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The Contemporary Bassoonist: Music for Interactive Electroacoustics and Bassoon

Description: As the bassoon has evolved over time, the music written for the instrument has evolved around it, and was many times the catalyst for its evolution. Bassoon music of the seventeenth through early twentieth centuries has defined much of the curricula for bassoon studies, and has established how we consider and experience the bassoon. We experience, write, and consume music in vastly different ways than just a generation ago. Humans use technology for the most basic of tasks. Composers are using the technology of our generation to compose music that is a reflection of our time. This is a significant aspect of art music today, and bassoonists are barely participating in the creation of this new repertoire. Performance practice often considers only the musical score; interactive electronic music regularly goes beyond that. The combination of technological challenges and inexperience can make approaching electroacoustic music a daunting and inaccessible type of music for bassoonists. These issues require a different language to the performance practice: one that addresses music, amplification, computer software, hardware, the collaboration between performer and technology, and often the performer and composer. The author discusses problems that performers face when rehearsing and performing interactive electroacoustic works for bassoon, and offers some solutions.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Masone, Jolene Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Sound-Poetry of the Instability of Reality: Mimesis in Music, Literature, and Visual Art

Description: This paper uses the concept of mimesis to clarify the debate concerning the representation of reality in music. Specifically, this study defines the audio reality effect and the three main practices of realism as a way of understanding mimetic practices in multiple artistic media, in particular regarding the multimedia works of the "Landscape series." After addressing the historical debates concerning mimesis, this study develops a framework for the understanding of mimesis in sound by addressing the writings of Weiss, Baudrillard, Barthes, Deleuze, and Prendergast and by examining mimetic practices in 19th-century European painting and multimedia performance works. The audio reality effect is proposed as a meaningful translation of Roland Barthes' literary reality effect to the sonic realm. The main trends of realist practice are applied to electroacoustic music and soundscape composition using the works and writings of Emmerson, Truax, Wishart, Risset, Riddell, Smalley, Murray Schafer, Fischman, Young, and Field. Lastly, this study mimetically analyzes "2 seconds / b minor / wave" by Michael Pisaro and Taku Sugimoto and the works of the "Landscape series" in order to demonstrate the relevance of mimesis for understanding current musical practice.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Underriner, Charles Francis
Partner: UNT Libraries

Orchestra Bells as a Chamber and Solo Instrument: A Survey of Works by Steve Reich, Morton Feldman, Franco Donatoni, Robert Morris, Marta Ptaszyńska, Will Ogdon, Stuart Saunders Smith, Lafayette Gilchrist and Roscoe Mitchell

Description: This dissertation considers the use of orchestra bells as a solo instrument. I use three examples taken from chamber literature (Drumming by Steve Reich, Why Patterns? by Morton Feldman, and Ave by Franco Donatoni) to demonstrate uses of the instrument in an ensemble setting. I use six solo, unaccompanied orchestra bell pieces (Twelve Bell Canons by Robert Morris, Katarynka by Marta Ptaszyńska, Over by Stuart Saunders Smith, A Little Suite and an Encore Tango by Will Ogdon, Breaks Through by Lafayette Gilchrist, and Bells for New Orleans by Roscoe Mitchell) to illustrate the instrument’s expressive, communicative ability. In the discussion of each piece, I include brief background information, the composer’s musical language in the piece and performance considerations. I interviewed composers of these solo works to complete the research for this document to discuss their musical language and their thoughts on writing for solo orchestra bells.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Douglass, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Description: This dissertation explores the analysis and creation of compositions from the standpoint of texture and momentum. It is comprised of four chapters. The first presents a number of concepts as tools for analysis, including textural typography and transformation, perception of time and psychological engagement of an audience, and respiration as a metaphor for musical momentum. The second and third chapters apply these tools to Gerard Grisey's "Periodes" and "Partiels," and Brian Ferneyhough's "Lemma-Icon-Epigram." The fourth explores specific methodologies used in composing my dissertation piece, "Phase," including the application of number systems ranging from formal to local levels.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Robin, Bradley G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Two Piano Editions of the Third and Fifth Movements of Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra: Their Textual Fidelity and Technical Accessibility

