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Transient Delete: Original Composition with a Critical Examination of the Compositional Process and a Survey of Digital Technology in Opera

Description: This paper explores various technologies available to the modern composer and utilized in recent modern opera, providing creative approaches to producing aural, visual, and theatrical performance environments. It also explores my own use of digital technology in Transient Delete. Transient Delete is a digital miniature-opera that explores different aspects of a community of post-human cyborgs. The story follows Iméra, a newly converted cyborg as she acclimates herself to this new cybernetic existence. During this process she meets several other cybernetic entities that are there to help guide her through her metamorphosis.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Shirey, Benjamin A
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

Recent Approaches to Real-Time Notation

Description: This paper discusses several compositions that use the computer screen to present music notation to performers. Three of these compositions, Law of Fives (2015), Polytera II (2016), and Terraformation (2016–17), employ strategies that allow the notation to change during the performance of the work as the product of composer-regulated algorithmic generation and performer interaction. New methodologies, implemented using Cycling74's Max software, facilitate performance of these works by allowing effective control of generation and on-screen display of notation; these include an application called VizScore, which delivers notation and conducts through it in real-time, and a development environment for real-time notation using the Bach extensions and graphical overlays around them. These tools support a concept of cartographic composition, in which a composer maps a range of potential behaviors that are mediated by human or algorithmic systems or some combination of the two. Notational variation in performance relies on computer algorithms that can both generate novel ideas and be subject to formal plans designed by the composer. This requires a broader discussion of the underlying algorithms and control mechanisms in the context of algorithmic art in general. Terraformation, for viola and computer, uses a model of the performer's physical actions to constrain the algorithmic generation of musical material displayed in on-screen notation. The resulting action-based on-screen notation system combines common practice notation with fingerboard tablature, color gradients, and abstract graphics. This hybrid model of dynamic notation puts unconventional demands on the performer; implications of this new performance practice are addressed, including behaviors, challenges, and freedoms of real-time notation.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Shafer, Seth N
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

'...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

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

"Monolith: A Piece for Midi Piano, Mixed Sextet, and Fixed Electronics"

Description: Reference to a regular pulse is one of the most common ways of measuring time in music. As the basis for tempo, meter, subdivisions, and even formal symmetry, pulse, or the sonic articulation of regular units of time, is found throughout all levels of music. In this paper, I describe how I used a structure of twelve simultaneous pulses to compose "Monolith," a recent piece for MIDI piano, Pierrot ensemble, and fixed electronics. In the first chapter, I contextualize "Monolith" by briefly examining pulse's relationship to hierarchical structure in music and the possibilities for creativity in pulse-based hierarchical structures. In the second chapter, I analyze the use of pulse in Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians," György Ligeti's "Self-portrait with Reich and Riley (with Chopin in the background), and Conlon Nancarrow's "Study No. 36 for Player Piano." In the third chapter, I describe in detail the relationship between the twelve-pulse structure and the various movements that comprise "Monolith," focusing on the relationship between compositional freedom and prescribed structure throughout the work.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Vaughn, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rete Mirabile: An Installation

Description: Rete Mirabile is my new installation piece combining scientific principles with live computer generated music. The title is a Latin term meaning "Wonderful Net," which I use to refer to the highly convoluted network of biological data that drives my installation. The sonification of data, computer modeling of biological processes, kinetic sculptures, and user interactivity are central parts of the installation. The paper is organized as follows: First, brief history of the forerunners that inspired my work is given. This includes a short discussion on how John Cage and David Tudor influenced current artists works, and how those works have influenced my own work. Then I review current installation works that share similarities with my own. Finally, a detailed discussion and analysis of the construction and function concludes the paper.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Rivera, Philip Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

GranCloud: A real-time granular synthesis application and its implementation in the interactive composition Creo.

