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Selected Songs of Dan Beaty: Background, Analysis, and Performance Guide

Description: Dan Beaty (1937-2002) was a prolific composer, pianist, researcher, educator, and writer. His large compositional output included chamber works, choral works, songs, orchestral pieces, electronic music, and keyboard works. Beaty was well versed in traditional Western music as well as the more avant-garde and perplexing idioms of the twentieth century. Beaty's compositions reflect the many fascinating, if not always popular, musical trends of his time. His music encompasses styles from serial to jazz, shows compositional influences from Arnold Schoenberg to Indonesian music, and demonstrates thought-provoking and highly intellectual craftsmanship. This document explores several of Beaty's songs through a discussion of the composer's life and compositional process. Songs included in this document are Three Weeks Songs, October, November, A Sappho Lyric, Love Song, That Night When Joy Began, and War Lyrics. This document was written to accompany the author's DMA Lecture-Recital at the University of North Texas. Unfortunately, Beaty's vocal music was never published and is mostly unknown. One goal of the project was to initiate interest in Beaty's songs. Through this document, Lecture-Recital, and additional performances, considerable strides have been made to bring Beaty's songs to new audiences throughout the United States. In addition, the author has received permission from the Beaty family to publish Dan Beaty's songs.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Novak II, Richard A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

"The Wider View": Engaging a New Generation of Singers through African-American Art Song

Description: Through studying the poetry and its context, the lives of the poets and composers, and the musical choices which emerged from these combined influences, students of the "Millennial" generation may experience a deeper connection to art song and its role in defining and reflecting national character. Not yet a part of the traditional canon of American art song, the songs of African-American composers are of particular value in this regard, offering teachers, students, and recitalists less frequently-performed repertoire to explore. Representing a broad spectrum of literary and cultural influences, these songs are just as diverse, multi-faceted, and full of variety as any other body of art song repertoire and richly contribute to the past and present life of the genre. Going beyond the music and the words can only reinforce the study of technique and enrich the studio experience, while at the same time providing a multicultural learning environment which more accurately reflects the America in which these same students will become the singers and voice teachers of tomorrow.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Ciobanu, Jennifer Odom
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Do You Remember?": Remembering Gay Victims of the Holocaust Through Jake Heggie's Theater Piece, For a Look or a Touch

Description: American composer Jake Heggie's For a Look or a Touch exists as the only classical music work of remembrance based on the topic of remembering homosexual victims of the Holocaust. The composer, after being approached by Mina Miller, wrote this 2007 composition as part of the Music of Remembrance concert series. The music of this work varies in style from a blazing swing dance to a haunting vocalise on "oo." Gene Scheer created the text, delivered in the work by the characters Manfred Lewin and Gad Beck, as a compilation of many influential stories from the documentary film Paragraph 175. For a Look or a Touch chronicles the horrendous treatment of homosexuals before, during, and after World War II. Chapters include an introduction to homosexual persecution during Hitler's reign, a look at current works of remembrance and how For a Look or a Touch came to fruition, an explanation of the texts created by Gene Scheer, a discussion on Jake Heggie's musical setting of this text, and avenues for possible future research. Appendices include text of the German anti-sodomy laws as written in Paragraph 175, the mission statement for the organization Music of Remembrance, transcripts from personal interviews with both Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, correspondence with Heggie, and the source delineation of Gene Scheer's text.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Rinaldi, Joseph Warren
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Structural Analysis and Selected Aspects of Performance of Gazebo Dances for Piano Four Hands by John Corigliano

Description: The purpose of the study is to present a formal analysis of the musical style and performance issues of the original version, for four hands piano, of Gazebo Dances, composed by John Coriglaino (b. 1938), a major American contemporary composer. Corigliano and his compositions have been performed by many performers and scholars over the several years. Gazebo Dances for piano four hands was composed in 1972. Gazebo Dances consists of four movements and was dedicated to his close friends: a dancelike overture movement in a slightly rondo form which is dedicated to Rose Corigliano and Etta Feinberg, waltz movement in a combination of rondo and sonata-allegro form which is dedicated to John Ardoin, adagio movement in a miniature sonata form which is dedicated to Heida Hermanns, and a tarantella movement in a modified rondo form which is dedicated to Jack Romann and Christian Steiner.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Kim, Do Young
Partner: UNT Libraries

