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Syntactic Structures in Functional Tonality

Description: Chapter I examines linguistic structures fundamental to most tasks of comprehension performed by humans. Chapter II proposes musical elements to be linguistic structures functioning within a musical symbol system (syntax). In this chapter, functional tonality is explored for systemic elements and relationships among these elements that facilitate tonal understanding. It is postulated that the listener's comprehension of these tonal elements is dependent on cognitive tasks performed by virtue of linguistic competence. Chapter III examines human information processing systems that are applicable both generally to human cognition and specifically to tonal comprehension. A pedagogy for listening skills that facilitate tonal comprehension is proposed in the fourth and final chapter and is based on information presented in preceding chapters.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Phelps, James, 1954-
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Elements of Jazz Harmony and Analysis

Description: This study develops a method for analyzing jazz piano music, primarily focusing on the era 1935-1950. The method is based on axiomatic concepts of jazz harmony, such as the circle of fifths and root position harmonies. 7-10 motion between root and chordal seventh seems to be the driving force in jazz motion. The concept of tritone substitution leads to the idea of a harmonic level, i.e., a harmony's distance from the tonic. With this method in hand, various works of music are analyzed, illustrating that all harmonic motion can be labelled into one of three categories. The ultimate goal of this analytic method is to illustrate the fundamental harmonic line which serves as the harmonic framework from which the jazz composer builds.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Mahoney, J. Jeffrey
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Sarabandes from J. S. Bach's Six Suites for Solo Cello: An Analysis and Interpretive Guide for the Modern Guitarist

Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to present a comparative analysis of the sarabandes from the six cello suites. Six individual analyses each address the following elements: harmonic reduction, the relationship between the large-scale harmonic and metrical structures, the melodic elaboration of the harmonic-metrical structure, and the type and prevalence of sarabande rhythm. A summary at the end of each analysis provides a cumulative comparison of the results. Knowledge gained from this exercise will provide insight into Bach's conception of the genre by identifying both those features that stylistically unify the sarabandes as well as those that make each unique. In addition, the author will demonstrate the relationship between analysis and interpretation, using the sixth sarabande as an example. This interpretive process will also take into account the idiomatic nature of the guitar.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Todd, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries

Heroes Are Born Then Made

Description: Heroes Are Born Then Made is a theatre piece involving live actors on stage, and live music originating from an orchestra pit. The script and music is original. The music is meant to literally depict actions and emotions on stage whether the actors are present or not. The duration of the entire production is about two and one-half hours long. Six main actors are used with additional walk-ons. Sixteen musicians are required to make up the orchestra which is organized into a woodwind quartet, a brass trio, a string quartet, a piano, and a percussion quartet. The play is based on the author's conception of how people tend to treat each other when someone is caught at a disadvantage. Specifically it is a depiction of the conflict involved when the minor characters discover that the main character is trying to do something quite different from their definition of "normal."
Date: May 1987
Creator: Miesak, Edward
Partner: UNT Libraries

History and Development of Theory of Lü: A Translation of Selected Chapters of Huang Ti-Pei's Perspectives of Chinese Music

Description: This study first narrates on the importance of theory of lü-lü (theory of tone generation) in the history of Chinese music from the Chou Dynasty (ca. 400 B.C.) to the Chin Dynasty (ca. end of 19th century), its symbolism and ramification. The main body of this study is devoted to critical translation of Huang Ti-Pei's Perspectives of Chinese Music, particularly those sections which give chronological narratives and comparative critiques of major theories of lü-lü, in order to provide the western scholarship with documents toward understanding the evolution of tone system of Chinese music. The study concludes with a comparison of Chinese tone systems from ancient time to present, and offers comments on comparison of tone systems between the eastern and western musics.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Chen, Whey-Fen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Derivation of the Thematic Material and Intervallic Gestures From the Main Theme in Fantasia Carioca By Sérgio Assad

Description: The quantity of classical guitar literature reached a new peak late in the twentieth century with many famous guitarists publishing their own works for solo classical guitar. This increase in the published guitar literature resulted in a decline of the relative analytical discussions of contemporary guitar works. Sérgio Assad is a perfect example of an active guitarist/composer whose works are frequently performed in guitar recitals and yet very little discussion has been provided attempting to gain a deeper understanding of his compositional language. The purpose of this study is to two-fold: first, to show that Fantasia Carioca (1994) is a very carefully organized work and includes an intricate network of thematic material developed through a spectrum of intervallic gestures, of which all derive from the main theme of the piece; second, to provide a deeper insight into the compositional language of Sérgio Assad through a demonstration of different compositional procedures to which the composer resorts. This one-movement piece reveals a high level of organization present in Sérgio Assad's style. The entire thematic material is carefully derived from the main theme. Each thematic unit shows a set of predetermined characteristics that allow these units to react to particular textures and situations. The thematic organization is interwoven with important intervallic gestures and relationships, which lead the development of the thematic material. The insight into the applied techniques and structural elements provides a highly beneficial pool of information for anybody who decides to perform this piece. The offered arguments also serve as a good starting point for further analytical approaches and examinations of the growing oeuvre of Assad's classical guitar music.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Abdihodži?, Armin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modest Musorgsky's Early Songs: Uncommon Lyricisms Within a Simple Framework

