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The Application of Common-practice Elements in Modern Music: Examining Examples of Musical Continuity in Selected Piano Works of James R Wintle

Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to analyze the ways in which distinguished American composer James RayWintle (1942-2013) addresses the problem of formal unity and incorporates previous musical styles in his post-tonal compositions. Because post-tonal music lacks many of the pillars that create tonal structure, it can be difficult for a composer to maintain a sense of form when writing in this style. Wintle attempts to circumvent this issue by incorporating common-practice elements, such as formal sections, familiar stylistic gestures, and referential-pitch organization into his works. For this analysis, the author has selected three of Wintle’s piano compositions that best represent his compositional approach and diverse techniques: Album Leaves - A Set of Five Character Pieces for Piano (2001), Scherzino (Street Scenes of Ovada) for Solo Piano (2010), and Four Miniatures for Piano Four Hands (2003). Wintle’s artistic style borrows extensively from Western classical music, encompassing various historical periods and quoting several major composers. Additionally, he incorporates a variety of musical styles into his chamber works and those for solo piano. These range from the dance suites of the French Baroque and Brahmsian-character pieces to American ragtime. This research also describes Wintle’s compositional style and his borrowing of 18th- and 19th-century techniques, forms, and titles, all set in a post-tonal language. The interviews conducted with the composer and his own program notes serve as primary sources, lending an invaluable insight into his works.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Kim, Sung-Yun
Partner: UNT Libraries