Description: GranCloud is new application for the generation of real-time granular synthesis in the SuperCollider programming environment. Although the software was initially programmed for use in the interactive composition Creo, it was implemented as an independent program for use in any computer music project. GranCloud consists of a set of SuperCollider classes representing granular clouds and parameter objects defining control data for the synthesis. The software is very flexible, allowing users to create their own grain synthesis definitions and control parameters. Cloud objects encapsulate all of the control data and methods necessary to render virtually any type of granular synthesis. Parameter objects provide several simple methods for mapping grain parameters to complex changing data sets or to external data sources. GranCloud simplifies the complex task of generating granular synthesis, allowing composers to focus less on technological issues and more on musical considerations during the compositional process.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Lee, Terry Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Fractures for Clarinet and Computer

Description: Fractures for Clarinet and Computer is a piece for live interactive performance using custom software designed in Max/MSP. the work explores musical borrowing and transformation of music from works such as Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and several fragments from synthesizer recordings of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. the dissertation focuses on both the musical aesthetics that informed the creation of the work and the software programming that enables live sampling and harmonization systems as well as flexible control of global parameters.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Dixon, Gregory Hart
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relent: a Composition for Alto Saxophone, Double Bass, Two Percussion, and Interactive Electronics

Description: relent is a sacred work within the genre of interactive electronic music. the 20-minute composition is a multi-movement piece for four instrumentalists (saxophone, double bass, and two percussion) and computer that is inspired by the gospel message. relent is specifically about the gospel message that Christ died for man’s sins, rose from the dead, and through faith in him man can be reconciled to God. This project was an experiment in creating a work with a programmatic extramusical structure. in preparation for writing a piece based on Christian programmatic content, this paper presents an overview of research conducted on the intersection between art and Christianity referencing authors such as Harold Best, Nikolai Berdyaev, Hans Rookmaaker, Calvin Seerveld, Daniel Seidell, A. W. Tozer, Steve Turner, and Cornelius Van Til. This work was an experiment in trying to make very direct and specific musical ties to the narrative of the Gospel. Another highly experimental aspect of relent was in the way interactive electronics were used. Each acoustic instrument in the work has its own input and module within the Max patch, extending each acoustic instrument rather than adding an electronic accompaniment component. Additionally, non-traditional notation, both codified and real-time computer generated, improvisation, theatrical instructions, and a completely computer generated movement makes relent a piece that challenges and pushes the boundaries of current interactive electronic music.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Johansen, Benjamin David
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

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

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Artistic Expression in Music and Poetry

Description: This paper delineates meaningful relationships of passions, emotions, feelings, affections, nuances and aural perceptions of expressions and utterances, for understanding human artistic possibilities historically and contemporarily in the fraternal arts of music and poetry, with reference to sounds, silences, sequences, rhythms, rhymes, repetitions, retards, accelerations, tempos, harmonies, melodies, forms, etc., in four poetic and three musical compositions uniquely created by its author.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Wertz, Charles Bradley
Partner: UNT Libraries

A-Bu-GE: A Composition for Organ and Percussion

Description: Keyphrases describe a document in a coherent and simple way, giving the prospective reader a way to quickly determine whether the document satisfies their information needs. The pervasion of huge amount of information on Web, with only a small amount of documents have keyphrases extracted, there is a definite need to discover automatic keyphrase extraction systems. Typically, a document written by human develops around one or more general concepts or sub-concepts. These concepts or sub-concepts should be structured and semantically related with each other, so that they can form the meaningful representation of a document. Considering the fact, the phrases or concepts in a document are related to each other, a new approach for keyphrase extraction is introduced that exploits the semantic relations in the document. For measuring the semantic relations between concepts or sub-concepts in the document, I present a comprehensive study aimed at using collaboratively constructed semantic resources like Wikipedia and its link structure. In particular, I introduce a graph-based keyphrase extraction system that exploits the semantic relations in the document and features such as term frequency. I evaluated the proposed system using novel measures and the results obtained compare favorably with previously published results on established benchmarks.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Kim, Chol-Ho
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Pattern Oriented Data Structure for Interactive Computer Music

Description: This essay describes a pattern oriented data structure, or PODS, as a system for storing computer music data. It organizes input by sequences or patterns that recur, while extensively interlinking the data. The interlinking process emulates cognitive models, while the pattern processing draws specifically from music cognition. The project aims at creating open source external objects for the Max/MSP software environment. The computer code for this project is in the C and Objective-C computer programming languages.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Lockhart, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries

Babel: a Composition for Rock Band, Soprano Quartet, and Chamber Ensemble—music and Critical Essay

Description: Babel is a work for rock ‘n’ roll band (two electric guitars, electric bass, drum set), four soprano singers, and a twenty-one instrument mixed chamber ensemble. The 50-minute composition is based on the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11:1-9, and the four-movement structure is derived from the form of this narrative. The first movement, “building rebellion,” establishes man’s intent to build a grand city and tower in a rebellion against God, while the second movement, “seeing/coming down,” describes the all-seeing God’s knowledge of man’s rebellion and God’s descent to the city. Movements three and four, “confusion” and “scatter,” depict the actions of God, confusing humankind’s language and scattering him over the earth. This project fuses rock ‘n’ roll influences with contemporary classical improvisation, creating a work that is sonically and dynamically excessive. One compositional goal was to use small amounts of material as the impetus for directed improvisation, which would be developed to create intricate and evolving textures. Each movement’s score is confined to a single page of music per part, necessitating highly graphic and aleatoric notation. The musical history and musicianship of each player greatly shapes the sonic outcome of Babel. Rigorous structure was mixed with extra-musical associations to create intricate layers of musical and metaphorical meanings. Every decision regarding form, pitch, rhythm, and improvisatory state is linked to a meaningful mathematical, philosophical, or theological idea. Out of the intention to illustrate a multi-layered, Biblical text interpreted in vastly different ways, came a complex work of art that challenges, yet welcomes, performers and listeners of all kinds.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Peringer, Patrick Edward
Partner: UNT Libraries

This Creature, Bride of Christ

Description: This Creature, Bride of Christ is a composition for soprano, alto flute, viola, marimba, and computer running custom software for live interactive performance in the Max/MSP environment. The work is a setting of excerpts from The Book of Margery Kempe, an early autobiographical manuscript depicting the life of a Christian mystic. The thesis discusses the historical, sociological, and musical context of the text and its musical setting; the use of borrowed materials from music of John Dunstable, Richard Wagner, and the tradition of change ringing; and the technologies used to realize the computer accompaniment. A score of the work is also included in the appendix.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Bober, Nicholas Bradburn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Present Absence: A work for string quintet and live electronics

Description: Present Absence is a work that integrates electronic processing and live performance. It is approximately 20 minutes long and is divided into three movements. The movements are distinct from each other, but are related through various elements. Incorporating electronic processing and live performance can be cumbersome. The primary objective of this piece is to use electronic processing in a manner that liberates the performers from any restrictions imposed by the use of electronic processing. The electronic processing in the work is accomplished through the program MAX/Msp, a real-time digital signal processing environment. The patch that was created for this piece is called MOO-V. This paper discusses the both the technical details in the construction of this patch, and the aesthetic it serves.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Bell, Jeffrey C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characterizing Noise and Harmonicity: The Structural Function of Contrasting Sonic Components in Electronic Composition

Description: This dissertation examines the role of noise in shaping the form of several recent musical compositions. This study demonstrates how the contrast of noisy sounds and harmonic sounds can impact the structure of compositions. Depending on context, however, the specific use and function of noise can vary substantially from one work to the next. The first portion of this paper describes methods for quantifying noise content using FFT analysis procedures. A number of tests on instrumental and synthetic sound sources are described in order to demonstrate how the analysis system may react to certain sounds. The second part of this document consists of several analyses of whole musical works. Works for acoustic instruments are examined first, followed by works for electronic media. During these analyses, it becomes clear that while the use of noise in each work is based largely upon context, some common patterns do exist across different works. The final portion of the paper examines an original work which was written with the function of noise specifically in mind. The original work is put through the same analysis procedures as works seen earlier in the paper, and some conclusions are drawn regarding both the possibilities and limitations of noise analysis as a compositional tool.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Dribus, John Alexander
Partner: UNT Libraries