Description: In the case of Concerto for Orchestra, Béla Bartók transcribed one of his most emblematic orchestral compositions to his own solo instrument, the piano. This transcription's primary function was to suffice for ballet rehearsal accompaniment for the choreography to be introduced alongside a performance of the orchestral work. György Sándor, Bartók's pupil and pianist, prepared the original manuscript for publication. Logan Skelton, pianist-composer, used this published edition as a point of departure for his own piano arrangement of the same work. György Sándor took an editorial approach to the score and followed the manuscript as literally as possible. On the other hand, Logan Skelton treated the same musical material daringly, striving for technical simplicity and a richer orchestral sound. The purpose of this study is to examine and identify the contrasting treatments pertaining to playability, text, and texture in the Bartók-Sándor edition and Skelton arrangement of the two movements, Elegia and Finale, of the Concerto for Orchestra piano arrangement.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Polgar, Eva
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tempered Confetti: Defining Instrumental Collage Music in Tempered Confetti and Venni, Viddi, --

Description: This thesis explores collage music's formal elements in an attempt to better understand its various themes and apply them in a workable format. I explore the work of John Zorn; how time is perceived in acoustic collage music and the concept of "super tempo"; musical quotation and appropriation in acoustic collage music; the definition of acoustic collage music in relation to other acoustic collage works; and musical montages addressing the works of Charles Ives, Lucciano Berio, George Rochberg, and DJ Orange. The last part of this paper discusses the compositional process used in the works Tempered Confetti and Venni, Viddi, – and how all issues of composing acoustic collage music are addressed therein.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Campbell, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

The “Avant-pop” Style of Jacob Ter Veldhuis: Annotated Bibliography of Boombox Pieces with an Analysis of “Pimpin’” for Baritone Saxophone and Boombox

Description: JacobTV has spent over thirty years utilizing his interest in American pop culture as the muse upon which he creates his works. Sources of popular culture including commercials, television evangelists, political speeches, interviews, and urban pop songs have earned him the title of the “Andy Warhol of new music.” His contributions to classical music are significant and include works for solo instruments and voice, chamber ensembles, and large ensembles. This study serves as an annotated bibliography of selected pieces written for saxophone and boombox written by JacobTV. Chapter 2 provides a brief historical background of electronic music and chapter 3 describes JacobTV’s compositional style and vocabulary. The pieces included in the bibliography of chapter 4 are Believer (2006) for baritone saxophone and soundtrack; Billie (2003) for alto saxophone and soundtrack; Buku (2006) for alto saxophone and soundtrack; Garden of Love (2002) for soprano saxophone and soundtrack; Grab It! (1999) for tenor saxophone and soundtrack; May This Bliss Never End (1996) for tenor saxophone, piano, and soundtrack; TaTaTa (1998) for tenor and baritone saxophone and soundtrack; Heartbreakers (1997-98) for saxophone quartet, soundtrack, and video; Jesus Is Coming (2003) for saxophone quartet and soundtrack; Pitch Black (1998) for saxophone quartet and soundtrack; and Take A Wild Guess (2007) for saxophone quartet and soundtrack. In addition, chapter 5 provides a detailed analysis of JacobTV’s composition Pimpin’ and offers further insight into his “avant-pop” compositional style.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Roberts, Sarah L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Virtual Stage": Merging Virtual Reality Technologies and Interactive Audio/Video

Description: Virtual Stage is a project to use Virtual Reality (VR) technology as an audiovisual performance interface. The depth of control, modularity of design, and user immersion aim to solve some of the representational problems in interactive audiovisual art and the control problems in digital musical instruments. Creating feedback between interaction and perception, the VR environment references the viewer's behavioral intuition developed in the real world, facilitating clarity in the understanding of artistic representation. The critical essay discusses of interactive behavior, game mechanics, interface implementations, and technical developments to express the structures and performance possibilities. This discussion uses Virtual Stage as an example with specific aesthetic and technical solutions, but addresses archetypal concerns in interactive audiovisual art. The creative documentation lists the interactive functions present in Virtual Stage as well as code reproductions of selected technical solutions. The included code excerpts document novel approaches to virtual reality implementation and acoustic physical modeling of musical instruments.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Lucas, Stephen L
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fidget, Sway, and Swerve: Three Works Inspired By Movement From the Intricate Maneuvers Series

Description: Intricate Maneuvers is a series of musical works that were composed using movement as a model for compositional processes and forms. This essay presents in-depth analyses of three works from the series; Fidget, Sway: The Mildest Form of Falling, and Swerve for Chamber Ensemble. The analysis of each work highlights correlations between the musical characteristics of that work and the temporal, spatial, contextual, and psychological implications of the motion after which it was modeled. The third chapter also demonstrates the ways in which the creation of Sway was influenced by materials and processes taken from Ruth Crawford's String Quartet 1931. In order to investigate the question of how life experiences can function as models for compositional processes, the essay examines precedents for the compositional modeling of extra-musical ideas and images in the works of Bed?ich Smetana, Elliott Carter and Roger Reynolds. It also discusses approaches to modeling movement in music created for dance. Throughout the Intricate Maneuvers series, movement is modeled not merely to create an association between a musical work and a particular movement pattern, but rather to infuse the compositions with the dynamism that defines a particular kinetic experience.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Summar, Sarah Page
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Marvelous Accidents": The Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra of John Cage

