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"The Wider View": Engaging a New Generation of Singers through African-American Art Song

Description: Through studying the poetry and its context, the lives of the poets and composers, and the musical choices which emerged from these combined influences, students of the "Millennial" generation may experience a deeper connection to art song and its role in defining and reflecting national character. Not yet a part of the traditional canon of American art song, the songs of African-American composers are of particular value in this regard, offering teachers, students, and recitalists less frequently-performed repertoire to explore. Representing a broad spectrum of literary and cultural influences, these songs are just as diverse, multi-faceted, and full of variety as any other body of art song repertoire and richly contribute to the past and present life of the genre. Going beyond the music and the words can only reinforce the study of technique and enrich the studio experience, while at the same time providing a multicultural learning environment which more accurately reflects the America in which these same students will become the singers and voice teachers of tomorrow.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Ciobanu, Jennifer Odom
Partner: UNT Libraries

“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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Iron Sharpens Iron: Duets for Two Women in the Teaching/instruction of Undergraduate Women

Description: Duet literature remains largely untapped as a pedagogical tool in the undergraduate voice studio. This dissertation examines the ways in which eight duets for female voices, although not written primarily for pedagogical use, may be used to teach four main areas of voice technique: intonation, vocal agility, legato singing, and dramatic skills. Duets are chosen primarily from the standard repertoire and are in English, German, French, Italian and Latin. The compositional styles range from the Baroque period through the 20th century. Genres include art song, oratorio, and opera. Each chapter focuses on one of the four vocal skills listed above, and includes examinations of two duets whose vocal writing (rhythm, tessitura, intervals, tempi, and text) make them appropriate candidates for pedagogical use in the improvement of that specific skill. Both male and female teachers of singing may utilize this project as a practical resource and model in how to use other duets, including those for other voice types, for similar purposes in their teaching studio. This project also demonstrates how the experience of singing duets helps students develop ensemble singing as they listen and respond to each other. Finally, this project offers voice teachers an additional pedagogical tool to help each student improve select skills, resulting in a more confident performer.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Backlin, Laurissa
Partner: UNT Libraries

Holocaust Song Literature: Expressing the Human Experiences and Emotions of the Holocaust through Song Literature, Focusing on Song Literature of Hirsh Glick, Mordechai Gebirtig, and Simon Sargon

Description: During the years of the Holocaust, song literature was needed to fulfill the unique needs of people caught in an unimaginable nightmare. The twelve years between 1933 and 1945 were filled with a brutal display of man's inhumanity to man. Despite the horrific conditions or perhaps because of them, the Jewish people made music, and in particular, they sang. Whether built on a new or an old melody, the Holocaust song literature continues to speak to those of us who are willing to listen. This body of work tells the world that these people lived, suffered, longed for vengeance, loved, dreamed, prayed, and tragically, died. This repertoire of songs is part of the legacy, the very soul of the Jewish people. This study contains a brief look at the historical circumstances, and through the song literature of Hirsh Glick, Mordechai Gebirtig and Simon Sargon, life within the ghetto, the concentration camp, the decisions families had to make, the choices to fight back against incredible odds, the place of faith within this nightmare, and a look at the lives and works of the composers themselves.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Nedvin, Brian
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Do You Remember?": Remembering Gay Victims of the Holocaust Through Jake Heggie's Theater Piece, For a Look or a Touch

Description: American composer Jake Heggie's For a Look or a Touch exists as the only classical music work of remembrance based on the topic of remembering homosexual victims of the Holocaust. The composer, after being approached by Mina Miller, wrote this 2007 composition as part of the Music of Remembrance concert series. The music of this work varies in style from a blazing swing dance to a haunting vocalise on "oo." Gene Scheer created the text, delivered in the work by the characters Manfred Lewin and Gad Beck, as a compilation of many influential stories from the documentary film Paragraph 175. For a Look or a Touch chronicles the horrendous treatment of homosexuals before, during, and after World War II. Chapters include an introduction to homosexual persecution during Hitler's reign, a look at current works of remembrance and how For a Look or a Touch came to fruition, an explanation of the texts created by Gene Scheer, a discussion on Jake Heggie's musical setting of this text, and avenues for possible future research. Appendices include text of the German anti-sodomy laws as written in Paragraph 175, the mission statement for the organization Music of Remembrance, transcripts from personal interviews with both Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, correspondence with Heggie, and the source delineation of Gene Scheer's text.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Rinaldi, Joseph Warren
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of National Styles on the Compositions of Pauline Viardot

