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Speeches for Dr. Frankenstein

Description: Recording of Bruce Pennycook's Speeches for Dr. Frankenstein performed by Laurel Miller. The piece is for soprano and computer-generated tape. it was commissioned through the Canada Council for the Arts by Nera Pilgrim (soprano) and Dexter Morrill of Colgate University. It is a setting of four of the ten stanzas of the poem by Margaret Atwood, Canada's leading female author. This work has recieved numerous performances by Ms. Pilgrim and other in Canada and the U.S. This recording is a live performance of Laural Miller at the 1981 International Computer Music Conference in Denton, Texas.
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Date: 1982
Creator: Pennycook, Bruce, 1949-
Partner: UNT Music Library

Hymns to Inanna

Description: The poetry of Sumer, inscribed in cuneiform script on clay tablets dating from 2000 B.C., is considered humanity's earliest written literature. Hymns To Inanna is a three-movement, mixed media work based on adapted English translations from ancient Sumerian text. The text is sung by SATB choir and musically illustrated by harp, flutes, percussion, and computer-generated sound (on tape). My musical setting displays these hymns not as a reflection of antiquity but as a timeless expression of spiritual thought. Certain elements of the composition evoke associations with early culture and music. These components, however, are transformed or merged with musical characteristics of other eras, idioms, and forms thus representing a conceptual and stylistic "bridge" between past, present, and future.
Date: May 1986
Creator: Quate, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Luciano Berio's Sequenza III: The Use of Vocal Gesture and the Genre of the Mad Scene

Description: Sequenza III was written in the mid -1960s and is widely available for study and performance, but how can this work be defined? Is it a series of sounds, or phonemes, or the anxious mutterings of a woman? Is it performance art or an operatic mad scene? Sequenza III could be all of these or something else entirely. Writing about my method of preparation will work to allay some of my own and other performer's fears about attempting this unusual repertory. Very little in this piece is actually performed on pitch, and even then the pitches are not definite. The intervals on the five-line staff are to be observed but the singer may choose to sing within her own vocal range. The notation that Berio has used is new and specific, but the emotional markings and dynamics drawn from these markings permit a variety of interpretive decisions by the performer. There is a very brief text and no actual melody, so where does one begin? As a composer, Berio was often responsive to external stimuli. Quotation of his earlier works and the works of others was a common tool of his technique. By comparing Sequenza III with other works by the same composer, I will delineate some borrowed features and techniques from his earlier music and from the areas of literature and visual art. Sequenza III, although available on several recordings, is still not performed very often outside the academic community. There is only a small body of scholarly literature about Luciano Berio. I hope to add to the knowledge about this recently deceased composer and his music, to create a comfort zone for singers in approaching this work, to understand the composer's intentions, and to provide a fair representation of his ideas in public performance.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Edwards, Patti Yvonne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Similarities in the Use of Dramatic Recitative Style in the Music of Claudio Monteverdi and Giuseppe Verdi, with Some Performance-Practice Issues

Description: The objective of this dissertation, inspired by performance experience, was to establish the similarities in the use of recitative style in the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Giuseppe Verdi. To achieve this objective, their use of recitative style was examined through comparative analysis of four scenes from their operas: “Arianna's Lament” from L'Arianna and “Disprezzata regina” from L'incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi, and “Condotta ell'era in ceppi” from Il trovatore and “Judgment Scene” from Aida by Verdi. The examination of the similarities included a discussion of the following: (a) the historical influences and cultural backgrounds of the composers; (b) general similarities in their compositional approaches to recitative style; (c) comparable characteristics of the dramatic recitative style in the early Baroque monody and in Verdi's operas; (d) similarities in musical characterization and expression of affective and emotional content through stylistic musical devices; (e) similarities in the composers' approaches to vocal and acting issues with special emphasis on the problems of diction; and (f) some related performance-practice issues. A discussion of the poetic lament and the influence of its form and content on musical setting was also a part of this research. The comparative research revealed numerous similarities in the historical circumstances influencing Monteverdi's and Verdi's choice of musical styles; their motivation; formal and stylistic characteristics of their dramatic recitative scenes; their choice of libretto; their use of the elements of lament; their musical treatment of emotional content of the text; and their prerogatives in vocal and acting issues. Numerous similar characteristics were also established regarding vibrato, tempo, rhythm, and ornamentation in the performance practice of the early Baroque recitative soliloquy and Verdi's dramatic recitative scenes. The similarities of the four scenes' functions, topics, form, and characterization through devices of musical style indicated a fundamental continuity in the development of Italian opera ...
Date: August 2001
Creator: Mihelcic, Sonja
Partner: UNT Libraries

Stabat Mater by Frank Ferko, A Mosaic of Mourning: The Universality of Mothers' Grief, Ancient Texts Made Relevant by the Addition of English Interpolations

Description: This document examines Frank Ferko's unique setting of the ancient Latin sequence, Stabat Mater that incorporates five English interpolations dealing with the subject of parental grief over the loss of a child. The twenty Latin stanzas and five English interpolations are examined harmonically and philosophically, as two separate works. The tonal architecture of the work, outlined in two large arches built on key relationships, is explored in the body of the paper in addition to a graphic depiction and table of key centers. The interrelationship between key centers and textual considerations is examined. An extensive interview with the composer provided invaluable information regarding the creative process as it relates to the choice of English texts, compositional techniques and influences, and the stylistic musical diversity that characterizes the work. Three prominent American conductors, who have conducted significant performances Stabat Mater discussed specific problems and solutions in preparing and performing the work. Data pertaining to Stabat Mater history and other settings was gathered from reference materials, periodicals, and internet sources.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Wilson, Barbara Sue Johnston
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Survey of Singers: Is Mental Imagery Used in the Conceptualization of Pitch and Vowel?