Description: John Cage’s Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1950-51) holds a unique position within the composer’s oeuvre as the first work based in part on chance-derived compositional procedures. Cage entered into such practice gradually, incrementally abandoning subjective taste and personal expression through the course of the work. Drawing from the philosophical framework provided by Cage’s "Lecture on Nothing" (1950) and "Lecture on Something" (c. 1951-52), this thesis explores the aesthetic foundations of the concerto and examines Cage’s compositional methodology throughout its three movements. Special attention is paid to the procedure underlying the first movement, whose analysis is based largely on the composer’s manuscript materials for the work.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Boutwell, Brett N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

'...and one of time.': A Composition for Full Orchestra with Narration

Description: ‘...and one of time.' is a reinterpretation of a small musical moment from Philip Glass' opera, Einstein on the Beach, centered around the phrase "Berne, Switzerland 1905." This reinterpretation is realized through the use of several different compositional techniques including spectral composition, micropolyphony and dodecaphony, as well as the application of extra-musical models developed by Alan Lightman, John Gardner, Italo Calvino and Albert Einstein.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Rinker, John Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hearing History: Musical Borrowing in the Percussion Ensemble Works, Duo Chopinesque and Chameleon Music

Description: Duo Chopinesque by Michael Hennagin and Chameleon Music by Dan Welcher represent two of the most significant percussion ensemble compositions written in the last twenty years. Both works are written for the mostly mallet type of percussion ensemble wherein the keyboard instruments predominate. However, the most unique aspect of these two pieces is their use of musical quotation. Duo Chopinesque borrows Chopin's Prelude in E minor in its entirety, while Chameleon Music borrows portions from four Mozart Sonatas. This paper places each work within the history of the percussion ensemble, and in the larger history of musical quotation in the twentieth century. In addition, the compositional characteristics of both works are examined with particular emphasis on each composer's use of borrowed material from the music of Mozart and Chopin. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between quoted material and newly composed rhythmic motives.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Fulton, Stephen L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Heidegger Collection

Description: The dissertation consists of two parts: (1) the essay and (2) the composition. The essay elucidates the composer's creative process of the orchestral works, The Heidegger Collection. The Heidegger Collection has five movements. The titles of each movement are derived from the key philosophical concepts from Heidegger's most significant writing, Being and Time: (1) State-of-Mind, (2) Idle-Talk, (3) Moment-of-Vision, (4) Dread, and (5) Being-towards-the-End. The essay discusses the meanings of the five concepts, and explains how I express my reaction to Heidegger's thinking through music composition. The essay also discusses the essential musical language of The Heidegger Collection, such as interval cycles, polyrhythmic patterns, algorithmic elements, portamento effects, chaos theory, and oriental influence.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Lin, Tung-Lung
Partner: UNT Libraries

Heart of the Fathers, for Wind Symphony

Description: Heart of the Fathers is a programmatic, seven movement work for wind symphony depicting my ancestors and their role as part of the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The movements represent their spiritual experiences, labors, times of joy, persecution, migration, and finally their arrival and success in their new homeland. The piece is organized in seven movements. Each movement represents a different portion of history leading to the western migration of my ancestors. The programmatic music contains a variety of symbols depicting the experiences of the pioneers. In the paper, each chapter addresses an individual movement. For each movement, the following information is provided: the historical events that inspired the piece, the musical symbols that characterize the program, and an analysis of the function of the music.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Anderson, Stephen Reg
Partner: UNT Libraries

Techniques of Sensual Perception: The Creation of Emotional Pathways

Description: Some artists strive to create artwork that has aesthetic value. If a piece of artwork has the ability to capture the attention of an audience, it must contain strong sensual attributes. Thus, understanding how to design an art form to contain strong sensual attributes may increase the possibility of an aesthetic experience. Since aesthetics is an experience of sensations perceived when in contact with a creative form in any artistic discipline, it is necessary for an artist to understand the nature of the sensual experience. In understanding the sensual experience, artists may be able to create techniques to enhance the aesthetic experience of their work. My video piece, entitled Ararat is a study of methods to enhance the sensual experience. I hope to accomplish this by means of using techniques that optimize an audience's perceptual experience.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Henry, Jon L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reconstructions: Nine Movements for Solo Soprano, Chorus, and Wind Ensemble

