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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

The Castrato Sacrifice: Was it Justified?

Description: One of the greatest mysteries in the history of music is the castrato singers of the Baroque era. Castration has existed for many thousands of years, but for the first time in history, it was used for artistic purposes. Who were these men who seemingly gave up their masculinity for the sake of music? By examining the time period and circumstances in which these musicians lived, an answer may be found. Exploring the economic, social, and political structure of the 17th and 18th centuries may reveal the mindset behind such a strange yet accepted practice. The in-depth study of their lives and careers will help lift the veil of mystery that surrounds them. Was their physical sacrifice a blessing or a curse? Was it worth it?
Date: August 2006
Creator: Sowle, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries

Utilizing North American Art Song Settings of Psalm Texts in Worship Services: an Annotated Guide for Singers, Voice Instructors, and Music Ministers

Description: This dissertation provides a guide for appropriate use of North American art song settings of biblical psalms for solo voice written after 1950 in the worship services of Christian faiths. The songs analyzed are for all voice parts and a variety of accompanying ensembles. The placement of each song on a specific calendar day is guided by the individual church calendars and lectionaries, on the prevalent themes of the text, and the characteristics of the musical setting. Performance of these songs only in a concert setting limits their usefulness for singers, voice teachers, and music directors alike. A new and worthy performing context can be established by analyzing the text and musical settings.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Siddons, Kyle
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Formative Years: an Exploration of the Early Training and Song Juvenilia of Samuel Barber

Description: In the art of song composition, American composer Samuel Barber was the perfect storm. Barber spent years studying under superb instruction and became adept as a pianist, singer, composer, and in literature and languages. The songs that Barber composed during those years of instruction, many of which have been posthumously published, are waypoints on his journey to compositional maturity. These early songs display his natural inclinations, his self-determination, his growth through trial and error, and the slow flowering of a musical vision, meticulously cultivated by the educational opportunities provided to him by his family and his many devoted mentors. Using existing well-known and recently uncovered biographical data, as well as both published and unpublished song juvenilia and mature songs, this dissertation examines the importance of Barber's earliest musical and academic training in relationship to his development as a song composer.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Chester, Derek T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Professor Han Xianguang and His Contribution to the Horn World

Description: This dissertation verifies Professor Han, Xianguang as the most significant Chinese horn player and teacher in the twentieth century. He was the first Chinese horn player to win in an international horn competition and the first president of the China Horn Association. He was the premier performer of the only known Chinese horn concerto: Fantasy-Concerto <In Memory>, composed by Professor Shi Yongkang in 1962. Professor Han also served as a judge for many international horn solo and chamber music competitions, and was president of the first (2012), second (2013), and third (2014) CCOM (Central College of Music) International Horn Festivals in Beijing. This dissertation explores Professor Han’s professional and pedagogical contributions to the horn world. These contributions will, in turn, provide an overview of the evolution of the horn and horn playing in China. The horn, historically and musically an instrument of Western Europe, was transported to Asia by many horn players and teachers, with Professor Han the most significant figure in its evolution in China. During Professor Han’s 60-year teaching career, he developed a special pedagogical system. A number of his outstanding horn students, including two sons, eventually became principal hornists in orchestras throughout China, with a few hired by European orchestras, and some have won international competitions. A secondary purpose of this dissertation is to offer historical and pedagogical information to young horn players, especially those of Asian descent, to give them a more thorough musical and aesthetical understanding of their instrument in the Asian history and culture. As part of his DMA Lecture Recital on September 6, 2015, the author presented the US premiere of Fantasy-Concerto <In Memory> in its piano reduction.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Yeoh, Li Zhi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Shostakovich's Use of Satire in Anti-formalist Rayok with a Focus on the Music of the Character Dt Troikin