Carl Sandburg's Timeless Prairie: Philip Wharton's Song Cycle, The Prairie Sings

Description: The connection of music and verse evident in the work of American poet, Carl Sandburg, is a topic that has received inadequate attention. Much preexisting research has focused on Sandburg's work with The American Songbag anthology; however little has been written about music composers' settings of his verse. The relevance of Sandburg's work as a poet has faded in today's society; the rural prairie subject matter and his poetic style are deemed archaic in an ever-evolving mechanistic society. Philip Wharton, a native of Sandburg's Midwest prairie, composes to create an evocative and image-laden world for the hearers of his music. This is what creates a semblance between both artists' works. This paper makes a connection between the work of the 20th century prairie poet and a current, 21st century American composer's musical setting of Sandburg's verse. Both artists are connected not only geographically, but also in their approach to an accessible art form for their audience. Negating current compositional trends and using text from Sandburg's poetry collections, Chicago Poems and Cornhuskers, Wharton melds the text into his evocative, imagistic musical language in his song cycle, The Prairie Sings. Using examples from the five movements of the cycle, I show the dependent relationship of verse and music. An in-depth analysis of the connection of poetry and music in each of the five movements of the cycle is contained in the paper. An additional connection in the dynamic interplay of the vocal line and piano accompaniment, the two "narrators" of the cycle, is also discussed. The resulting research points to an aspect of a creation of a regional American "sound, " reminiscent of trends of nationalism in the 19th and 20th century in art, literature and music.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Wunderlich, Kristen A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Scenen aus Goethes Faust: A performer's analysis.

Description: Robert Schumann's dramatic music remains, for the most part, undiscovered and therefore performed infrequently. Genoveva, Das Paradies und die Peri, Manfred, and Scenen aus Goethes Faust are comprised of some of Schumann's most beautiful music from his last stylistic period. Schumann envisioned a national German opera that had a complete union of text and music and a plot based upon the supernatural and mythical German legends. His lofty aspiration was to raise the dramatic music of his time to the high standards of the literary culture. Composing dramatic music for Goethe's Faust was a challenging endeavor for Schumann. Scenen aus Goethes Faust was a project that he struggled with from 1844-1853 because of both the text and the grand scale of the piece. One purpose of an analysis of the structure and content of Schumann's Scenen aus Goethes Faust and Goethe's poetry is to facilitate the solo vocal performer's interpretation. Utilizing selected scenes from Scenen aus Goethes Faust; "Scene im Garten" from Part I, "Sonnenaufgang," and "Mitternacht" from Part II and "Hier ist die Aussicht frei" from Part III, this research paper will define important recurring musical motives, assess Schumann's usage of contrasting vocal genres and their relationship to the unfolding drama, explore important vocal performance issues for the baritone and soprano soloists and investigate the manner in which Schumann uses the orchestra to depict and communicate the meaning of Goethe's text. Schumann's method of setting Goethe's text will also be examined, as the ability to comprehend the poetic text was of primary importance.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Paoletti Jr., Karl
Partner: UNT Libraries

Camille Saint-Säens' Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Opus 103: An Analytical Study of Form, Compositional Techniques, and a Performance Perspective

Description: The majority of books about Saint-Säens cover his life, compositions, contemporaries, and French music in general. Although his life is well documented, most sources present only brief analyses of his works; there is not one single comprehensive and exhaustive study of the Piano Concerto in F Major, Opus 103, available in the current literature. This study aims at filling the gap by providing other musicians interested in performing this piece with an initial study-guide. The research for this study focuses on several aspects of Saint-Säens' music. The currently available literature and past research is thoroughly examined, appraised, and quoted when relevant to the discussion. The original score of the concerto is analyzed regarding its form, compositional style, and performance indications. Diagrams, charts, and musical examples are presented to illustrate and substantiate the researcher's conclusions. Chapter I presents the topic and purpose of this study, a brief biography of Saint-Säens, a chronological overview of his five piano concertos, and the historical background of the Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Opus 103. Chapter II presents a formal analysis and a compositional analysis of Opus 103. Chapter III presents a perspective of Saint-Säens playing style and performance recommendations by the author. Chapter IV concludes this study by determining the importance of Opus 103 in piano literature and by explaining the reason that performers with professional aspirations should consider including this concerto in their repertoire.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Yoo, Seung Won
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