Description: Reconstructions is a nine-movement composition for solo soprano, chorus, and wind ensemble using texts from several of Emily Dickinson's poems. The soloist represents the main character in this dramatic work, and the narrative structure portrays abstract moments in this character's life. While the narrative structure of the reconstructed fragments is important to the form of the composition, other elements are also significant. Pitch structures generated from set theoretical systems, in addition to cyclic and palindromic structures are utilized throughout. Timbre also delineates the form, as various combinations of instruments and chorus create an evolving environment in which the soloist resides.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Makela, Steven L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Never Odd Or Even: Using Temporal Structures In Composing Music For Dance

Description: This study engages the collaboration of dance and music, focusing primarily on experiences in the production of a large scale collaborative concert entitled Never Odd or Even. Famous historical collaborations offer archetypal collaborative models, the more unconventional of which are applied to the pieces of the concert. Issues and observations regarding cross-influence, project evolution, and application of the collaborative models are engaged to determine effective means of collaboration given different circumstances. The key focus of the study, the temporal relationship between music and dance, is explored in great detail to determine three models for relating time between music and dance. These temporal relationship models are applied to the pieces and evaluated on effectiveness and potential strengths when applied to dance.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Bernardo, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cultural and Technical Perspectives on Winter Landscape

Description: Winter Landscape is an interactive composition for erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle), flute, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. The total duration of the piece is approximately 15 minutes. Winter Landscape serves to demonstrate one particular approach to exploring the possibilities afforded in an interactive paradigm within a cross-cultural context. The work is intended to convey my personality and identity as a contemporary Chinese composer through diverse cultural and musical influences drawn to this particular piece while creating a balance between traditional and modern sounds. The influences of Chinese philosophy (especially Chán) and the essence of Chinese traditional music play a prominent role as demonstrated in the formation of structures, expressions, and concept of Yun in the work; these influences also play a great role in determining the instrumentation and basic pitch structures of the work. However, this work is equally influenced by techniques and practices of modern Western classical music. These diverse influences hopefully have resulted in a unique work that truly does represent a cross-synthesis of these varying influences. In Winter Landscape, the interaction that takes place between the computer and the live musician is intended to reveal the responsive human/machine relationships. The computer constantly shifts its roles as a musical instrument, conductor, performer, and improviser to facilitate the sonic realization of the solemn, nebulous, and peaceful nature of Chán philosophy, thus exploring the cultural and musical potentials; meanwhile, the design of algorithmic structures simulate the modeling of human performance, enabling the computer with intellectual ability and musical expressivity as a decision-maker, resembling its counterpart-the live performer.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Wang, Jing
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Aesthetic Models and Structural Features in Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band

Description: Concerto for Solo Percussion and Concert Band was commissioned by Staff Sergeant Rone Sparrow, a percussionist with the West Point Military Academy Band. Funding for the project was provided by the Barlow Foundation. The piece was premiered April 13, 2005 in the Eisenhower Hall Theater at West Point, New York. Rone Sparrow performed with the USMA band, and Colonel Thomas Rotondi Jr., Commander/Conductor, conducted the piece. The concerto consists of three movements, and each movement features a different instrument: the first features marimba, the second, vibraphone, and the third movement features the drum kit together with a rhythm section (piano, bass, and drums). In addition to the piece, the dissertation paper discusses important technical detail related to the piece, including: harmony, form, rhythm, programmatic ideas as they relate to motivic strands, and the process of generating and discarding material. The paper also focuses on a number of factors that were influential to the piece, such as postmodern philosophy.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Anderson, Stephen Reg
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

RevealingReveilingReveling

Description: This thesis explores the possibilities of communication in the context of a sound composition. In RevealingReveilingReveling, a series of questions concerning communication posed by John Cage, coupled with an extension of those questions posed by myself, are set to recorded sounds-in-the-world. The intention is to create a greater awareness of that which there is to listen in our world. The first part of this essay discusses influences of philosophical thought during the process of composing RevealingReveilingReveling. Two distinct twentieth-century thinkers that have impacted the creation of this piece and their areas of thought are Martin Heidegger: language and Being; and John Cage: sound, silence, and awareness. The second part of the essay is a structural analysis of the piece, discussing the recording of Cage's questions, sounds-in-the-world, sound-manipulation techniques and thought-processes, as well as periodic mention the aesthetic decisions made.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Colaruotolo, John
Partner: UNT Libraries