.
This investigation sought to identify sound levels potentially harmful to directors' hearing, and examine the effects of band size, instrumentation, bandroom and playing ability on sound levels. The subjects were 2 elementary, 2 middle, and 4 high school bands, in 7 rooms, 10 to 66 members, and 26 students, beginning and advanced. A sound level meter was used. Sounds were measured in flat and A-weighted decibels. Sounds measured were steady state (>.5 sec.) and impulse (<.5 sec.). Results were compared with safety limits of OSHA, EPA and Baughn's study of safety limits (1966). Results show exceedences of limits used for comparison. Small rehearsal areas and younger players seemed to cause high levels in the tests. Further testing may prove potential hazards.
The Reflection is a piece of chamber music that describes the human nature through the use of different "meanings" in music. By using various leitmotifs and different compositional techniques, the music becomes a helpful tool to reflect meanings. On the other hand, this piece uses one special idea, which is that the whole piece can be explained in terms of visual arts. Each primary motive represents a "primary color" that reflects various "moods" or "emotions." Through using combinations and mixtures of color, different "sceneries" are formed. Furthermore, The Reflection has three basic aspects: the function of transmitting messages through music; the exploration of different functions of fifth; and the emphasis of meaning, sound effect and timbre.
Pleroma is a digital drama: a work composed of digital animation combined with electroacoustic music, presenting an original dramatic narrative. Pleroma's dramatic elements evoke both the classical form of tragedy and the concept of perceptual paradox. A structural overview of the drama and its characters and a plot synopsis are given to provide context for the critical discussion. Analytical descriptions of Beethoven's Coriolan Overture Op.62 and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 are provided to give background on tragic form and Platonic allegory in music. An investigation into the elements discussed in the analysis of the instrumental works reveals several layers of possible interpretation in Pleroma. Dramatic elements allow for tragic narratives to be constructed, but they are complemented by character associations formed by pitch relationships, stylistic juxtapositions, and instrumentation. A copy of the dramatic text is included to supplement the multimedia production: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33228/
There has been relatively little scholarship to date on Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder. The writings about this song cycle that do exist primarily focus on the disparate nature of the poems and justify Kindertotenlieder as a cycle by highlighting various musical connections between the songs, such as keys and motivic continuity. Mahler, however, has unified the cycle in a much more complex and sophisticated way. His familiarity with Wagner’s music and methods, and his mastery of the human voice and orchestral voices allowed him to weave a dramatic grief-laden narrative.
Harold Shapero’s Sonata for Trumpet in C and Piano is a significant work that it is rarely performed and studied. Shapero’s composition contains musical attributes that demand artistically accurate choices if the style of this jazz-influenced sonata is to be achieved. Written in 1940 in dedication to Aaron Copland, the Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano makes use of a variety of stylistic influences, blending those of early 20th century jazz with Stravinsky-influenced neo-classicism. The intent of this study is to examine the unique performance practice implications and musical considerations of Harold Shapero’s Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano in correlation to the composer’s implementation of jazz idiomatic elements within the constructs of neo-classicism. The first section of this study examines the historical context necessary for understanding the social and musical conditions of the early to mid 1940s. The second section addresses the musical elements that characterize this work; the primary focus of this section is an exploration of Harold Shapero’s implementation of jazz idioms into his first composition for trumpet. The final section of the study interprets the utilization of idiomatic jazz elements within the work so as to allow the trumpet player with little jazz experience to accurately perform the piece.
This dissertation provides a guide for appropriate use of North American art song settings of biblical psalms for solo voice written after 1950 in the worship services of Christian faiths. The songs analyzed are for all voice parts and a variety of accompanying ensembles. The placement of each song on a specific calendar day is guided by the individual church calendars and lectionaries, on the prevalent themes of the text, and the characteristics of the musical setting. Performance of these songs only in a concert setting limits their usefulness for singers, voice teachers, and music directors alike. A new and worthy performing context can be established by analyzing the text and musical settings.
