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Theorizing Atonality: Herbert Eimert’s and Jefim Golyscheff’s Contributions to Composing with Twelve Tones

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Weaver, Jennifer L.

A Performance Guide to the Dramatic, Vocal, and Musical Challenges of Judith Weir’s Opera, King Harald’s Saga

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Park, Sang Hee

The Crucifixion

Description: 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.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Yang, Chuan-Tsing

Ka: a Composition for Chamber Orchestra in One Movement

Description: 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.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Morgan, Christopher R. (Christopher Robert)

Animations: A Composition for Percussion and Computer Music on Tape

Description: 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.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Criswell, Madeleine L.

House in Heaven

Description: 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.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Gan, On C. (On Cally)

The Last Seven Words

Description: 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.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Chong, Lok-Shing

The Traditional Bambuco in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Colombian Composition

Description: 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).
Date: August 1993
Creator: Martina, Aileen

Critical Discussion of Pleroma: A Digital Drama and Its Relevance to Tragic Form in Music

Description: 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/
Date: December 2010
Creator: Lucas, Stephen

The Intimacy of Death: Mahler’s Dramatic Narration in Kindertotenlieder

Description: 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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Strange, AnnaGrace

Harold Shapero’s Sonata for C Trumpet and Piano: the Influence of Idiomatic Jazz Elements on a Prominent Mid-20th Century Neo-classical Composer

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Whalen, Kevin Patrick

Utilizing North American Art Song Settings of Psalm Texts in Worship Services: an Annotated Guide for Singers, Voice Instructors, and Music Ministers

Description: 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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Siddons, Kyle

Britten’s Op 47, Five Flower Songs: Breaking Trends in Analysis

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Jackson, Christopher Michael

James Macmillan’s St John Passion: the Role of Celtic Folk Idioms and the Reproaches

Description: 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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Frank, Nathan

The Effect of Head Flexion/extension on Acoustic Measures of Singing Voice Quality

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Knight, Elizabeth Johnson

Micro-images, Genera and Poème Exotique: a Guide to Tone Color Selection, Relative Dynamics and Temporal Pacing for Effective Performances of Three Microtonal Flute Works by Daniel Kessner

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Sánchez, Terri

Defining the Contralto Voice Through the Repertoire of Ralph Vaughan Williams

Description: 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.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Daniels, Sarah M.

Études: Five Compositional and Technical Studies for Solo Organ

Description: Études was composed as a set of five interrelated movements in the followingorder: Prelude, Introduction and Fugue, Triptych, Chorale, and Response. The pieces are compositional as well as technical studies. The movements specifically explore certain styles and forms unique to organ music, and reintroduce these elements in creative ways. As in the traditional étude, each movement contains virtuosic technical studies, which are designed to enhance manual and pedal facility and prepare the performer for advanced repertoire.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Lloyd, S. Andrew

A Pedagogical and Methodical Approach to Unaccompanied Euphonium Literature Through Performance and Analyses of Original Works by Torstein Aagaard-nilsen

Description: Original unaccompanied literature currently stands as one of the most understudied bodies of music in the euphonium repertory. This is largely due to a lack of access to reference recordings, live performances, and study/performance guides. Many of the commissioning projects for new euphonium music in the late 20th and early 21st centuries have promoted the composition of large scale works for euphonium and large ensembles, but very few have generated new unaccompanied pieces for euphonium. Many of the most recent commissions for unaccompanied euphonium music have been for competitions such as the Lieksa Brass Festival (Finland) and Leonard Falcone International Festival (USA). These competitions are also where many students get their only exposure to the unaccompanied repertoire. Unfortunately, there is a small number of standard unaccompanied works that are continuously recycled for these competitions and the exposure to new pieces in the repertoire is further diminished for many developing euphoniumists. This study will examine the three works for unaccompanied euphonium by Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen and provide solutions for many common technical challenges and pose suggestions for approaching and preparing this genre of music. Connections are made throughout the study to specific etudes and other unaccompanied solos that can be used as complementary and precursory studies to aid in the mastery of this literature.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Nyren, Patrick J.