Description: In January 1989, a much-rumored work by Dmitri Shostakovich titled Anti-Formalist Rayok received its public premiere. Rayok is a single-act satirical opera/cantata for bass soloist and mixed chorus. Each character represents a prominent Soviet political figure: Joseph Stalin, Andrei Zhdanov, and Dmitri Shepilov. The text of the libretto is either taken directly from actual speeches given by these political figures or follows their idiosyncratic style of public speaking. Rayok often falls victim to criticism for its lack of musical depth, a point of view that could easily lead one to see it as one of Shostakovich's lesser works. The purpose of this document is to examine the political environment of the Soviet Union in the early twentieth century in order to provide context for Shostakovich's Anti-Formalist Rayok and to show how Shostakovich uses satire in this piece. This dissertation document looks at the broader concepts of Formalism and Socialist Realism, traces how Socialist Realism became the established Soviet cultural aesthetic, and examines specific historical events in the 1940s and 1950s that relate to Rayok. Musical examples are taken from the section of the piece centering around D.T. Troikin. These examples demonstrate how Shostakovich uses Socialist Realist clichés in order to satirize the overly bureaucratized state of Soviet musical aesthetics. This leads to the conclusion that Shostakovich created a paradoxical work of art only posing as kitsch, and that he was not only satirizing the political figures presented in disguise but also the entire Soviet Socialist Realist aesthetic.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Grabowski, Gregory
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Guide to Franz Liszt's Piano Transcriptions of Franz Schubert's Songs

Description: Franz Liszt (1811-1886) made fifty-six transcriptions of Schubert's songs over a period of eight years (1838-46) to introduce the name of the composer, who was little known both in and outside Vienna during his lifetime. Because Liszt intentionally preserved all the details of the original songs, these transcriptions present challenges for a pianist, such as how to produce a vocal line on the piano, as well as interpretive issues such as ornamentation, style, and conveying the meaning of the lyrics on the piano. The purpose of this study is to introduce pianists to study practices employed by singers, with the goal of interpreting the vocal aspects of Liszt's Schubert song transcriptions. The composer Robert Schumann once remarked that Liszt's transcriptions were perhaps the most difficult pieces written for the piano up to that time, and only an intelligent artist could satisfy Liszt's high level of virtuosity without destroying the identity of the original work. This could be considered a warning to pianists not to focus on the technical aspects only. The pedagogical guide presented in the study, based on singers' approaches to the actual songs, should help pianists to "see beyond the notes" and achieve a performance closer to the heart of the songs.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Kim, Ah Young
Partner: UNT Libraries

Singing in English in the 21St Century: a StudyComparing and Applying the Tenets of Madeleine Marshall and Kathryn Labouff

Description: The English diction texts by Madeleine Marshall and Kathryn LaBouff are two ofthe most acclaimed manuals on singing in this language. Differences in style between the two have separated proponents to be primarily devoted to one or the other. An in-depth study, comparing the precepts of both authors, and applying their principles, has resulted in an understanding of their common ground, as well as the need for the more comprehensive information, included by LaBouff, on singing in the dialect of American Standard, and changes in current Received Pronunciation, for British works, and Mid-Atlantic dialect, for English language works not specifically North American or British. Chapter 1 introduces Marshall and The Singer’s Manual of English Diction, and LaBouff and Singing and Communicating in English. An overview of selected works from Opera America’s resources exemplifies the need for three dialects in standardized English training. Chapter 2 reviews notational and diction resources, and use of the International Phonetic Association’s alphabet (IPA). Chapter 3 directly compares Marshall and LaBouff’s views of the importance of the unstressed syllable, often schwa [ә] or open I [ɪ], as vital to allowing the audience to understand the flow of the sung text, and contrasts their differences regarding < r >. Chapter 4 discusses observations in applying the tenets with singers, focusing on three arias coached for this dissertation. Chapter 5 states conclusions and opportunities for further research. Figures include materials from the Juilliard School Archives. Appendices include interviews.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Reikofski, Helen Dewey
Partner: UNT Libraries