Description: Mental imagery is a common theme in research that clarifies how musical thought relates to musical performance. Unfortunately, minimal information exists regarding mental imagery and singers. The purpose of this study was to probe the role, if any, mental imagery plays in the conceptualization of pitch and vowel. By interviewing singers at differing levels of expertise, basic information was obtained about the mental processes used by singers. Through evaluations of the singers' mental processes, it was concluded that 95% of the singers in the study employed mental imagery. All singers described using kinesthetic imagery, while the majority implemented sensory and auditory imagery. Viso-spatial imagery was implemented among the more experienced singers. The majority of singers also reported: imaging pitch and vowel interactively; imaging from an internal perspective; and utilizing mental rehearsal. Less than half of the singers described using methods other than mental imagery to conceptualize pitch and vowel.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Moyer, Karen E. (Karen Elizabeth)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Nightingale in Poetry and Music

Description: This thesis surveys a variety of songs and arias for high soprano which feature the nightingale; examines the musical elements that symbolize, refer to, or imitate the nightingale; and compares these musical elements with transcriptions of the nightingale's song. The first chapter reviews the symbolic development of the nightingale and its role in poetry and literature. The interior chapters address a selection of musical compositions that feature the nightingale and its song. The final chapter establishes a relationship between the sound of the actual sound of the nightingale and the musical gestures created by composers to imitate the nightingale.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Blizzard, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Investigation of the Traditional Cante Jondo as the Inspiration for the Song Cycle Five Poems of Garcia Lorca by Elisenda Fabregas

Description: The traditional cante jondo is a song unique to Andalusia as it developed from the "mosaic" of cultures that have inhabited its borders, including Arabs, Jews and Gypsies. The genre expresses the history of the region, reveals the typography of the landscape and cries the tears of its people. "Deep song," the translation for cante jondo, is the forerunner of the flamenco, but it is a communication of a dark soul rather than an exuberant entertainment. The original folk idiom is a medium less concerned with beauty than the cathartic release of pain of every day life. It expresses the soul of Andalusia. This study explores the history and the poetic and musical forms Andalusian cante jondo as the inspiration for the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca set by Elisenda Fabregas in the song cycle, Five Poems of Garcia Lorca (1992). Lorca felt the validity of "deep song" and he was disturbed that it was being corrupted by commercialism and was afraid it would be lost to posterity. His goal was to preserve the essence of the song and lift it to an artistic plain. He saw folk music as the core of the national musical and literary identity in Germany, France and Russia and worked to establish Spain as an artistic equal. Lorca's writings were not imitations of the traditional cante jondo. They echoed the history, the landscape and the tears, but they did so through symbolism and vivid imagery. The poet communicated on several levels, one as a voice of Andalusia, Spain and ultimately mankind and another with his own private message. His life was short, but his legacy is long. Fabregas, like Lorca, has taken a folk medium and expanded it beyond its original boundaries. Being of Spanish heritage, but not Andalusian, she is less committed to ...
Date: May 2004
Creator: Hobbs, Mary Etta
Partner: UNT Libraries

Register Unification in Light of Twentieth-Century Vocal Pedagogy

Description: The registers of the singing voice, as commonly understood by singers, refer to the different vocal qualities induced by adjustments at the level of the larynx and of the vocal tract. This explains why register unification can be approached either one or a combination of the following procedures: (1) resonance alignment through vowel modification, (2) register alignment through intensity exercises. The wide-spread acceptance of vowel modification has made singers reluctant in exploring other avenues of register development. If registers are laryngeally derived, there should be another way of register unification, which directly addresses the coordination of the laryngeal muscles. In support of this argument, this thesis investigates the teaching practices of a group of twentieth-century American voice teachers, who rely on intensity manipulation as the primary means for enhancing the register adjustments. Intensity exercises such as the messa di voce has long been practiced in historical pedagogy, but it is not until now that voice science confirmed its significance in register coordination.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Tan, Haidee Lynn C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Cantatas of Jean-Philippe Rameau

Description: By the early eighteenth century, French music was tangibly influenced by the Italian style which had already permeated much of Europe. The French Cantata is symptomatic of that often disparaged influx. The cantatas of Rameau are a significant contribution to an important form. Written almost entirely in the early years of the artist's career, they hold details of his stylistic development. In the present study of Rameau's cantatas several aspects of his style are discussed as they relate both to his theoretic writings and to the various influences of the time. Examples of those stylistic elements found in the cantatas are cited and discussed. There is, as well, a comparison of the works to the poetic form standardized by Rousseau.
Date: May 1991
Creator: McManus, Catherine
Partner: UNT Libraries