Benjamin Britten’s life and music have been the subject of study from early in his musical career. Current trends in psychological analysis of Britten’s music tend to focus on common themes, such as homosexuality, pacifism, the sense of the outsider, and the loss of innocence. Similarly, theoretical analyses tend either to provide general categorizations of the technical elements in Britten’s music or to apply a singular preconceived concept as a tool for understanding his compositions. These approaches have yielded significant information but leave aspects of Britten’s personality and music unilluminated. Britten’s Op. 47, Five Flower Songs, are a collection of five part songs for a cappella chorus that are often included within the canon of 20th century choral literature. This paper examines a new perspective on Britten’s music by examining the relationship between Britten’s friendships and their influence on his compositions. Through the examination of these relationships information is revealed that allows for a new method of analysis that is particularly relevant to the Five Flower Songs. The opus was dedicated to two botanists for the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. Contained within specific movements are extra-musical references to scientific characteristics of the flowers that are the subjects of the texts. By examining this work and important connections between other friendships and his compositional output this paper demonstrates the validity of this perspective in analyzing Britten’s life and music.
In 1829, Passion settings entered the secular concert hall with Felix Mendelssohn’s revival of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Berlin. The genre has fallen in and out of favor with composers because of the subject matter and Bach’s prominence in the setting. James MacMillan’s St. John Passion has established itself as one of the preeminent modern passion settings by manipulating past idioms such as chant, chorales, and other popular passion conventions in concert with his use of Celtic folk idioms. He creates a passion experience that strives for a spiritually Catholic influence. This approach has earned praise and harsh criticism. MacMillan’s unique use of keening and the drone offers a uniquely Scottish passion that allows for Jesus’ crucifixion to be more poignant to the intended initial audience. In addition to his use of Celtic folk idioms, MacMillan uses added text; most central to this paper is The Reproaches. Movement eight (The Reproaches) is the emotional and musical climax of the work. This inclusion of text has shifted the climax, namely Jesus’s death and burial, to moments before his death. In addition, the value of the work as a liturgical work is lost by the inclusion of these texts, but a religious and spiritual essence remain.
A study was undertaken to identify the effect of head flexion/extension on singing voice quality. The amplitude of the fundamental frequency (F0), and the singing power ratio (SPR), an indirect measure of singer’s formant activity, were measured. F0 and SPR scores at four experimental head positions were compared with the subjects’ scores at their habitual positions. Three vowels and three pitch levels were tested. F0 amplitudes and low frequency partials in general were greater with more extended head positions, while SPR increased with neck flexion. No effect of pitch or vowel was found. Gains in SPR appear to be the result of damping low frequency partials rather than amplifying those in the singer’s formant region. Raising the amplitude of F0 is an important resonance tool for female voices in the high range, and may be of benefit to other voice types in resonance, loudness, and laryngeal function.
Micro-Images for Solo Flute, Genera for Flute/Alto Flute/Bass Flute and Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, and Poème exotique for Flute and Piano by American composer Daniel Kessner (b. 1946) utilize a hybrid compositional approach in which microtones are incorporated with more traditional chromatic writing. Through representative musical examples from each piece, this document highlights the timbral, dynamic and pacing complexities associated with the microtonal fingerings and prompts flutists to forgo idiosyncratic tendencies in favor of contextually based choices. In order to help guide musicians toward effective performances of these three pieces and similar works, a new tone color spectrum and description of relative dynamics are provided along with a discussion of the relationships between tone colors, relative dynamics and temporal pacing. Appendices include transcripts of email interviews with composer Daniel Kessner and Carla Rees, British contemporary flutist, as well as an updated list of Kessner’s flute works.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of the contralto voice type had reached its apex in England. Throughout the remainder of the century, the number and popularity of recorded contraltos has decreased alongside the rise of the mezzo-soprano voice type. Due to the contralto’s decline and the lack of repertoire composed specifically for the voice, the definition of “contralto” remains somewhat ambiguous. The large contralto repertoire of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams displays a unique sensitivity to the contralto, particularly with regards to vocal range, flexibility, tessitura, and sustainability. These works thus suggest a new perspective for the voice type. The scope of Vaughan Williams’s oeuvre examined includes each of his operatic roles for contralto and choral works featuring the contralto. Also examined will be the compositional techniques implemented within these pieces which demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the contralto voice. A workable definition of the voice type for the pedagogue and performer is included.
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