Description: Unlike other song composers of the 19th century, Pauline Viardot wrote in many languages and national styles. Her songs, "Haï Luli!," "In der Frühe," "Morirò," "La nuit monte/ Già la notte," "Canción de la Infanta," "Юноша и дьва," "Le Rêve de Jésus," are examples of Viardot's ability to compose in many languages and national styles.
Date: May 2009
Creator: McCormack, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries

Luigi Rossi: Early Baroque Italian Cantatas for the Modern Singer, with Modern Editions of Selected Works

Description: The early baroque songs, or cantatas, of Luigi Rossi (1597-1653) are largely absent from the canon of standard Italian vocal repertory utilized by young singers and voice teachers today. In this document Rossi’s composition style is considered, along with modern edition trends, within the emerging genre of Italian early baroque song. Several of Luigi Rossi’s vocal works — chosen for their simplicity, brevity, dramatic content, and suitability for a young singer — are presented in modern transcriptions for voice and piano. The following document lays the groundwork for the inclusion of Luigi Rossi’s songs in the modern canon of Italian vocal music. Part I provides an introduction to Luigi Rossi and the considerations involved in creating modern editions of early baroque solo vocal music. In Chapter 1, Rossi’s patronage and compositional output are considered along with the reception and dissemination of his works in Italy and France. Chapter 2 of this study explores the historical context and lasting influence of Parisotti’s Arie Antiche, the larger collection from which the ubiquitous Schirmer edition, Twenty-four Italian Songs and Arias of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, is drawn. One well-known song that appears in the Schirmer edition is Giulio Caccini’s Amarilli, mia bella. In an effort to illustrate trends in modern editions and performance practice, this song is traced from its first appearance in 1602 through representations in modern anthologies. Chapter 3 considers the practical concerns of modern editors of baroque vocal music – such as performance practice applications, ornamentation, and pedagogical considerations – with respect to the cantatas of Luigi Rossi. Chapter 4 discusses the three cantatas by Luigi Rossi that are presented in Part II as performance editions.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Griffiths, Sarah Abigail
Partner: UNT Libraries

Uniting Commedia Dell’arte Traditions with the Spieltenor Repertoire

Description: Sixteenth century commedia dell’arte actors relied on gaudy costumes, physical humor and improvisation to entertain audiences. the Spieltenor in the modern operatic repertoire has a similar comedic role. Would today’s Spieltenor benefit from consulting the commedia dell’arte’s traditions? to answer this question, I examine the commedia dell’arte’s history, stock characters and performance traditions of early troupes. the Spieltenor is discussed in terms of vocal pedagogy and the fach system. I reference critical studies of the commedia dell’arte, sources on improvisatory acting, articles on theatrical masks and costuming, the commedia dell’arte as depicted by visual artists, commedia dell’arte techniques of movement, stances and postures. in addition, I cite vocal pedagogy articles, operatic repertoire and sources on the fach system. My findings suggest that a valid relationship exists between the commedia dell’arte stock characters and the Spieltenor roles in the operatic repertoire. I present five case studies, pairing five stock characters with five Spieltenor roles. Suggestions are provided to enhance the visual, physical and dramatic elements of each role’s performance. I conclude that linking a commedia dell’arte stock character to any Spieltenor role on the basis of shared traits offers an untapped resource to create distinctive characterizations based on theatrical traditions.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Trahan, Corey
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reviewing Commercial Music Resources: a Guide for Aspiring Singers and Vocal Professionals

Description: Contemporary commercial music is a broad label used to describe the styles of popular music including pop, rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, hip-hop, country and heavy metal. the vocal ability required for each of these genres varies greatly but may require the use of screaming, belting, utilizing vocal fry and growling or singing with a breathy or dark tone. Singers who wish to perform in these genres may need assistance with vocal technique to assure the longevity and the quality of their singing. Due to the rise in popularity and the accessibility of contemporary commercial music (CCM), commercial pedagogical guides and self-study manuals are abundantly available for purchase. Aspiring singers are searching for appropriate training for this genre without having an awareness of how the voice works and how to maintain good vocal hygiene. Those who seek out private instruction are often frustrated when traditional classical training techniques are offered, rather than techniques utilizing CCM styles. Because CCM pedagogy is relatively new and few pedagogues in this specialized field are well known, the self-taught singer is responsible for finding a reliable study source. Many vocal instructors and choral directors are interested in familiarizing themselves with new stylistic techniques to enhance the performance of their students while maintaining vocal health. By reviewing popular vocal method books and techniques, insight may be given to assist a singer or vocal teacher in selecting resources of CCM styles.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Hanlon, Susan Christina
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Natural Learning Process and Its Implications for Trombone Pedagogy

