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Paul Robert Fauchet's Symphony in B-flat: A Performance Edition for Modern Wind Band Instrumentation

Description: Paul Robert Fauchet's Symphonie pour Musique d'Harmonie, known in the United States as Symphony in B-flat, is a four-movement composition spanning nearly thirty minutes in length and written in the style of the late romantic composers. Despite its place as one of the first symphonies for wind band, a performance of the piece that represents the composer's 1926 orchestration is difficult due to the inclusion of instruments that are no longer in common practice, including bugles, alto horns, and saxhorns. Later American editions of the work by James Robert Gillette (1933) and Frank Campbell-Watson (1948/1949) replaced these instruments, but also took several other liberties with orchestration and voicing. The primary purpose of this study was the creation of a performance edition of the Symphony for modern wind band that is accessible to a larger audience of performers and listeners. The method involved in creating the modern edition eliminates errors of extant editions and clarifies a number of the discrepancies surrounding the symphony's multiple publications. This edition attempts to retain the composer's voicing and orchestration choices. To accomplish this, the present project considered where modern instrumentation differed from the original sources and attempted to balance timbral similarities between those instruments, while also considering ease of comprehension for a modern ensemble to perform the work. Sources used to create this edition included all published editions of scores and parts, as well as a newly created full score of the 1926 printed parts. The study concludes with the inclusion of the full score of the new performance edition.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Kitelinger, Shannon Monroe
Partner: UNT Libraries

Musical and Dramatic Functions of Loops and Loop Breakers in Philip Glass's Opera "The Voyage"

Description: Philip Glass's minimalist opera The Voyage commemorates the 500th Anniversary of Christopher Columbus's discovery of America. In the opera, Philip Glass, like other composers, expresses singers' and non-singers' words and activities by means of melodies, rhythms, chords, textures, timbres, and dynamics. In addition to these traditional musical expressions, successions of reiterating materials (RMs, two or more iterations of materials) and non reiterating materials (NRMs) become new musical expressions. However, dividing materials into theses two categories only distinguishes NRMs from RMs without exploring relations among them in successions. For instance, a listener cannot perceive the functional relations between a partial iteration of the RM and the NRM following the partial RM because both the partial RM and the NRM are NRMs. As a result, a listener hears a succession of NRM followed by another NRM. When an analyst relabels the partial RM as partial loop, and the NRM following the partial RM as loop breaker, a listener hears the NRM as a loop breaker causing a partial loop. The musical functions of loops and loop breakers concern a listener's expectations of the creation, sustaining, departure, and return to the norm in successions of loops and loop breakers. When a listener associates the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of these expectations with dramatic devices such as incidents, words in dialogues and soliloquies, and activities by singers and non-singers, loops and loop breakers in successions become dramatically functional. This dissertation explores the relations among musical and dramatic functions of loops and loop breakers in Glass's musical commemoration of Columbus.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Wu, Chia-Ying
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Deborah": The Creation of a Chamber Oratorio in One Act

Description: In comparing oratorio traits across history, three aspects of oratorio were found to be particularly applicable to the creation of "Deborah: A Chamber Oratorio in One Act." These aspects were: the selection of topic and the creation or adaptation of text; the differences between recitative and aria, in form and function; and the level of stylistic diversity within a given work.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Mixter, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries

Intraoral Pressure and Sound Pressure During Woodwind Performance

Description: For woodwind and brass performers, intraoral pressure is the measure of force exerted on the surface area of the oral cavity by the air transmitted from the lungs. This pressure is the combined effect of the volume of air forced into the oral cavity by the breathing apparatus and the resistance of the embouchure, reed opening, and instrument’s back pressure. Recent research by Michael Adduci shows that intraoral pressures during oboe performance can exceed capabilities for corresponding increases in sound output, suggesting a potentially hazardous situation for the development of soft tissue disorders in the throat and velopharyngeal insufficiencies. However, considering that oboe back pressure is perhaps the highest among the woodwind instruments, this problem may or may not occur in other woodwinds. There has been no research of this type for the other woodwind instruments. My study was completed to expand the current research by comparing intraoral pressure (IOP) and sound pressure when performing with a characteristic tone on oboe, clarinet, flute, bassoon, and saxophone. The expected results should show that, as sound pressure levels increase, intraoral pressure will also increase. The subjects, undergraduate and graduate music majors at the University of North Texas, performed a series of musical tasks on bassoon, clarinet, flute, oboe, and alto saxophone. The musical tasks cover the standard ranges of each instrument, differences between vibrato and straight-tone, and a variety of musical dynamics. The data was collected and examined for trends. The specific aims of this study are to (1) determine whether there is a correlation between IOP and sound pressure, (2) shed light on how well each instrument responds to rapid fluctuation, and (3) determine which instruments are most efficient when converting air pressure into sound output. Results of this study raised concerns shared by previous studies – that woodwind players are ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Bowling, Micah
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Mystery of the Chalumeau and Its Historical Significance as Revealed Through Selected Works for Chalumeau or Early Clarinet by Antonio Vivaldi

Description: Factual evidence concerning the ancestry of the clarinet has been a perpetual topic of debate among musicologists and organologists. Scholars have widely agreed that the clarinet, first documented in 1710, emerged from the baroque invention of the chalumeau (invented circa 1690), which in itself was an improvement upon the recorder. Considering the chalumeau’s short lifespan as the predominant single reed instrument in the early eighteenth century, the chalumeau inspired a monumental amount of literature that includes vocal and instrumental genres written by distinguished composers. Vivaldi is considered to be the most significant composer that wrote for both clarinet and chalumeau; he wrote for both instruments simultaneously throughout his life whereas his contemporaries seemingly replaced the chalumeau with the clarinet. This project will discuss Vivaldi’s proximity to the chalumeau and the clarinet and will provide an in-depth analysis of relevant works by the composer to determine how he, unlike his contemporaries, treated the chalumeau and the clarinet as separate and equally viable instruments. Following a brief history of the chalumeau and clarinet in Italy and a relevant biography of Vivaldi (Ch. 2), this document will discuss the integral Vivaldi compositions that include clarinet and chalumeau and the role of the clarinet or chalumeau in each work (Ch. 3). Chapter 4 solves the mystery of why Vivaldi continued to compose for the chalumeau while his contemporaries replaced the chalumeau with the clarinet.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Braun, Lindsay T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Contemporary Bassoonist: Music for Interactive Electroacoustics and Bassoon

Description: As the bassoon has evolved over time, the music written for the instrument has evolved around it, and was many times the catalyst for its evolution. Bassoon music of the seventeenth through early twentieth centuries has defined much of the curricula for bassoon studies, and has established how we consider and experience the bassoon. We experience, write, and consume music in vastly different ways than just a generation ago. Humans use technology for the most basic of tasks. Composers are using the technology of our generation to compose music that is a reflection of our time. This is a significant aspect of art music today, and bassoonists are barely participating in the creation of this new repertoire. Performance practice often considers only the musical score; interactive electronic music regularly goes beyond that. The combination of technological challenges and inexperience can make approaching electroacoustic music a daunting and inaccessible type of music for bassoonists. These issues require a different language to the performance practice: one that addresses music, amplification, computer software, hardware, the collaboration between performer and technology, and often the performer and composer. The author discusses problems that performers face when rehearsing and performing interactive electroacoustic works for bassoon, and offers some solutions.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Masone, Jolene Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Preparing Selected Wind Band Euphonium Audition Materials Through the Use of Etudes