Description: Modest Musorgsky is considered a composer of masterful vocal, symphonic, and piano works. His songs and song cycles distinguish themselves as evocative of the broad spectrum of Russian experience. However, Musorgsky's early songs have not received as much attention as his larger works, such as Boris Godunov or Pictures at an Exhibition. Musorgsky's early songs, from 1857-1867, show the composer's affinity for lyrical expression, be it brightly melodious, impassioned, or within a comical or satirical vein. He portrays Russian life through a mixture of different genres such as the Russian romance, the ballad, the operatic aria, and also vaudeville. This study focuses on Musorgsky's choice of texts, his penning of several of them, and the way he incorporates them within each song.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Gunter, Sheila
Partner: UNT Libraries

Haiku Seasons

Description: Haiku Seasons is a choral work that uses several haiku to portray moments in nature. Spread throughout the performance space, four choirs (SATB, 3/part) depict larger parts of the pastoral scene (i.e., mountains, the moon, etc.). Soloists depart from the choirs in order to perform solo, duo, trio, and quartet passages, which take place throughout the work. If enough singers are available, individual soloists may be used. The soloist groups display the more intimate moments of the scenes (i.e., sparrows, a blade of grass, etc.). The intent of Haiku Seasons is to create an image of nature isolated from human interaction. Thus, the image is a pastoral setting with many independent parts all coexisting in a relatively silent world. I combine aspects of tonality, time, space, and silence to create this image.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Smith, Steven Lyle
Partner: UNT Libraries

Three Voices for voices, woodwind, percussion, and string instruments

Description: Composed for soprano, tenor, and baritone voices, woodwind, percussion, and string instruments, Three Voices is a polyglotic work that includes German, Chinese, and Spanish texts. The texts are chosen from Brecht Bertolt's Das Schiff, Po Chu I's Lang T'ao Sha, and Frederico Garcia Lorcá's Mar. Significant features of the piece are 1) application of Chinese operatic singing methods to vocal material in the sections that use Chinese text, 2) use of western instruments to emulate the sound of certain Chinese instruments, and 3) employment of Sprechstimme and dramatically inflected speech to create theatrical effects and highlight the sections that use German and Spanish texts.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Wu, Man-Mei
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ran, Shulamit: Concerto da Camera II, Analysis of Pitch and Formal Structure

Description: The thesis speculates upon the three movements of Concerto da Camera II (1987), scored for Bb clarinet, string quartet and piano) in these four aspects: 1) the formal structure, 2) the manipulation of the notes of whole-tone, octatonic, and chromatic scales in octave displacement, 3) the potential combination of subsets that present different levels of pitch transformation in melodic and harmonic structure, and 4) the usage of intervals of minor seconds, tritones, and perfect fourths or fifths which dominates the linear writing. All of these features demonstrate that the music has strong structural elements in form, motives, and sonorities, which unify the piece in an aurally coherent style as an organic whole. This study should provide more insight into the understanding of Ran's unique compositional technique and style.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Lin, Sheng
Partner: UNT Libraries

Keyboard Innovation: Harry Partch's Contributions

Description: "Harry Partch's Keyboard Innovation" is a computer-assisted demonstration that introduces the tuning system used primarily by the twentieth-century American composer, Harry Partch. The multimedia product was developed in Director 6.0, and it includes sound and video clips from CDs and videocassettes of Partch's works produced by Phillip Blackburn and distributed by the American Composers Forum. The content of the demonstration involves a 43-tone microtonal tuning system and its application in the music literature. This demonstration will discuss the chronological order in which these prototypes were developed and also includes samples of the tuning of notes in Partch's scale that the novice can experiment with interactively. These tones were synthesized using the Csound scores shown in Appendix B. Materials for this demonstration are based on Harry Partch's Genesis of a Music.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Koh,Wee Lay
Partner: UNT Libraries

