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"Among the Voices Voiceless": Setting the Words of Samuel Beckett

Description: Among the Voices Voiceless is a composition for flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), viola, cello, percussion, piano, and electronics, based on the poem "What would I do without this world faceless incurious" by Samuel Beckett. The piece is a setting for disembodied voice: the vocal part exists solely in the electronics. Having no physical body, the voice is obscured as the point of empathy for the audience. In addition, instrumental solos compete for focus during the work's twenty minute duration. In passages including a soloist, the soloist functions simultaneously as antagonist and avatar to the disembodied voice. Spoken word recordings and electronic manipulation of instrumental material provides further layers of ambiguity. The companion critical essay "Among the Voices Voiceless": Setting the Words of Samuel Beckett proposes the distillation of Beckett's style into the elements of prosaicness, repetition, fragmentation, ambiguity, and symmetry. Discussions of Beckett's works such as Waiting for Godot and Molloy demonstrate these elements in his practice. This framework informs the examination of two other musical settings of Beckett's poetry: Neither by Morton Feldman and Odyssey by Roger Reynolds. Finally, these elements are used to analyze and elucidate the compositional decisions made in Among the Voices Voiceless.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Lyszczarz, Joseph E

Interactive Networks in "Forgotten Lyres": Critical Analysis and Original Composition

Description: Forgotten Lyres is a musical response to Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem Mutability, which depicts the fragility and unpredictable nature of human life. Four independent chamber ensembles make up the performing forces of Forgotten Lyres; the musicians evoke the topics of Shelley's text as they interact and coordinate with one another according to a variety of paradigms and without the use of a conductor. This essay focuses on the approaches to coordination within and between ensembles, and the ways in which the musicians' interactions can evoke and convey Shelley's texts. The essay also examines works by Mel Powell, Toru Takemitsu, Witold Lutoslawski, and Pierre Boulez as examples and precursors for the coordination strategies employed in Forgotten Lyres.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Harenda, Timothy

Negotiating Decades of Change in America: The Houston Chinese Traditional Music Group

Description: For over two hundred years, Chinese immigrants have brought ancient customs and musical traditions to their new homes in America. As in many immigrant communities, a new heritage that embodies and exhibits both the quintessential features of American culture and genuine Chinese heritage have come together to form new expressive cultures that are uniquely "Chinese American." As the youngest of the major American Chinese immigrant centers, the city of Houston, Texas provides an exemplary example of a distinct cultural cohesion that, in part, resulted from significant cultural and political upheavals in the latter half of the twentieth century. During this era of political unrest, many Chinese people's attitudes towards their traditional culture changed drastically. The Houston Chinese Traditional Music Group (HCTMG) is a Chinese orchestra comprised of amateur and professional musicians ranging in age from 13 to over 60 years old. Performing regularly for the Chinese immigrant population in Houston, HCTMG's take on traditional Chinese music deviates greatly from that of older, more established immigrant communities on the East and West Coasts and in some parts of mainland China. Via participant observation, interviews, and analysis of source materials, this paper examines how changing political and economic climates in China during the 1960s to the 1990s—when the majority of HCTMG musicians lived in China –are reflected in the musical decisions of HCTMG and the greater Houston Chinese immigrant community at large.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Mei, Yuxin

Looking through a Different Lens, Beyond Censorship: The American Reception of "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District"

Description: The censorship of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District is a familiar story to musicologists, but reception of the opera is not frequently mentioned. Examining the reception of a work can bring a work's relative importance into focus. In this thesis, German literary and reception theorist Hans Robert Jauss's model of the horizon of expectations is applied to reviews of American productions of Lady Macbeth. Curiosity about communism following the Great Depression in 1930s, America and American music critics' knowledge that Soviet composers worked for the Soviet regime led to the belief that Lady Macbeth was officially approved export from the Soviet Union. When the article condemning the opera as a Western formalism appeared in the Soviet magazine, Pravda, Americans needed to adjust their understanding of Lady Macbeth as a socialist expression. Following the work's revival in San Francisco in 1981, the influence of Solomon Volkov's Testimony is prevalent in many reviews. Many reviewers use Volkov's narrative of Shostakovich as covert dissident of the Soviet Union to assert that the censorship of the opera was about the content of the plot and not the music. Following the Soviet rejection of the work, American critics tried to claim Shostakovich for the West based on the values of individual freedom and feminism set forth in Lady Macbeth.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Cassell, Holly Kathleen

"Monolith: A Piece for Midi Piano, Mixed Sextet, and Fixed Electronics"