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

Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915): An Analysis of His Piano Concerto in E-flat Major and Its Relationship to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1

Description: This lecture recital seeks to prove that Sergei Taneyev's only piano concerto is a valuable addition to the piano concerto repertoire for historical and theoretical examination. Taneyev's biographical background proves he was one of the major figures in Russian musical life during the late nineteenth century. For one who had such an important role in music history, it is an unfortunate that his music has not been popular. Through letters to contemporary composers and friends, Taneyev's master teacher Tchaikovsky revealed why his music and piano concerto were not as popular as they should have been. This lecture recital examines Taneyev's compositional style and illustrates his influence in the works of his famous student Sergei Rachmaninoff through examples from Taneyev's Piano Concerto in E-flat Major and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. Taneyev's Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 have both similarities and differences that resulted from the composers' close relationship. Letters between the teacher and student enlighten readers to the compositional process of the two piano concertos and demonstrates the value of Taneyev's Piano Concerto. A detailed theoretical analysis is included in this dissertation. The principal themes and motifs are presented with a detailed analysis of the structure of the concerto's first movement as the themes, motifs, and variations are woven into a unified piece of music. The second movement of the concerto is remarkable for its harmonic progressions. This research substantiates that Taneyev's Piano Concerto is valuable to the current piano repertoire and worthy of performances throughout the world. The concerto occupies an important role in music history and theory and is useful for piano students to study.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Liu, Louise Jiayin
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Use of the Polish Folk Music Elements and the Fantasy Elements in the Polish Fantasy on Original Themes in G-sharp Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 19 by Ignacy Jan Paderewski

Description: The primary purpose of this study is to address performance issues in the Polish Fantasy, Op. 19, by examining characteristics of Polish folk dances and how they are incorporated in this unique work by Paderewski. The study includes a comprehensive history of the fantasy in order to understand how Paderewski used various codified generic aspects of the solo piano fantasy, as well as those of the one-movement concerto introduced by nineteenth-century composers such as Weber and Liszt. Given that the Polish Fantasy, Op. 19, as well as most of Paderewski's compositions, have been performed more frequently in the last twenty years, an analysis of the combination of the three characteristic aspects of the Polish Fantasy, Op.19 - Polish folk music, the generic rhetoric of a fantasy and the one-movement concerto - would aid scholars and performers alike in better understanding the composition's engagement with various traditions and how best to make decisions about those traditions when approaching the work in a concert setting. Chapter 1 provides biographical and factographical information about Paderewski as a composer, pianist, and statesman. Chapter 2 examines characteristics of Polish folk music with regard to melody, rhythm and tempo. Musical examples of the Polish folk songs from the book Lud by Oskar Kolberg, and the characteristics of Mazur, Kujawiak, Oberek and the Krakowiak, all of which are used in the Polish Fantasy, are examined. Aforementioned examples are paralleled by those selected from Chopin's Mazurkas, as well as selected sections from Paderewski's Polish Fantasy, and other pieces by Paderewski containing Polish folk music elements. Chapter 3 is divided into two sections. The first, the history of fantasy, presents various stylistic and formal aspects of the fantasies of the eighteenth century and nineteenth centuries. The second section offers an analysis of the Polish Fantasy in light of this ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Choi, Yun Jung
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

A Financial Resource Guide for the Beginning Secondary Choral Music Director

Description: The purpose of this study was to confirm the necessity of a financial resource guide for beginning secondary choral directors in Texas. Budgetary information was gathered through an on-line survey addressing the financial knowledge of 25 participants made up of choral directors, college professors, fine arts directors and student teachers. Further information was gathered from college course guides, music periodicals and college textbooks. From the gathered survey data, a definite need for better financial education was identified. Collected data also demonstrated the necessity for additional courses to be added to the college curriculum with expanded literature on budgeting. Recommended college courses, as well as a calendar time line, Web sites for on-line music software, fundraising tips and budget proposals are also included resources.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Devous, Donald Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clockwork Plums