Images of Remembered Earth

Description: Images of Remembered Earth is a musical composition scored for full orchestra. The composition was inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe's painting, Light Coming on the Plains I (1917), which depicts a sunrise over a flat and empty landscape. In the painting, the expanse of the sun's rays is expressed through an even-blended transformation of color from goldish-blue at the light's source to progressively darker shades of blue near the edges of the canvas. The progression of color is interrupted by thin gold bands which sectionalize the sunrise into seven concentric arches. The construction of the musical composition derives musical materials directly from elements found within O'Keeffe's painting, specifically the shaping of structure, expansion, and color in arch patterns. Arch patterns, an integral element in O'Keeffe's painting, govern elements in the musical composition, including pitch selection, the overall tempo scheme, rhythmic activity, and formal shape. Pitch materials are expansive by design; this expansive quality is exhibited through the employment of wedge-shaped musical ideas and through the utilization of higher and lower registers. O'Keeffe's use of color in the painting influenced the orchestration of the music and is manifested in two ways: 1) gradual transformation of timbral colors and 2) the juxtaposition of contrasting instrumental groupings.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Floyd, James Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Young-Jo Lee's Variations on the theme of Baugogae: In search of his own language, a lecture recital, together with three recitals of selected works of J. Haydn, S. Rachmaninoff, R. Schumann, O. Messiaen, and F. Liszt

Description: The objective of the dissertation is to examine Young-Jo Lee's (b. 1943) musical language as exhibited in his piano composition, Variations on the theme of Baugogae. Subjects of discussion include Lee's use of direct and indirect musical borrowings from past European composers and traditional Korean folk idioms. Also included are a biographical sketch of the composer and historical overview of modern Korean composers. This dissertation investigates Lee's effort to synthesize traditional Korean music and Western music in one art form and ultimately, to create his own musical language.
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Date: May 2000
Creator: Kwon, Suk-Rahn
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Composition Process of Bartók's Eight Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Op. 20

Description: This is a study of Bartók's compositional process as it relates to the Improvisations, Op. 20. The study, which focuses on the analysis of the draft manuscript 50PS1, compares the draft and other relevant sources with the final composition. Bartók's framework for the entire Improvisations is based on a compositional strategy of pairing individual improvisations combined with systematic revision of the draft copy by the introduction of tritones as tonal equivalents and movement by fifths from semitones, to achieve structural coherence in the individual improvisations. The tonic-dominant relationship is used to rearrange the individual improvisations in the draft and tritones as tonal equivalents are used to propel the movement between the improvisations to produce a coherent whole.
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Date: May 2000
Creator: Kochbeck, Olivia M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Chaconne Bass as a Musical Topos in Mozart's Fantasia Music

Description: This thesis provides evidence that a particular "topos" from the high Baroque's exalted style, the so-called chaconne bass, made a profound impact on a considerable body of Mozart's compositions from the last ten years of his life in Vienna. After identifying the topos in the first chapter, a detailed study in chapter two shows how Mozart's faith in the extraordinary emotional power carried by this topos was enough for him to work it into all of the completed keyboard fantasias. Chapter three illustrates that an understanding of the chaconne bass and its unmistakable association with the fantasia style can shed new light on three of Mozart's most enigmatic compositions from his final period, K. 465, K. 491, and K. 527.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Spicer, Mark Stuart
Partner: UNT Libraries

Jacques Ibert: an Analytical Study of Three Movements From Histoires

Description: Although many biographical studies are available on Jacques Ibert, few contain significant analytical commentary. In this study I examine three movements from Ibert’s Histoires for piano which was composed between 1920 and 1921 and was premiered in 1923. The three movements are “La menuese de tortues d’or,” “Le petit âne blanc,” and “La marchande d’eau fraîche.” I primarily use Schenkerian analysis to identify characteristics of Ibert’s compositional language. Significant aspects of impressionism and Debussian influence are also identified as related elements to my analysis. Many expected elements of Schenkerian theory are absent in Histoires. The conclusions of this study are consistent with those of other analysts who apply Schenkerian methodology to impressionist music such as Richard Parks, Adele Katz, Felix Salzer, and Edward Laufer.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Waldroup, William Allan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Toward a Descriptive Eidetics of Atonality: a Phenomenological Analysis of Webern Op 3, No 1

Description: David Lewin, in his 1986 article “Music Theory, Phenomenology, and Modes of Perception,” offers a promising methodological approach for the analysis of tonal music from a phenomenological perspective. Lewin’s phenomenological method has a propensity to render seemingly contradictory readings in such a way that their respective validities can be preserved by articulating them within differentiated contexts. Expanding upon Lewin’s phenomenological work with analyzing tonal music, I propose that a phenomenological investigation of an atonal song, Webern op. 3, no. 1, from within a variety of differentiated contexts can shed light upon what it means to perceive a piece of music as being “not in a key.” This thesis will open with an introduction to Lewin’s phenomenological work and the writings of Edmund Husserl and Izchak Miller that Lewin used as a point of departure. The analysis of Webern op. 3, no. 1, that follows will regard the voice and piano parts as differentiated musical contexts in order to investigate the interaction between these contexts as they generally undermine the perception of tonality in the song. Finally, the notion of a “musical context” as an organizing factor of musical perception will be expanded to include the different analytical approaches of Olli Väisälä and Elmar Budde as they interact to reveal contrasting aspects of the song’s multivalent structure.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Schnitzius, Michael P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

General Process in the Creation of Estruendos and Principal Structural Elements of the Composition

Description: My composition, Estruendos, is a work for large symphonic orchestra, guitar and computer-generated and processed sounds on CD. The work lasts 23 minutes and 45 seconds. My dissertation is composed of two parts: Part One comprises the analysis and Part Two comprises the score. Part One gives a brief background of my compositional dialect and aesthetics. It also includes a discussion of the compositional process and general overview of Estruendos. In addition, it illustrates the primary role the placement of sonic events in time and timbral structure play in the pathos of Estruendos.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Cuellar Camargo, Lucio Edilberto
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Reflection

Description: 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.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Wu, Yuk Yee
Partner: UNT Libraries

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)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psalm 23

Description: Psalm 23 is a sacred work in four movements, written for women's chorus (SSAA), a tenor solo and a chamber ensemble consisting of flute, oboe, trumpet, percussion, timpani, and string quartet. It is designed to be performed as a portion of a church service or in concert. The text, Psalm 23 from the Bible is sung in Chinese, and the verses of the Psalm are arranged as follows: Movement 1, Verse 1, General musical characteristics: pastoral; Movement 2, Verses 2-3, General musical characteristics: peaceful; Movement 3, Verses 4-5, General musical characteristics: agitated; Movement 4, Verse 6, General musical characteristics: majestic. The form, tonal structure and harmony of each movement are influenced by the characteristics of an original synthetic scale.
Date: December 1985
Creator: Man, Stanlas Ping Kwan
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study Of Lu-Pitch Name Signification: A Translation with Commentary

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to provide translation of documents on lu from two primary sources for a study of the theory of ,lu, with the main focus on the interpretation and the signification attached to each of the twelve lu-pitch names. To establish the background information of the lu-10 system, an explanation of its acoustical properties is first presented. Based on the most important and widely used tonal system in ancient China -- the san-fen-sun-i system, the illustration is provided for the process of tone generation. Methods proposed by the main theorists who engaged in the discussion of the system of lu are presented. The introduction of the concept of yin and yang in reference to the twelve lu and the signification of the lu-lu system in relation to the human and natural world will also be discussed. The main body of this study is devoted to the translation of written references on the meaning of the twelve lu. The first part is the translation of the selected passages from The Anthology of the Historical Document of Ancient Chinese Music. edited by Tsai-Ping Liang; the second part is the translation of a modern exegesis from an article written by Deh-I Liu. This translation offers a perspective to understand the concept of l-pitch names from the ancient points of view in relation to philosophy, education, religion, and science.
Date: December 1986
Creator: Tung, Anne An-Yi Lin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Lawrence Weiner's Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra: Analysis and Performance Considerations

Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to provide an introduction to the composer, Lawrence Weiner, and to his Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, one of the many neglected guitar concerti that merits closer study and more frequent performances. Weiner, a prolific and prominent composer in the South Texas region, composed the concerto in 1986. The concerto was never published. This dissertation is the first attempt to study Weiner's Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra to date. This study provides insight into the compositional style of Weiner, and the understanding and performing of this work. The compositional language of this concerto is examined through an analysis of the aspects of form, harmonic/tonal scheme and thematic development. A performance edition and suggestions that are approved by the composer are also presented.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Tan, Wann-Dar
Partner: UNT Libraries

Three Ideas, a Collection of Three One-Act (Musical) Plays for Mixed Ensemble

Description: Three Ideas is a collection of three one-act (musical) plays intended to be performed either as a series or as separate pieces. In order for them to be performable in either of those ways, they need some sort of unifying fabric running throughout the collection, yet they must remain individually strong enough to stand alone outside the context of the series and still seem complete. The concepts Tonal and Nagual, Bell's Theorem, and Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind were chosen because of their theatrical possibilities as well as their philosophical implications. All three of the concepts deal with an unknown, or at least unseen, force that has a strong influence (possibly control) over our actions and the actions of objects around us. This force could possibly radiate from within ourselves, or it could be completely outside us.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Chapman, Davis Howard
Partner: UNT Libraries