Description: This thesis considers the natural learning process as defined by Timothy Gallwey and Daniel Kohut. This learning theory is examined and applied to trombone pedagogy while also considering physiological attributes to trombone performance. a brief synopsis of the history and lineage of the trombone is considered in order to understand the current setting of the trombone medium.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Reider, Shane Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Introduction to the AIDS Quilt Songbook and Its Uncollected Works

Description: The AIDS Quilt Songbook was a musical response to the shame surrounding the outbreak of the HIV virus and was one of the first art song publications to deal with the topic of HIV and AIDS. This DMA thesis documents the significance and history of the AIDS Quilt Songbook, traces the progression of the project up until December 1, 2008, and documents the work, experiences, and words of the composers who have been inspired to contribute to the AIDS Quilt Songbook Project. In 1981, the medical and popular press reported the first cases of a quickly spreading virus among homosexual males. This virus is currently diagnosed as HIV and AIDS. Lack of funding consumed the early years of what grew to become a national pandemic. The artistic community was one of the major catalysts for funding and education. Cleave Jones and other gay rights activists developed the NAMES Project as a memoriam for those lost to the pandemic. The AIDS Quilt Songbook was created to parallel the AIDS Quilt as "a never-ending work whose meaning and spirit is renewed and redefined with every addition." This concept of additions has continued the expansion of the AIDS Quilt Songbook Project from 1993 to the additions premiered on December 1, 2008 (World AIDS Day) at The Court Theater in Chicago, Illinois, entitled the "Chicago AIDS Quilt Songbook: A Benefit for Season of Concern." The AIDS Quilt Songbook project has sixty-seven documented additions, but only eighteen of the sixty-seven additions are collected. This thesis examines the events, compositions and experiences of the composers: Chris DeBlasio, Ricky Ian Gordon, Daniel Kallman, Cary John Franklin, and Evan Kuchar, who submitted compositions to the AIDS Quilt Songbook between 1991 and 2008. The compositions examined are: Walt Whitman in 1989 by DeBlasio, I Never Knew by Gordon, When ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Seesholtz, John Clayton
Partner: UNT Libraries

Music of the Spheres: Astronomy and Shamanism in the Music of Urmas Sisask

Description: In 1619, Johannes Kepler published his magnum opus Harmonices mundi in which the astronomer derived distinct pitches and scales for each known planet in the solar system from calculations of various aspects of their orbital motions. This was the first theoretical realization of the ancient tradition of musica universalis (also called musica mundana), or music of the celestial bodies. It was not until the Estonian composer Urmas Sisask (b. 1960) began his compositional career by deriving his own “planetary scale,” however, that the theoretical musica universalis came into audible existence. Sisask’s work represents a distinctive musical voice among today’s choral composers, and although he is steadily gaining attention for his unique compositional style, only limited information exists about the specifics of his background, his interest in astronomy and shamanism, and the subsequent influence these interests have had on his choral music. At once traditional and modern, he bridges the gap between ancient Estonian folk song and the present. Through an application of exotic techniques including extreme repetition, ritualistically driving rhythms and sudden changes in timbre and texture; coupled with his own peculiarly crafted “planetary scale,” Urmas Sisask has created a completely unique body of work which is examined in this study by looking at representative works from his choral oeuvre including Gloria Patri…24 hymns for mixed choir, Magnificat, Ave Sol, and Benedictio.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Edmonds, David Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Vocal Pedagogy of Frederic Woodman Root

Description: Frederic Woodman Root was a vocal pedagogue and writer of the late nineteenth century. He wrote over eighteen books on vocal pedagogy, and numerous articles on singing. Since his death, most of his works have fallen into obscurity. The purpose of this document was to codify the vocal pedagogy of Frederic Woodman Root, discussing his particularly thorough methodology, and to bring his methods back into the public eye. His method is broken down into the various components of basic musicianship, the General Principle, the Three Vowel Forms, registers, breathing, and agility. Examples from Root's exercises are included and discussed.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Grogan, David Christopher
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Approach to the Critical Evaluation of Settings of the Poetry of Walt Whitman: Lowell Liebermann's Symphony No. 2