Description: Based on a story by Joshua Forehand with additional lyrics by Joshua Bradford, Clockwork Plums is an original musical work that integrates techniques and ideas from composers and different cultures. The accompanying essay about the work includes a summary of the story, "Clockwork Plums," some historical background covering 30 years of pop music, an analysis focusing on the use of African and Reichian compositional devices, and discussion about controlled improvisation and use of the voice as compositional tools. The music consists of three sections scored for 5 voices (lead male vocalist and SATB), flute (doubling tenor saxophone), Bb clarinet (doubling baritone saxophone), violin, cello, piano, electronic keyboard, electric guitar, electric bass, drum set, and percussion.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Bradford, Joshua
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Vocal Pedagogy of Frederic Woodman Root

Description: Frederic Woodman Root was a vocal pedagogue and writer of the late nineteenth century. He wrote over eighteen books on vocal pedagogy, and numerous articles on singing. Since his death, most of his works have fallen into obscurity. The purpose of this document was to codify the vocal pedagogy of Frederic Woodman Root, discussing his particularly thorough methodology, and to bring his methods back into the public eye. His method is broken down into the various components of basic musicianship, the General Principle, the Three Vowel Forms, registers, breathing, and agility. Examples from Root's exercises are included and discussed.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Grogan, David Christopher
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Performer's Analysis of Dominick Argento's Miss Havisham's Wedding Night

Description: Dominick Argento's Miss Havisham's Wedding Night is the least explored of his artistic output. A monodrama in one act for soprano, Miss Havisham's Wedding Night contains some of Argento's most beautiful and challenging music of his compositional output. The purpose of a detailed analysis of the structure and content of Argento's Miss Havisham's Wedding Night is to facilitate the solo vocal performer's interpretation. Argento's setting of Miss Havisham's Wedding Night is unique in that he musically translates the manic psychological state of the literary character. Argento structured the one act opera in such a manner that the music would illuminate the text and the audience might connect with the unstable psychological episodes and outbursts demonstrated by Miss Havisham. To that end, each section and phrase has its own psychological motivation, which in turn demands a varied musical and dramatic interpretation. Utilizing selected scenes from Miss Havisham's Wedding Night, the researcher will analyze Argento's musical manifestation of Dickens's literary work. This research will include an investigation into the manner in which Argento uses the shape of melody and the musical phrase along with the harmonic materials to enhance the text and dramatic content. The author will explore the musical nuances Argento incorporates in an effort to develop and portray Miss Havisham's psychological state. Through an analysis of the orchestral writing the author will show how Argento's aesthetic balance between the music and text represents the emotional and psychological implications of the monodrama.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Mott, Jammieca D.
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

Modern Chinese Piano Composition and Its Role in Western Classical Music: A Study of Huang An-lun's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 57

Description: China's role in Western music is ever-expanding. Echoing the growth of classical music in China is the importance of Chinese musicians in the global music world. However, it is easy to forget that Western classical music is a foreign import to China, one that has been resisted for most of its history. The intent of this study is to evaluate the role of Chinese music in the Western classical world. This includes Western education, Western repertoire, and also a historical exploration into the mutual influence of the two styles. One Chinese composition in particular, Huang An-lun's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 57, is selected to analyze the Western and Chinese elements present in the work. This analysis will shed light on the relationship of the two styles and how they amalgamate in modern Chinese music. Although Western classical music today has a strong foothold in China, Chinese contributions to piano literature are largely unknown to the West. China possesses one of the richest musical histories in the world, one which until the twentieth century has largely remained unaffected by Western elements. Its musical heritage extends over thousands of years, deeply rooted in tradition and nationalism. Over the last century, Chinese composition began to incorporate Western musical ideas while still holding on to its own heritage and traditions. This synthesis of Western and Chinese musical elements created a new compositional sound founded on Chinese roots. Huang An-lun, one of China's most prominent living composers, embodies this style in his compositions. Chinese composition is no longer something that is exotic or alien to Western music. Instead, it integrates many Western ideas while still being founded in Chinese heritage, creating a new style that has much to offer the Western classical world.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Ng, Lok
Partner: UNT Libraries

A study of Franz Liszt's Totentanz: Piano and orchestra version, and piano solo version.