Description: Etudes have been composed to address the primary challenges found in ten selected euphonium wind band pieces. Each work was chosen based on its frequency of occurrence in military band auditions as well as its appearance in excerpt books and journal articles. Practice drills, practice variations, and overtraining studies are the primary concepts used for composing each etude. List of selected works: (1) Roman Carnival Overture Op. 9, Hector Berlioz; (2) First Suite in E-flat for Military Band Op. 28 No. 1, Gustav Holst; (3) Barnum and Bailey's Favorite, Karl King; (4) The Melody Shop, Karl King; (5) Aegean Festival Overture, Andreas Makris arr. Albert Bader; (6) Theme and Variations Op. 43 A, Arnold Schoenberg; (7) Festive Overture Op. 96, Dmitri Shostakovich arr. Donald Hunsberger; (8) Festival Variations, Claude T. Smith; (9) The Stars and Stripes Forever, John Philip Sousa; and (10) Suite from the Ballet: Pineapple Poll, Arthur Sullivan arr. Charles Mackerras.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Chapa, Daniel Rey
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analytical Study of Paradox and Structural Dualism in the Music of Ludwig van Beethoven

Description: Beethoven's rich compositional language evokes unique problems that have fueled scholarly dialogue for many years. My analyses focus on two types of paradoxes as central compositional problems in some of Beethoven's symphonic pieces and piano sonatas. My readings of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 27 (Op. 90), Symphony No. 4 (Op. 60), and Symphony No. 8 (Op. 93) explore the nature and significance of paradoxical unresolved six-four chords and their impact on tonal structure. I consider formal-tonal paradoxes in Beethoven's Tempest Sonata (Op. 31, No. 2), Ninth Symphony (Op. 125), and Overture die Weihe des Hauses (Op. 124). Movements that evoke formal-tonal paradoxes retain the structural framework of a paradigmatic interrupted structure, but contain unique voice-leading features that superimpose an undivided structure on top of the "residual" interrupted structure. Carl Schachter's observations about "genuine double meaning" and his arguments about the interplay between design and tonal structure in "Either/Or" establish the foundation for my analytical approach to paradox. Timothy Jackson's reading of Brahms' "Immer leiser word meine Schlummer" (Op. 105, No. 2) and Stephen Slottow's "Von einem Kunstler: Shapes in the Clouds" both clarify the methodology employed here. My interpretation of paradox involves more than just a slight contradiction between two Schenkerian readings; it involves fundamentally opposed readings, that both result from valid, logical lines of analytical reasoning. In my view, paradoxes could be considered a central part of Beethoven's persona and philosophy. Beethoven's romantic endeavors and his relationships with mentors suggest that paradoxes might have been central to his bravura. Furthermore, Beethoven's familiarity with the politics of the French Revolution and Shakespearean literature suggest that paradoxes in some pieces (including the Ninth Symphony) could be metaphorical representations of his ideology. However, I do not attempt to explicitly link specific style features to extra-musical ideas. Modern Schenkerian scholars continue to expand ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Graf, Benjamin Stewart
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Recorded Legacy of Enrico Caruso and its Influence on the Italian Vocal Style

Description: This dissertation presents evidence for the influence which tenor Enrico Caruso had on the Italian Vocal Tradition. This impact was clearly boosted by the revolution realized in the fledgling recording industry, and the recordable disc. In the years of 1902-1920 gramophones became commonplace, and collecting recordings became an interest for many. This new technology required specialized skills, and was especially suited to certain qualities of voice. Caruso enjoyed immense success in this medium, in recording over 250 records. Italian vocal style at the turn of the century was changing, and Caruso employed a new "modern" style in his singing. His interpretive decisions, vocal method, and repertoire which he championed had an impact on the vocal tradition of future generations. Comparison of his recordings with tenors Fernando de Lucia, Giuseppe Anselmi, and Alessandro Bonci shows a marked contrast in styles of "the old school" and Caruso's "more straightforward" approach. A collection of historical documents for those who succeeded him include many biographies, reviews, and quotes to demonstrate the extent of his influence. Recordings also show a movement toward "the Caruso Sound." Jussi Bjoerling, Franco Corelli, Richard Tucker, Mario Lanza, and Luciano Pavarotti were all influenced by the great Caruso. Almost 100 years have passed since he sang his last performance. He continues to inspire singers to this day, through his recordings and legacy passed on by many generations. He is the ideal, the measuring stick for all tenors to follow, and continues even to today.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Garst, John Dee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Woody Shaw: Development of Style in Three Versions of "The Moontrane”