Educating American Audiences: Claire Reis and the Development of Modern Music Institutions, 1912-1930

Description: The creation of institutions devoted to promoting and supporting modern music in the United States during the 1920s made it possible for American composers to develop an identity distinct from that of European modernists. These institutions were thus a critical part of the process of modernization that began in the United States during the early decades of the twentieth century. There is substantial scholarship on these musical institutions of modern music, such as the International Composers’ Guild and the League of Composers; but little to no work has been done on the progressive musical institutions of the 1910s, such as the Music League of the People’s Music Institute of New York, which was founded by Claire Reis. This thesis addresses the questions of how and why American musical modernism came to be as it was in the 1920s through an examination of the various stages of Reis’s career. The first chapter is an extensive study of primary source material gathered from the League of Composers/ISCM Records collection at the New York Public Library, which relates to Reis’s work with the PML in the 1910s. The second chapter uses the conclusions of the first chapter to shine new light on an old subject: the 1923 schism within the ICG that led Reis and others to form the League. The traditional view that the schism was the result of a conflict in idea of style is called into question, and the role that gender and power structure played in the break are explored.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Freeman, Cole

Krzysztof Penderecki’s Divertimento/suite for Cello Solo (1994-2013): a Stylistic Analysis and Performance Guide

Description: Penderecki made a tremendous variety of contributions to the cello repertoire. His profound respect for tradition and for his past is deeply appreciated by both performers and audiences. In each individual composition, he explored the cello’s sonorous possibilities and created a new technical and musical palette for the instrument. He worked with legendary, world-renowned cellists who not only gave the premieres of his works but also established deep friendships with him. The Divertimento/Suite for Cello Solo (1994-2013), a compilation of miniature movements, each with its sophisticated structure, demonstrates Penderecki’s three compositional style periods. Baroque and Romantic elements in each movement are achieved within their style characteristics. Penderecki’s Divertimento/Suite for Violoncello Solo is composed of eight contrasting movements that were written during a nineteen-year period. The work is characterized by a Neo-Romantic aesthetic and utilizes the cello’s dark lyrical tones with a variety of timbre and tonal contrasts. The purpose of the present study is to create a practical performance guide to this important musical work with a detailed stylistic, textural, and motivic analysis of all eight movements. Although there are many published documents and analyses of Penderecki’s orchestral, choral, chamber and other solo pieces, the Divertimento/Suite for Cello Solo has yet to be thoroughly researched and discussed in the extant cello literature. It is the lack of research concerning this work that prompts this important study. This analysis will serve to outline the unifying compositional procedures of the work and explain the special instrumental techniques employed. With its illustrations of the motivic, harmonic and the textural relationships of each movement, this study serves as a twentieth-century performance guide for the cello world.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Sturman, Esra

A Philosophy and an Approach to Teaching Non-professional-track Violin Students

Description: The aim of this dissertation is to lay the groundwork for an integrated approach to violin instruction for children who are not being groomed explicitly for professional careers as instrumentalists. The study presents a particular focus on the age of middle school children, in order to showcase a more specialized and definitive result of research without, however, distinguishing between advantages and limitations of different age groups of children who study music and learn to play the violin. My first goal is to craft a sample method of teaching with a premise that not all students studying music must or need to become professional musicians in their future. I promote an approach based on the premise that music has universal value available to all and that any kind of music education encourages the growth, personality development, and imagination of children. My second goal is to explore how music education functions in 21st century western culture. Research is based on teachings and methods established by Suzuki, Kodaly, Jaques-Dalcroze, and Orff, among others.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Bard-Schwarz, Anna Ewa

Form and Pianistic Texture in the Operatic Fantasies Based on La Sonnambula and Der Freischütz of Franz Liszt and Julian Fontana: a Comparison of Compositional Approach

Description: This study examines and identifies the differences in compositional approach in the operatic fantasies based on Bellini’s La Sonnambula and Weber’s Der Freischütz by Franz Liszt and Julian Fontana. These four fantasies are placed in the context of musical conventions and audiences in the first half of the nineteenth century. The two operatic fantasies by Liszt that are included in this study are representative of reinterpretations that employ formal and textural features suitable for the concert repertoire of piano virtuosos. In contrast, the fantasies by Fontana are indicative of the potpourri style, and suitable both for amateur performance as well as for pedagogical use. The different functions and purposes of the operatic fantasies of Liszt and Fontana are compared and contrasted, with attention to each composer’s respective intended audiences as well as their distinct compositional intentions.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Chung, Migeun

“I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues”: Considering the Music of Harold Arlen (1905-1986) for Use by Female Singers in the Classical Voice Studio

Description: American musical theater and film composer Harold Arlen is largely overshadowed by his contemporaries, such as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and Cole Porter. However, his music serves as a viable alternative for singers of all skill level studying a classical technique. By studying the music of Harold Arlen, singers will utilize a wide range, legato line, negotiations of register, mood shifts, and varying tessituras. The following document considers the importance of Arlen’s music by analyzing eight of his songs from three prominent decades of compositional output. The eight songs examined are grouped by the decade of their composition: the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Each song is evaluated by determining the musical benefits included in each song and also the skill level required of the singer.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Hawk, Heather L.