Description: Undoubtedly, Totentanz has been one of the most famous works by Franz Liszt. Totentanz has been recorded by many pianists and addressed in much of the vast literature about Liszt and his works; however, little research has been focused on this work. Most studies of Totentanz address only the historical background of the piece in relation to the theme based on Dies irae. Currently, there are no specific studies about the solo piano or two piano versions and only one recording was located. Liszt's own piano solo transcription of this famous work is an excellent addition to the concert repertoire. Totentanz consists of six variations that include canonic and fugato sections. The main theme is based on the Gregorian chant Dies irae, a melody that has been used by many other composers, most notably Berlioz in Witches Sabbath of Symphonie fantastique, op. 14 and Rachmaninoff in Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. This study contains five chapters. Chapters I and II provide background information, historical background and influences of Totentanz. Chapter III presents an outline of Liszt's achievement as a transcriber. Liszt revised his own works numerous times from the 1840s and 1850s, including Transcendental Etudes, Paganini Etudes, and piano and orchestra works. Like in the case of Totentanz, transcribed form piano and orchestra into piano solo, Liszt transcribed and paraphrased hundreds of other composers' works as well. Chapter IV discusses and compares the two main versions for solo piano and piano and orchestra. Form and harmonic language in particular the use of tritone in Totentanz is discussed. The adjustment required in transcribing the work for piano solo is discussed in detail, followed by a conclusion.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Kim, Min
Partner: UNT Libraries

Plays of Tennessee Williams as opera: An analysis of the elements of Williams's dramatic style in Lee Hoiby's Summer and Smoke and André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire.

Description: There are two major, well-known operas based on plays of Tennessee Williams. He refused many times throughout his life to give permission for his play, A Streetcar Named Desire, to be set as an opera. It was not until the 1960s that he granted permission for Lee Hoiby to choose any of his plays as a basis for a new opera. Hoiby chose Summer and Smoke, a play which was written at approximately the same time as Streetcar. Lanford Wilson created the libretto for the opera which was given its premier in 1971 by the St. Paul Opera Association. In 1994 representatives of the Williams estate granted permission to the San Francisco Opera to commission an opera based on A Streetcar Named Desire. With a libretto by Philip Littell, the opera was composed by André Previn and given its premier in 1998. These two plays share common themes, character types, character relationships, and literary symbols due in part to the autobiographical nature of Williams's writings. The plays exhibit a cinematic nature and possess common dramatic elements such as the symbolic use of sets, props, and musical leitmotifs as a result of his attempts to create a new "plastic" style of theatre. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how each composer has captured the essence of Williams's dramatic style in these well known plays while dealing with stylistic elements that by nature could interfere in operatic composition. A brief biography of Williams is included to show the familial basis of his character types. Illustrations of his style serve as the basis for a comparison of the librettos to the plays. The musical analysis focuses on the composers' choices in dealing with Williams's poetic southern language, use of music, cinematic techniques, and complex characterizations.
Access: This item is restricted to the UNT Community Members at a UNT Libraries Location.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Lee, Kenneth Oneal
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of Selected Choral Works by Kirke Mechem: Music-Textual Relationships in Settings of Poetry of Sara Teasdale

Description: Kirke Mechem (b. 1925), American composer, has a musical output which includes a variety of genres, the most prolific being choral music. This document examines selected choral works by Mechem that are set to the poetry of Sara Teasdale (b. 1884, d. 1933). Included are biographical sketches of Mechem and Teasdale. Selected choral works examined include Christmas Carol (1969) SATB and guitar, The Winds of May, five movement choral cycle (1965) SATB, Birds at Dusk, from the choral cycle Winging Wildly (1998) SATB, and Barter (1995) SA, trumpet, piano 4-hands. Analysis of the poetry involved as well as musical attributes and compositional techniques, including meter, form, harmonic structures, wordpainting, rhythmic treatment and melodic characteristics are included in the discussion.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Bierschenk, Jerome Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Piano Variations of Aaron Copland: An Analysis and Study for the Performer.