Description: Woody Shaw is one of the most influential jazz trumpet players of the past fifty years. Despite his importance, very few models exist that contextualize Shaw's improvisatory approach inside modern jazz pedagogy. Writers such as Rex Richardson, Eric O'Donnell, and Gavin Franklin have identified key elements of Shaw's style, and have begun a critical examination of Shaw's music. While extensive, these approaches do not take into consideration the impact free jazz had on Shaw's technique, nor do they provide a model for how to duplicate Shaw's style. This project examines four elements of Shaw's style as seen in three improvised solos on "The Moontrane." These solos are taken from early, middle, and late stages of Shaw's career. By studying scale choice, sequence and the sequential treatment of motifs, pentatonic approaches to harmonic sequence, and atypical rhythmic phrasing, this study is able to show (1) how these elements developed over the totality of Shaw's career, (2) provide a better understanding of Shaw's improvisational style, and (3) provide a basis for implementing these procedures in modern music.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Karns, Keith Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Carnaval, grotesco y dialogismo en las zarzuelas de Pablo Sorozábal

Description: In the present study, the three principal theories of Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin--the carnavalesque, grotesque, and dialogical--are applied to the musical-theatre genre of the Spanish zarzuela. The focus of the study centers on the works of composer Pablo Sorozábal and the various librettists who collaborated with him, among them the renowned literary author Pío Baroja. Within this study, zarzuela is first analyzed on its own in terms of the academic debate surrounding the genre and its importance in terms of both literary and musical criticism. After establishing the particular capacity of the zarzuela to make important cultural contributions, the central theoretical framework of the thesis is established via Bakhtinian theory, and several links are drawn between this theory and the genre of the zarzuela, which is shown to be a body of work often capable of conveying subversive messages, both cultural and sociopolitical. With this critical lens, then, the specific sociopolitical context of Spain between 1931-1942 is analyzed and described in order to illustrate the various extratextual and intertextual elements at play in Sorozábal's zarzuelas. The three works ultimately studied are Katiuska (1931), Adiós a la bohemia (1933), and Black, el payaso (1942). By way of highlighting the Bakhtinian characteristics at play in these three zarzuelas, the composer's intention to challenge and criticize Spain's sociopolitical reality, including Francoist dictatorship, is revealed, illustrating the capacity of the zarzuela to challenge and transgress existing norms--an aspect that many critics have failed to recognize in the genre up to the present day.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Murphy, Deirdre
Partner: UNT Libraries

Background, Compositional Style, and Performance Considerations in the Clarinet Works of David Baker: Clarinet Sonata and Heritage: A Tribute to Great Clarinetists

Description: David Baker (b. 1931) is an educator, composer, and jazz legend. He has composed at least fifteen works that include the clarinet. Baker’s Clarinet Sonata (1989) has become a standard of clarinet repertoire and a popular recital inclusion. His chamber work Heritage: A Tribute to Great Clarinetists (1996) interweaves solo transcriptions of five jazz clarinetists. The compositional style of Baker’s clarinet works frequently links jazz and classical idioms. The two works discussed in this document are excellent examples for classically trained musicians who would like to increase their ability and experience in interpreting jazz styles. The purpose of this document is: (1) to provide background, style, and performance considerations for Baker’s Clarinet Sonata and Heritage: A Tribute for Great Clarinetists, for Clarinet, Violin, Piano and Double Bass; (2) based on these style elements, to provide suggestions for interpreting jazz-style works for classically trained clarinetists; and (3) to archive Baker’s published and unpublished clarinet compositions. Appendices include transcripts of interviews with David Baker and other experts in this field (James Campbell, Rosana Eckert, Mike Steinel and Steven Harlos).
Date: May 2016
Creator: Lin, Sheng-Hsin
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

The Concerto for Bassoon by Andrzej Panufnik: Religion, Liberation, and Postmodernism