Description: Walt Whitman's poetry continues to inspire composers of choral music, and the growing collection of musical settings necessitates development of a standard evaluative tool. Critical evaluation of the musical settings of Whitman's work is difficult because the extensive body of verse is complex and of uneven quality, and lack of common text among compositions makes comparison problematical. The diversity of musical styles involved further complicates the issue. Previous studies have focused on either ideology or style, but none have united the two critical approaches, thus restricting potential for deeper understanding of the music. This study proposes an approach to critical evaluation of Whitman settings that applies hermeneutics, or a blend of analysis and criticism, to the process. The hermeneutic approach includes an examination of the interrelationship between musical form and style and the composer's ideology, which is revealed through his/her treatment of Whitman's poetry and analyzed in light of cultural influences. Lowell Liebermann (b. 1961) has composed a large scale choral/orchestral setting of Whitman texts in his Symphony No. 2, opus 67 (1999). The selection, placement, and treatment of poetry in Symphony No. 2 provide a window into the composer's mind and his place in the current musical climate. Liebermann's setting reveals his interest in Whitman's search for spirituality and the human spirit's transcendence over time and space. His understanding of Whitman is filtered through a postmodern cynicism, which he seeks to remedy with his nostalgic neo-Romantic style. Chapter One provides an introduction to Whitman's life and examination of his poetry's themes, style, and reception. Chapter Two outlines issues relevant to criticism of Whitman settings and proposes an approach to critical analysis. Chapter Three applies the critical method to Liebermann's Second Symphony, drawing conclusions about its place in contemporary culture.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Kenaston, Karen S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Practical Approach to Donald Martino's Twelve-Tone Song Cycles: Three Songs and Two Rilke Songs, for Performance

Description: The performance of vocal works using the twelve-tone technique requires thorough study of complex rhythms, non-tonal melodies, non-traditional notations, and specific musical terms. They generally also require advanced and varied vocal techniques. Twelve-tone vocal works often contain unusual features vital to the composer's intention. One of the premiere twelve-tone composers in the United States, Donald Martino (1931-2005) composed only two solo vocal works using the twelve-tone technique: Three Songs (1955) and Two Rilke Songs (1961). He has explored innovative and progressive uses of the twelve-tone technique, and composed music with particular methods of his own, later used by other composers. Three Songs, his first twelve-tone work, and Two Rilke Songs, the only twelve-tone song cycle in his mature style, present comparable features in his use of the twelve-tone technique, text setting, and notations. The variety of ways in which Martino uses these features in the song cycles is discussed in the performance guide. The intention of the present study is to help performers, especially singers, understand Donald Martino's two twelve-tone song cycles, and to aid in the preparation of an excellent performance. The study includes a study of historical context, the poems, and Martino's compositional and aesthetic approaches to setting them. It also offers practical and systemized ways of analyzing and preparing Martino's songs for performance. It is hoped that the methods suggested herein will reduce a singer's difficulties and rehearsal time with the pianist. The present study will offer a valuable addition to the literature on the performance practice of twelve-tone vocal music, and provide insight and advice on how to practice and perform other non-tonal music. This method of study may be applied to other contemporary music. Doing so can in turn help develop a singer's skill in handling tonal and rhythmic difficulties of all kinds, including non-traditional ...
Date: May 2011
Creator: Yang, Yoon Joo.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Criticism of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics

Description: Critics who discuss Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony often write about aspects that run counter to their conception of what a symphony should be, such as this symphony’s static nature and its programmatic elements. In nineteenth-century Boston and London, criticism of the Pastoral Symphony reflects the opinions of a wide range of listeners, as critics variably adopted the views of the intellectual elite and general audience members. As a group, these critics acted as intermediaries between various realms of opinion regarding this piece. Their writing serves as a lens through which we can observe audiences’ acceptance of ideas common in contemporaneous musical thought, including the integrity of the artwork, the glorification of genius, and ideas about meaning in music.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Cooper, Amy Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Form and Lyricism as Elements of Neo-Romanticism in Summer Music Op. 31 by Samuel Barber (1957) with three recitals of selected works by Bach, Mozart, Hindemith, Handel, Gaubert, and others

Description: The music of Samuel Barber is well known in the vocal, piano, and string literature; however, little of his chamber music involves woodwinds, and in particular, only one work involves the woodwind quintet. Summer Music, originally commissioned as a septet, developed after the premiere of the work into the woodwind quintet version, with the assistance of the New York Woodwind Quintet. Barber is considered a contemporary .romantic. composer, evidenced through his use of lyricism. Summer Music, a standard in the woodwind quintet literature, should be included in every professional flutist's repertoire. The intent of this dissertation is to consider Barber's use of lyricism as a determinant of the form of Summer Music, as well as to compare the differences between the manuscript and the published edition.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Grosklos, Hollie Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries