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Source-bonding as a Variable in Electroacoustic Composition: Faktura and Acoustics in Understatements

Description: Understatements for two-channel fixed media is a four-movement study of the sonic potential of acoustic instruments within the practice of electroacoustic studio composition. The musical identity of the entire composition is achieved through consistent approaches to disparate instrumental materials and a focused investigation of the relationships between the various acoustic timbres and their electroacoustic treatments. The analytical section of this paper builds on contemporary research in electroacoustic arts. The analysis of the work is preceded by a summary of theoretical and aesthetic approaches within electroacoustic composition and the introduction of primary criteria of sonic faktura (material essence) used in the compositional process. The analyses address the idiosyncratic use of the concept of faktura to contextualize and guide the unfolding of the work. The reconciliation of the illusory electronic textures and the acoustic sources that parented them may be considered the ultimate goal of Understatements.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Rostovtsev, Ilya Y.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Creative Process in Cross-Influential Composition

Description: This dissertation describes a compositional model rooted in cross-influential methodology between complementary musical compositions that share generative source material. In their simultaneous construction, two composition pairs presented challenges that influenced and mediated the other's development with respect to timbre, transposition, pitch material, effects processing, and form. A working prototype first provides a model that is later developed. The first work Thema is for piano alone, and the companion piece Am3ht is for piano and live computer processing via the graphical programming environment Max/MSP. Compositional processes used in the prototype solidify the cross-influential model, demanding flexibility and a dialectic approach. Ideas set forth in the prototype are then explored through a second pair of compositions rooted in cross-influential methodology. The first work Lusmore is scored for solo contrabass and Max/MSP. The second composition Knockgrafton is scored for string orchestra. The flexibility of the cross-influential model is revealed more fully through a discussion of each work's musical development. The utility of the cross-influential compositional model is discussed, particularly within higher academia.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Anderson, Jonathan Douglas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Systematic Composition and Intuition in a Concerto for Organ and Orchestra

Description: Historically, composers have used methods in addition to inspiration in writing music. Regardless of the source materials they used, composers ultimately rely on their musical sensitivity to inform the compositional decision-making. Discuses the rotational aspects of decimals that are created from certain prime-number denominators, and focuses on the prime number 17. Shows how these decimals can be transformed by converting them to different number bases. Looks at the Golden Proportion and its use in creating formal structures. Examines compositional and aesthetic issues arising from using number series to generate the pitches, rhythms, and sections in the Concerto for Organ and Orchestra. This process of composition reveals musical gestures that may not have been discovered using more intuitively based approaches to composition. Shows how musical sensitivity was necessary in shaping the numerically derived material in order to create aesthetically satisfying music.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Worlton, James Timbrel
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

Elements of Musical Composition; comprehending the Rules of Thorough Bass, and the Theory of Tuning.

Description: Manual describing musical composition for beginners. The manual is divided in 9 chapters and includes 479 musical examples engraved in 59 pages at the end of the book, as well as four plates with figures (plate no. II appears at the beginning of the book. The musical examples cover the following subjects: scales, intervals (diatonic and chromatic) and their inversion, counterpoint rules, harmonic progressions, use of non-harmonic tones (suspensions, passing notes, appoggiaturas, and upper-lower neighbor. It also includes several examples taken from Handel's "Dettingen Te Deum," "Messiah," and from Haydn's oratorio "Creation," among others.
Date: 1812
Creator: Crotch, William, 1775-1847.
Partner: UNT Music Library

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.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Lucas, Stephen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Messiaen's Influence on Post-War Serialism

Description: The objective of this paper is to show how Olivier Messiaen's Mode de valeurs et d'intensites influenced the development of postwar serialism. Written at Darmstadt in 1949, Mode de valeurs is considered the first European work to organize systematically all the major musical parameters: pitch, duration, dynamics, articulation, and register. This work was a natural step in Messiaen's growth toward complete or nearly complete systemization of musical parameters, which he had begun working towards in earlier works such as Vingt regards sur 1'Enfant-Jesus (1944), Turangalila-symphonie (1946-8), and Cantyodjaya (1949), and which he continued to experiment with in later works such as Ile de Feu II (1951) and Livre d'orgue (1951). The degree of systematic control that Messiaen successfully applied to each of the musical parameters influenced two of the most prominent post-war serial composers, Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen, to further develop systematic procedures in their own works. This paper demonstrates the degree to which both Boulez' Structures Ia (1951) and Stockhausen's Kreuzspiel (1951) used Mode de valeurs as a model for the systematic organization of musical parameters.
Date: August 1984
Creator: Muncy, Thomas R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

161 Glass: Site Specific Music in an Artistic Context

Description: The composition 161 Glass is a 17-minute musical work with percussion, wind and brass instruments in which the intersection of mid-century architecture, and the art and culture of a dynamic city are inextricably linked. Through this paper, I explore the process of composing a musical work in relationship to the significance of site specific context. The paper begins by defining the concept of site specific art works; then reviews the discourse of the intersection of art, music and architecture. I then delve into the cultural and geographic context surrounding this project from the modern era through the present, and how those perspectives apply to the building and my piece. I reveal how the composition relates the musical ideas to the site. Finally, I describe the collaborative process between myself, the musicians and the Dallas Contemporary staff.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Rusnak, Christina S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Motion Picture Techniques on the Status and Character of Music Designed to Accompany Dramatic Forms

Description: Our modern motion picture composers are limited by the necessity of fitting musical impulses to action. The timing is a matter of split-second synchronization. The writers have no classical form to follow as each script requires highly individualistic treatment, highly restricted time elements, and highly technical instrumentation. Therefore, every composition is a challenge. The challenge includes not only the time element but a demand for a greater amount of originality in musical line and mood setting.
Date: August 1950
Creator: Brown, Caroline, 1925-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Debussy's Use of the Motive in Thematic Construction as Found in "Images I" for Piano

Description: This study seeks to discover the extent and manner of Debussy's use of the motive in thematic material. A total of 40 melodic examples were analyzed in order to show their relationship to a single motive, a three-note figure having a step-leap relationship. Using eighty-four series of examples, the study shows the melodies analyzed to be 85% motive-derived. The study concludes, therefore, that Images I is a remarkably economical work, using a single three-note motive as a unifying and developmental basis.
Date: May 1977
Creator: Sheridan, John F.
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

Guest Recital: 2011-06-17 - DMTA

Description: Guest Artist Recital: 2011-06-17 - TMTA/DMTA Ensemble TMTA/DMTA Ensemble & Original Composition Recital at the UNT College of Music Recital Hall.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: June 17, 2011
Creator: TMTA/DMTA Ensemble
Partner: UNT Music Library

Bal. Pulse = 1'

Description: Thesis written by a student in the UNT Honors College discussing the Gamelan orchestra of Indonesia, its instruments, a musical piece composed in the style, and scanned photographs of the instruments.
Date: Spring 1994
Creator: Turner, Christie
Partner: UNT Honors College

Flames II

Description: Thesis written by a student in the UNT Honors College discussing the authors composition of a musical piece called Flames II. He includes his influences, techniques, and sheet music.
Date: Summer 2002
Creator: Reagan, Brenton S.
Partner: UNT Honors College