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Algorithmic Music Analysis: a Case Study of a Prelude From David Cope’s “From Darkness, Light”

Description: The use of algorithms in compositional practice has been in use for centuries. With the advent of computers, formalized procedures have become an important part of computer music. David Cope is an American composer that has pioneered systems that make use of artificial intelligence programming techniques. In this dissertation one of David Cope’s compositions that was generated with one of his processes is examined in detail. A general timeline of algorithmic compositional practice is outlined from a historical perspective, and realized in the Common Lisp programming language as a musicological tool. David Cope’s compositional output is summarized with an explanation of what types of systems he has utilized in the analyses of other composers’ music, and the composition of his own music. Twentieth century analyses techniques are formalized within Common Lisp as algorithmic analyses tools. The tools are then combined with techniques developed within other computational music analyses tools, and applied toward the analysis of Cope’s prelude. A traditional music theory analysis of the composition is provided, and outcomes of computational analyses augment the traditional analysis. The outcome of the computational analyses, or algorithmic analyses, is represented in statistical data, and corresponding probabilities. From the resulting data sets part of a machine-learning technique algorithm devises semantic networks. The semantic networks represent chord succession and voice leading rules that underlie the framework of Cope’s prelude.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Krämer, Reiner

Foreignizing Mahler: Uri Caine’s Mahler Project As Intertraditional Musical Translation

Description: The customary way to create jazz arrangements of the Western classical canon—informally called swingin’-the-classics—adapts the original composition to jazz conventions. Uri Caine (b.1956) has devised an alternative approach, most notably in his work with compositions by Gustav Mahler. He refracts Mahler’s compositions through an eclectic array of musical performance styles while also eschewing the use of traditional jazz structures in favor of stricter adherence to formal ideas in the original score than is usual in a jazz arrangement. These elements and the manner in which Caine incorporates them in his Mahler arrangements closely parallel the practices of a translator who chooses to create a “foreignizing” literary translation. The 19th-century philosopher and translation theorist Friedrich Schleiermacher explained that in a foreignizing translation “the translator leaves the writer alone as much as possible and moves the reader toward the writer.” Foreignizing translations accentuate the otherness of the original work, approximating the foreign text’s form and syntax in the receiving language and using an uncommon, heterogeneous vocabulary. The resulting translations, which challenge readers with their frequent defiance of the conventions of the receiving linguistic culture, create literal, exaggerated readings that better convey authors’ characteristic use of their own languages for a new audience. My study of Caine’s music—which includes a survey of previously unavailable manuscripts and an exploration of selected arrangements using an analytical method designed to address the qualities in music that parallel foreignizing translation-contextualizes Caine’s modifications to Mahler’s compositions to generate intertextual readings that simultaneously highlight the ways that Mahler was innovative within his own tradition.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Ritchie, J. Cole

Redeeming the Betrayer: Elgar’s Portrayal of Judas in the Apostles

Description: Despite its generally agreed importance, very little has been written about The Apostles. Even among the extant publications that address The Apostles, scholars have focused on its history and development, its reception, or analytical descriptions of its surface themes. The aim of this study will therefore be to provide neither a biography of Elgar, nor an account of the genesis of the work, but to analyze The Apostles in a manner that will achieve a deeper understanding of the oratorio. Chapter 1 explores the complexities that surround Judas and the different ways in which he was perceived throughout history. Then, through my analysis of the surface motives in Chapter 2 and their significance in relation to the large-scale harmonic structure in Chapter 3, I will suggest that Elgar does not denigrate Judas as the betrayer of Christ in The Apostles, but rather depicts him as a tragic yet crucial figure in achieving the redemption of mankind, and through this Judas himself is redeemed.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Taycher, Ryan

A Seventeenth-century Musiklehrbuch in Context: Heinrich Baryphonus and Heinrich Grimm’s Pleiades Musicae

Description: Heinrich Baryphonus (1581-1655) and Heinrich Grimm’s (1592/3-1637) didactic treatise, Pleiades musicae (1615/1630), provides a vivid testimony to the state of music education and music theory pedagogy in Protestant Germany in the early seventeenth century. Published initially by Baryphonus for use at the Gymnasium in Quedlinburg and reissued in an expanded format by Grimm for use at the Gymnasium in Magdeburg, the text examines the fundamentals of pitch, intervals, counterpoint, and, in the second edition, triadic theory and composition. Throughout the remainder of the seventeenth century and into the eighteenth century, music theorists including Johann Andreas Herbst (1588-1666), Otto Gibel (1612-1682), and Andreas Werckmeister (1645-1706), used the document as a source for their own musical writings, solidifying its status as a significant contribution to the field of music theory. Recently, scholars such as Carl Dahlhaus, Benito Rivera, and Joel Lester have found value in Pleiades musicae for its role in the early stages of the development of triadic theory and the emergence of harmonic tonality. However, with the exception of the passages on triadic theory, the treatise continues to be relatively unknown. In order to understand the full extent of Baryphonus and Grimm’s contributions to the history of music theory, and to provide a multifaceted context for situating Pleiades musicae in the culture of its time and place of origin, the present study examines both editions of the text from biographical, cultural, educational, philosophical, music-theoretical, and historical perspectives, and includes modern Latin editions and English translations of the two editions of the treatise.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Dobbs, Benjamin M.

Tonality and the Extended Common Practice in the Music of Thad Jones

Description: Tonality is a term often used to describe the music of the common practice period (roughly 1600-1900). This study examines the music of mid twentieth-century jazz composer Thad Jones in light of an extended common practice, explicating ways in which this music might be best understood as tonal. Drawing from analyses of three of Jones’s big band compositions: To You, Three and One, and Cherry Juice, this study examines three primary elements in detail. First is Jones’s use of chord-scale application techniques in the orchestration over various chordal qualities represented by the symbols, revealing traditional as well as innovative methods by Jones. Second is Jones’s use of harmonic progressions, demonstrating his connection to past practice as well as modern jazz variations. Third is Jones’s use of contrapuntal connections and their traditional relationship to functional tonality, but in a chromatic scale-based environment. Jones’s music is presented in this study to demonstrate a tonal jazz common practice that represents an amalgamation of traditions including twentieth-century scale-based procedures, Renaissance and early twentieth-century modality, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century voice leading schemas, and Baroque and Classical descending-fifth progressions. Also included as an appendix is a list of possible note errors in the published scores of To You, Three and One, and Cherry Juice.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Rogers, Michael A