Description: Reference to a regular pulse is one of the most common ways of measuring time in music. As the basis for tempo, meter, subdivisions, and even formal symmetry, pulse, or the sonic articulation of regular units of time, is found throughout all levels of music. In this paper, I describe how I used a structure of twelve simultaneous pulses to compose "Monolith," a recent piece for MIDI piano, Pierrot ensemble, and fixed electronics. In the first chapter, I contextualize "Monolith" by briefly examining pulse's relationship to hierarchical structure in music and the possibilities for creativity in pulse-based hierarchical structures. In the second chapter, I analyze the use of pulse in Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians," György Ligeti's "Self-portrait with Reich and Riley (with Chopin in the background), and Conlon Nancarrow's "Study No. 36 for Player Piano." In the third chapter, I describe in detail the relationship between the twelve-pulse structure and the various movements that comprise "Monolith," focusing on the relationship between compositional freedom and prescribed structure throughout the work.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Vaughn, Mark

Recent Approaches to Real-Time Notation

Description: This paper discusses several compositions that use the computer screen to present music notation to performers. Three of these compositions, Law of Fives (2015), Polytera II (2016), and Terraformation (2016–17), employ strategies that allow the notation to change during the performance of the work as the product of composer-regulated algorithmic generation and performer interaction. New methodologies, implemented using Cycling74's Max software, facilitate performance of these works by allowing effective control of generation and on-screen display of notation; these include an application called VizScore, which delivers notation and conducts through it in real-time, and a development environment for real-time notation using the Bach extensions and graphical overlays around them. These tools support a concept of cartographic composition, in which a composer maps a range of potential behaviors that are mediated by human or algorithmic systems or some combination of the two. Notational variation in performance relies on computer algorithms that can both generate novel ideas and be subject to formal plans designed by the composer. This requires a broader discussion of the underlying algorithms and control mechanisms in the context of algorithmic art in general. Terraformation, for viola and computer, uses a model of the performer's physical actions to constrain the algorithmic generation of musical material displayed in on-screen notation. The resulting action-based on-screen notation system combines common practice notation with fingerboard tablature, color gradients, and abstract graphics. This hybrid model of dynamic notation puts unconventional demands on the performer; implications of this new performance practice are addressed, including behaviors, challenges, and freedoms of real-time notation.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Shafer, Seth N

The Status and Administration of Student Dance Bands in Colleges and Universities in the United States

Description: Due to the increased importance of music in everyday life, the expanding enrollment in most colleges brought on by the return of war veterans, and the ever increasing popularity of dance music, more and more schools are incorporating dance bands as part of their musical program in connection with their recreation and college promotion activities. Since this is more or less a new development, it is of interest to all school administrators to see just what is being done in regard to dance music in the schools. Therefore, it is the purpose of this study to determine the extent and usage of popular dance bands in colleges at the present time, and to present certain problems which are apt to confront the administrator of such an organization.
Date: May 1947
Creator: Johnson, James W. (James Winfred)

An Analysis of the Course of Study for Instrumental Music Courses in the High Schools of Texas

Description: The purpose of this survey was to analyze the course of study in instrumental music prescribed by the Texas State Department for the high schools of the state and to determine whether or not a coordinated and well-rounded program of education in instrumental music is being offered in the schools of Texas. It was hoped, furthermore, that, by comparing this program with others elsewhere, this analysis might show whether or not Texas is following any general trend in instrumental music education.
Date: June 1941
Creator: Howard, William Harmon

Guidance Factors in the Selection of Students for the Study of Instrumental Music in the Public Schools of Tulsa, Oklahoma

Description: Instrumental music classes in the public schools of Tulsa, Oklahoma, have experienced a phenomenal growth during the past twenty years. Prior to this period, opportunity for instrumental music expression was limited to the high school band and orchestra,which rehearsed outside of school hours. No instruction other than this was provided and the student who wished to play in the school band or orchestra studied first from private instructors. In this study the investigator has examined a great many devices for measuring capacities and aptitudes which are known to the profession. He has attempted to evaluate these procedures in the light of sound educational philosophy. He has set forth a plan which he believes will materially improve the instrumental program through discovering unsuspected musical capacity and through sound guidance in the selection of suitable instruments.
Date: August 1940
Creator: Hayes, Kenneth, 1908-

Florence, Biblioteca del Conservatorio di Musica Luigi Cherubini, Manuscript Basevi 2439: Critical Edition and Commentary

Description: The subject of the present study, Florence, Biblioteca del Conservatorio di Musica Luigi Cherubini, MS Basevi 2439, abbreviated Florence 2439,1 contains secular and sacred vocal music of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, with texts in French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin.
Date: June 1968
Creator: Newton, Paul George, 1930-

A Union List of Musical Literature in North Texas Regional Libraries, 1946

Description: It is the purpose of the study to make a survey of the larger libraries in this region and to compile a list of the holdings of books about music. With the impetus of the North Texas Regional Union List of Serials, 1943; Comprising the libraries of North Texas State Teachers College. Southern Methodist University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Texas Christian University Texas State College for Women, and the Public Libraries of Dallas and Fort Worth, and its two supplements of 1943-45 and 1945-46, and following the general form of that work, the present "Union List of Musical Literature in North Texas Regional Libraries, 1946," has been compiled. The libraries represented in the North Texas Regional Union List of Serials are included here, with holdings listed as of March 1, 1946. These libraries are: North Texas State Teachers College and Texas State College for Women, Denton, Texas; Texas Christian University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Fort worth Public Library, Fort Worth, Texas; Southern Methodist University and Dallas Public Library, Dallas, Texas.
Date: January 1949
Creator: Henderson, George R. (George Robert), 1918-