Description: The Concerto for Bassoon by Andrzej Panufnik is a valuable addition to bassoon literature. It provides a rare opportunity for the bassoon soloist to perform a piece which is strongly programmatic. The purpose of this document is to examine the historical and theoretical context of the Concerto for Bassoon with special emphasis drawn to Panufnik's understanding of religion in connection with Polish national identity and the national struggle for democratic independence galvanized by the murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko in 1984. Panufnik's relationship with the Polish communist regime, both prior to and after his 1954 defection to England, is explored at length. Each of these aspects informed Panufnik's compositional approach and the expressive qualities inherent in the Concerto for Bassoon. The Concerto for Bassoon was commissioned by the Polanki Society of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and was premiered by the Milwaukee Chamber Players, with Robert Thompson as the soloist. While Panufnik intended the piece to serve as a protest against the repression of the Soviet government in Poland, the U. S. context of the commission and premiere is also examined. Additionally, the original manuscript and subsequent piano reduction are compared. Although the Concerto for Bassoon has been subject to formal analysis by several scholars, discussion of the piece is generally contained within a larger discussion of several other compositions, and a comprehensive analysis of the piece has not yet been presented. This document contains a thorough formal analysis of all movements, as well as analysis of Panufnik's compositional style within the context of serialism, postmodernism, and the new Polish school of composition. The Concerto fro Bassoon features several devices common to Panufnik's larger opus, including the se of a common three-note cell, strong contrasts between section and movements, and symmetrical patterns of transposition, metric alteration, dynamic alteration, and registral expansion.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Ott, Janelle
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Sound-Poetry of the Instability of Reality: Mimesis in Music, Literature, and Visual Art

Description: This paper uses the concept of mimesis to clarify the debate concerning the representation of reality in music. Specifically, this study defines the audio reality effect and the three main practices of realism as a way of understanding mimetic practices in multiple artistic media, in particular regarding the multimedia works of the "Landscape series." After addressing the historical debates concerning mimesis, this study develops a framework for the understanding of mimesis in sound by addressing the writings of Weiss, Baudrillard, Barthes, Deleuze, and Prendergast and by examining mimetic practices in 19th-century European painting and multimedia performance works. The audio reality effect is proposed as a meaningful translation of Roland Barthes' literary reality effect to the sonic realm. The main trends of realist practice are applied to electroacoustic music and soundscape composition using the works and writings of Emmerson, Truax, Wishart, Risset, Riddell, Smalley, Murray Schafer, Fischman, Young, and Field. Lastly, this study mimetically analyzes "2 seconds / b minor / wave" by Michael Pisaro and Taku Sugimoto and the works of the "Landscape series" in order to demonstrate the relevance of mimesis for understanding current musical practice.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Underriner, Charles Francis
Partner: UNT Libraries

Miz Markley

Description: Lisa Markley, a.k.a. "Miz Markley", is a genuinely happy person even if she is not particularly financially successful as a musician. In an effort to validate my own choices as an artist, I chose to follow her. What was intended to be a portrait of a working musician, becomes instead a feminist musical essay film about the transformative power of art making.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Vance, Sharie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Orchestra Bells as a Chamber and Solo Instrument: A Survey of Works by Steve Reich, Morton Feldman, Franco Donatoni, Robert Morris, Marta Ptaszyńska, Will Ogdon, Stuart Saunders Smith, Lafayette Gilchrist and Roscoe Mitchell

Description: This dissertation considers the use of orchestra bells as a solo instrument. I use three examples taken from chamber literature (Drumming by Steve Reich, Why Patterns? by Morton Feldman, and Ave by Franco Donatoni) to demonstrate uses of the instrument in an ensemble setting. I use six solo, unaccompanied orchestra bell pieces (Twelve Bell Canons by Robert Morris, Katarynka by Marta Ptaszyńska, Over by Stuart Saunders Smith, A Little Suite and an Encore Tango by Will Ogdon, Breaks Through by Lafayette Gilchrist, and Bells for New Orleans by Roscoe Mitchell) to illustrate the instrument’s expressive, communicative ability. In the discussion of each piece, I include brief background information, the composer’s musical language in the piece and performance considerations. I interviewed composers of these solo works to complete the research for this document to discuss their musical language and their thoughts on writing for solo orchestra bells.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Douglass, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries

Opera and Society in Early-Twentieth-Century Argentina: Felipe Boero's El matrero

Description: Premiering at the twilight of the gauchesco era and the dawn of Argentine musical Modernism, El matrero (1929) by Felipe Boero (1884-1958) remains underexplored in terms of its social milieu and artistic heritage. Instantly hailed as a masterpiece, the work retains a place in the local repertory, though it has never been performed internationally. The opera draws on myths of the gaucho and takes further inspiration from the energized intellectual environment surrounding the one-hundred-year anniversary of Argentine Independence. The most influential writers of the Centenary were Leopoldo Lugones (1874-1938), Ricardo Rojas (1882-1957), and Manuel Gálvez (1882-1962). Their times were marked by contradictions: xenophobia and the desire for foreign approbation; pride in an imaginary, "barbaric" yet noble ideal wiped out by the "civilizing" ambitions of revered nineteenth-century leaders. Krausism, a system of ideas following the teachings of Karl Friedrich Krause (1781-1832), had an impact on the period as exhibited in the political philosophy of Hipólito Yrigoyen (1852-1933), who served as president from 1916 to 1922 and 1928 to 1930 when he was deposed by a right-wing coup d'état. Uncritical applications of traditional understandings of nationalism have had a negative impact on Latin American music scholarship. A distillation of scholarly conceptions of Argentine nacionalismo, which address the meaning of the word as it was used in the early twentieth century, combined with an examination of major works of important literary figures of the Centenary provide a firmer ground for discussion. Gálvez paints a conservative portrait of a refined, well-traveled dilettante who finds true enlightenment only in his own rural, Argentine culture. A liberal, Rojas understands nationalism as devotion to the development of national institutions and local art. Lugones argues the foundation of national art should be the gaucho, and articulates the hierarchical sociabilities it should articulate. Boero adopts elements of Krausism and ...
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Sauceda, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Passion Settings of the 20th- and 21st- Centuries Focusing on Craig Hella Johnson's Considering Matthew Shepard

Description: Craig Hella Johnson (b. 1963) has emerged as a leader in choral music over the last 20 years. As the conductor of the Austin, TX based chorus Conspirare Johnson implemented the European model of bringing singers together from all over the country to assemble for concerts and recordings over a short period of time. He is known for his collage programs which bring together many styles of music bound by a central theme. Through these programs he has written and arranged many pieces which are now published and being performed by choirs across the globe. Johnson's most significant work to date is a 90 minute passion oratorio which details the story of Matthew Shepard, a college student murdered in a hate crime in 1998. Considering Matthew Shepard (2016) is a wonderful example of Johnson's composition and programming style. Though not a traditional passion story, it is part of the evolution of the genre in the 20th and 21st centuries. The passion oratorio has seen a resurgence in the past 50 years and has undergone a transformation in that time. These new works pay homage to the history of the genre but have begun to stretch it in terms of form and content. This study will highlight the evolution of the passion oratorio focusing on Johnson's Considering Matthew Shepard and offer some insight into the composers style and how this work represents a modern treatment of the passion oratorio.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Ward, Robert Clark
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creating Musical Momentum: Textural and Timbral Sculpting with Intuitive Compositional Systems and Formal Design

Description: This dissertation explores the analysis and creation of compositions from the standpoint of texture and momentum. It is comprised of four chapters. The first presents a number of concepts as tools for analysis, including textural typography and transformation, perception of time and psychological engagement of an audience, and respiration as a metaphor for musical momentum. The second and third chapters apply these tools to Gerard Grisey's "Periodes" and "Partiels," and Brian Ferneyhough's "Lemma-Icon-Epigram." The fourth explores specific methodologies used in composing my dissertation piece, "Phase," including the application of number systems ranging from formal to local levels.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Robin, Bradley G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Re-Unification of Dr. Edwin Fissinger's Prairie Scenes: A Choral Cycle