Description: Aaron Copland has been in the forefront of the American musical scene since the 1920s. He has been called an "American composer" for his ability to formulate the essence of American folk music into a wide variety of mediums. The variety and scope of his compositions encompass a diverse array of styles and techniques. From the jazz influenced works that dominated his early period to the works for Hollywood films, from the chamber music that was directly influenced by his Jewish background to the partial acceptance of serial technique, Copland has managed to delve equally into all these styles. Yet, one could arguably rank his works for the stage as his most popular and generally most successful compositions of his career. The extent to which the American public has accepted these works as being "folk" is a case for the genius and adaptability of Copland's talent. Although works like Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, and Lincoln Portrait command the attention of the general public, of whom Aaron Copland was constantly aware, there are works for the piano that deserve and demand close study by pianists. One such work is the Piano Variations. Written in 1930, it has been acknowledged as a twentieth century masterpiece in publications for piano and piano literature as well as by pianists since its premiere in 1931. It is a brutal and sparse work that encompasses a quasi-serial technique in which the motto of four notes transforms itself through the course of twenty variations and a coda. The demands of learning a work such as this can be overwhelming for the pianist not accustomed to the rigors of a non-diatonic piece. However, a careful analysis precipitated by specific questions directed not only at learning the piece but also with the goal of performance in mind, can shape the ...
Access: This item is restricted to the UNT Community Members at a UNT Libraries Location.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Saun, Rinna M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Holocaust Song Literature: Expressing the Human Experiences and Emotions of the Holocaust through Song Literature, Focusing on Song Literature of Hirsh Glick, Mordechai Gebirtig, and Simon Sargon

Description: During the years of the Holocaust, song literature was needed to fulfill the unique needs of people caught in an unimaginable nightmare. The twelve years between 1933 and 1945 were filled with a brutal display of man's inhumanity to man. Despite the horrific conditions or perhaps because of them, the Jewish people made music, and in particular, they sang. Whether built on a new or an old melody, the Holocaust song literature continues to speak to those of us who are willing to listen. This body of work tells the world that these people lived, suffered, longed for vengeance, loved, dreamed, prayed, and tragically, died. This repertoire of songs is part of the legacy, the very soul of the Jewish people. This study contains a brief look at the historical circumstances, and through the song literature of Hirsh Glick, Mordechai Gebirtig and Simon Sargon, life within the ghetto, the concentration camp, the decisions families had to make, the choices to fight back against incredible odds, the place of faith within this nightmare, and a look at the lives and works of the composers themselves.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Nedvin, Brian
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Between the Staves" - Adaptations of Debussy's Six épigraphes antiques and Creative Tasks of the Performer

Description: The Six épigraphes antiques represent a cross-section of Debussy's creative output that traces the composer's germ-seed from his original setting of the work in 1901 as incidental music to accompany the recitation of several poems, to the four-hand piano version of 1914, and its consequent reduction for solo piano. What can be gleaned by the methods of derivation from his original sketches to the final, mature works is an understanding of Debussy's use of musical metaphor and his connection to the poetry - the Chansons de Bilitis of Pierre Louÿs. Embedded literary procedures create a new musical expression of the work whereby text and music become integrated. Rather than serving as accompaniment to the poems, the Épigraphes function as the primary vessel for the conveyance of these ancient scenes. Several of Debussy's hallmark symmetrical and structural moulds, such as the whole-tone, chromatic, octatonic, and mirroring techniques reflect the omnipresent symmetry of Classical Greece. Various other artistic creations emanated from the Épigraphes, most significantly the orchestration of Ernest Ansermet in 1939. A look at the techniques used by Ansermet for the augmentation of the piano work serves to extrapolate the multifarious layers relevant in performance. In order to facilitate the four-hand version for solo piano, Debussy used a variety of reductive methods. There are, however, means by which some of the extracted material might be restored to the solo version. Like the late work of many great masters, the Épigraphes are redolent of the tendency so many artists have near the end of their days - to revert back to the purest techniques of their language. The scoring of Debussy's Épigraphes is scaled back, compared to his Préludes (often consisting of three staves of notation), and incorporates leaner textures generated from lapidary motifs which transmit the antique realms evoked by the ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Astilla, Christopher
Partner: UNT Libraries