A Critical Evaluation of Eight Series of Music Books for Grades Four, Five and Six

Description: This study is an evaluation of individual music textbooks from eight series for grades four, five, and six, by a definite criterion basis. It seems very worthwhile to have an evaluation of such books: (a) to aid in the wise selection of music books, and (b) to become familiar with the contributions of each series.
Date: August 1949
Creator: LeMond, Nell Verna

An Evaluation of Motion Picture Films for Use in Music Education

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to present an evaluated list of motion picture films which are related to the field of music and the teaching of music in order that both teacher and student of music may become familiar with the films which are available for use in music education and with the relative merit of each film.
Date: June 1949
Creator: Bolin, Carl B.

A Course of Study in Music Education for the Elementary Education Major

Description: Since the music requirement does rest with the teacher training institutions, the elementary education major is required, in most colleges and universities, to take six hours of music education. My problem is to develop an adequate course of study in music education to fit the musical needs of the elementary education major which will prepare her as well as possible in the allotted six hours to teach music in a classroom aided or unaided by supervision
Date: August 1948
Creator: Mewborn, Mary Beth

Symbolism of Johann Sebastian Bach as Portrayed in the Passion According to St. Matthew

Description: The purpose of this study is to make an investigation of the musical score of "The Passion According to St. Matthew" with attention given to the pictorial elements or symbolism in the composition. The study is confined mainly to the one composition, but attention is given to the historical background of the work, and examples of the pictorial technique of sacred music as it had been developed in the Netherlands.
Date: August 1947
Creator: McDonald, Wilson Glenn Bob

Television in Education: a Survey of Current Practices and a Consideration of Its Applicability to the Field of Music

Description: The use of television as an aid to music education is a relatively new and unexplored field. It is so new, in fact, that to undertake a study of what has been accomplished until the present may seem at first rather premature and unfruitful. It is my belief, however, that if television is to become the prominent factor in education that has been predicted, there is a definite need for a study of what has been done to date toward the development of this new medium. This will provide the background and foundation for further experiment and use. The study shall include, therefore, a brief history of television itself, general educational experiments in television, experiments in televised music education, problems involved in presenting musical television programs, and suggestions for the development of this newest of teaching aids.
Date: May 1950
Creator: Phillips, Hattie Lucile

A Study of the J.S. Bach Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother

Description: The purpose of this study is to present a brief history of the work, a discussion of the ornamentation which occurs therein and suggestions for the performance of the ornaments, an analysis covering especially the characteristics of each movement in regard to form and style and inasmuch as possible to show the influence of this early work on the later compositions of J. S. Bach.
Date: August 1948
Creator: Kelver, George E.

Practical Approach to Protestant Church Music

Description: The purpose of this study is to make the Protestant church workers more efficient in their use of music in religious work by giving them a clear conception of the kind of music to be used and by suggesting detailed plans and methods by which desirable results may be secured in the use of church music. Ideal standards have their place, but here it is proposed to be matter-of-fact, practical and concrete, and to secure immediate results with the average church member and choir singer as the final criterion in every phase of the work. The purpose is not to emphasize high ideals but to instruct and inspire all those who have leadership in the service of church music, that they may be able here to provide the greatest religious helpfulness that the use of music can bring the souls to whom they minister.
Date: August 1947
Creator: Thompson, Doris Bain, 1918-

“In Old Mexico:” Suite for Solo Piano

Description: There is often difficulty in determining the most desirable medium to be used in the composition of music. After careful consideration, the writer chose the medium of piano to present the following musical composition. In the initial investigations, it appeared that the vocal idiom might provide a more suitable choice. However, piano teaching rather than work in the vocal field will probably consume a greater part of the writer's time in the future. The writing of a piano composition, then, appeared to be a justifiable decision.
Date: May 1947
Creator: Robinson, Frances O.

A Critical Compilation of Graded Band Material at High School Level

Description: The instrumental composition of the band is an outgrowth of utilitarian improvisation. The well-developed percussion section, and the voluminous reed and brass sections are a carry-over from the Military, where the emphasis was on functional beating of time for marching. Mobility and volume sufficient for the accompaniment of troop movements were also necessary. Until recent times, the band existed only for functional matters, never as an independent and self-justifying medium with its purpose being a musical organization. Through the growth of military, professional, and school bands, the band of today has developed into a musical organization in its own right, which can perform almost anything in the technical range of composition.
Date: August 1947
Creator: Sonnenburg, Eldon M. (Eldon Malcome)