Description: Edwin Fissinger (1920-1990) was a conductor and prolific choral composer. His compositional techniques, settings of text, jazz-influenced harmonies, and melodic propulsion fulfill an important role in each of his compositions. In the eight choral cycles he composed, Fissinger unified each cycle through thematic and textual elements. Although this resulted in a logical progression of poetry and music, Fissinger's final choral cycle, Prairie Scenes, was not published as he intended. Rather, individual selections from the cycle were published by two different publishing houses, out of sequence, and sixteen years apart. Consequently, the eight pieces are not currently performed together. Today's choral conductors, singers, and audience do not fully appreciate the value of this choral cycle and cannot understand its intended context. It is necessary to provide an in-depth investigation of the original eight-piece work Prairie Scenes: A Choral Cycle to place the appropriate organizational set together. This study illustrates the importance of the unification of Fissinger's Prairie Scenes: A Choral Cycle through a study of the poetry, the thematic material as it relates to the natural elements of the prairies, the manuscripts, and interviews with Fissinger's publishers and colleagues. An examination of Fissinger's compositional technique to convey the meaning of the text reveals a clear link between Prairie Scenes and the North Dakota prairies and its seasons. A description of the development of the choral cycle throughout music history and a biography of Edwin Fissinger and his compositional style are also included.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Jilek, Dean Francis
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sven-David Sandström's Matthäuspassion: Examining J.S. Bach's Influence and Sandström's Compositional Language, Use of Symbolism, and Religious and Spiritual Motivations

Description: Beginning with his High Mass written in 1994, popular Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström modeled multiple compositions after famous canonical works using the same texts and/or instrumentation. Sandström wants to be compared tot he greatest, specifically in how a twenty-first century composer responds to a text set , in the case of J.S. Bach's , over 250 years ago. His setting of Matthäuspassion (MP), which uses the same libretto as J.S. Bach, is his most extensive non-operatic work, one he considers his most significant, and likely his last work based on a preexisting model. This study 1) examines the influence of J.S. Bach's MP on Sandström's setting in the use of characters and chorales, 2) illustrates Sandström's compositional language in MP based on recent studies on his choral music, 3) describes his use of musical symbolism, and 4) discusses his religious and spiritual motivations behind the work, as well as his preferred uses in performance.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Jilek, Dwight
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Most Expressionist of All the Arts: Programs, Politics, and Performance in Critical Discourse about Music and Expressionism, c. 1918-1923

Description: This dissertation investigates how German-language critics articulated and publicly negotiated ideas about music and expressionism in the first five years after World War I. A close reading of largely unexplored primary sources reveals that "musical expressionism" was originally conceived as an intrinsically musical matter rather than as a stylistic analog to expressionism in other art forms, and thus as especially relevant to purely instrumental rather than vocal and stage genres. By focusing on critical reception of an unlikely group of instrumental chamber works, I elucidate how the acts of performing, listening to, and evaluating "expressionist" music were enmeshed in the complexities of a politicized public concert life in the immediate postwar period. The opening chapters establish broad music-aesthetic and sociopolitical contexts for critics' postwar discussions of "musical expressionism." After the first, introductory chapter, Chapter 2 traces how art and literary critics came to position music as the most expressionist of the arts based on nineteenth-century ideas about the apparently unique ontology of music. Chapter 3 considers how this conception of expressionism led progressive-minded music critics to interpret expressionist music as the next step in the historical development of absolute music. These critics strategically—and controversially—portrayed Schoenberg's "atonal" polyphony as a legitimate revival of "linear" polyphony in fugues by Bach and late Beethoven. Chapter 4 then situates critical debates about the musical and cultural value of expressionism within broader struggles to construct narratives that would explain Germany's traumatic defeat in the Great War and abrupt restructuring as a fragile democratic republic. Against this backdrop, the later chapters explore critics' responses to public performances of specific "expressionist" chamber works. Chapter 5 traces reactions to a provocative performance of Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony, op. 9 (1906) at the Berlin Volksbühne in February 1920. Chapter 6 examines the interplay of musical-aesthetic and sociopolitical issues in critical ...
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Carrasco, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries