Search Results

Exploring the Private Music Studio: Problems Faced by Teachers in Attempting to Quantify the Success of Teaching Theory in Private Lessons through One Method as Opposed to Another

Description: I present strategies and methods for teaching fundamentals of music theory in the context of the private music studio through a variety of techniques and research. Beginning with a background in educational psychology, examples of behaviorist and cognitive teaching models are presented, and how each applies to teaching music is explained. Two detailed examples of actual lessons are presented, coupled with musical examples, to describe both the process and the concepts that can be presented. A qualitative experiment based upon the learning styles of three music students and the effect of different teaching styles when teaching the same concept is presented and discussed in detail.
Date: August 2006
Creator: McKnight, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accent and Grouping Structures in the String Quartets of Béla Bartók

Description: The music of Béla Bartók is defined in part by its unique blend of rhythmic vitality and inventiveness, and his string quartets offer a glimpse into a consistency of technique evident throughout his compositional career. Bartók's rhythmic environments are primarily metrical, but many of his rhythmic configurations are placed in such a way as to potentially override established meter. It is necessary, therefore, to institute an analytical means by which the delineation and comparison of rhythmic structures both within and without the metrical context may be accomplished. An analytical method using Timepoint Accent Structures (TAS) allows for the comparison of rhythms resulting from patterns of accent produced by pitch onset, dynamic stress, articulation or any other accentual factors. Timepoint Grouping Structures (TGS) delineate the number of timepoints present in alternating groups/blocks in a texture, thereby allowing for the recognition of patterning created by these larger groups. By applying TAS and TGS analysis, relationships of rhythmic equivalency, rotation, retrograde, complementation, augmentation, diminution, subset, superset, exchange, compression and expansion are clearly confirmed in the string quartets. In addition, symmetrical structures and arithmetic progressions are discovered. In many ways, Bartók's rhythmic organization mimics his procedures of pitch structuring.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Bocanegra, Cheryl D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Lessons of Arnold Schoenberg in Teaching the Musikalische Gedanke

Description: Arnold Schoenberg's teaching career spanned over fifty years and included experiences in Austria, Germany, and the United States. Schoenberg's teaching assistant, Leonard Stein, transcribed Schoenberg's class lectures at UCLA from 1936 to 1944. Most of these notes resulted in publications that provide pedagogical examples of combined elements from Schoenberg's European years of teaching with his years of teaching in America. There are also class notes from Schoenberg's later lectures that have gone unexamined. These notes contain substantial examples of Schoenberg's later theories with analyses of masterworks that have never been published. Both the class notes and the subsequent publications reveal Schoenberg's comprehensive approach to understanding the presentation of the Gedanke or musical idea. In his later classes especially, Schoenberg demonstrated a method of analyzing musical compositions using illustrations of elements of the Grundgestalt or "basic shape," which contains the technical aspects of the musical parts. Through an examination of his published and unpublished manuscripts, this study will demonstrate Schoenberg's commitment to a comprehensive approach to teaching. Schoenberg's heritage of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century music theory is evident in his Harmonielehre and in his other European writings. The latter include Zusammenhang, Kontrapunkt, Instrumentation, Formenlehre (ZKIF), and Der musikalische Gedanke und die Logik, Technik, und Kunst seiner Darstellung (the Gedanke manuscripts), written over the course of several years from the 1920s to the early 1930s. After emigrating to the United States in 1933, Schoenberg immediately began teaching and writing in an attempt to arrive at a comprehensive approach to his pedagogy. The remainder of Schoenberg's textbook publications, with the exception of Models for Beginners in Composition, were left unfinished, were edited primarily by Leonard Stein and published after Schoenberg's death in 1951. Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint, Fundamentals of Musical Composition, and Structural Functions of Harmony complete his ouevre of theory publications. An examination ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Conlon, Colleen Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bach's Mass in B minor: An Analytical Study of Parody Movements and their Function in the Large-Scale Architectural Design of the Mass

Description: Most studies of the Mass in B Minor deal with the history of the work, its reception history, primary sources, performance practice issues, rhetoric, and even theological and numerical symbolism. However, little research focuses on an in-depth analysis of the music itself. Of the few analytical studies undertaken, to date only a limited number attempt to explain Bach's use of parody technique or unity in the whole composition. This thesis focuses on understanding three primary concerns in regards to the Mass in B minor: to comprehend how preexistent material was adapted to the context of the Mass, how this material functions in the network of the entire composition, and how unity is achieved by means of large-scale voice leading. The results of this study not only provide new information about this monument of Western music, but also provide insight to the deep sense of large-scale structure in Bach's work.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Pérez Torres, René
Partner: UNT Libraries

Theory and Practice in the Traditional Chinese Music: Observations and Analysis

Description: Chinese music has one of the longest histories of development of all music cultures of the world. A system of music (theory) was formulated, in its unique way, but is differed fundamentally from its occidental counterpart. The discussion of this thesis focuses on the following two aspects: (1) the observations on those musical and non-musical factors, which had conditioned the course of development of Chinese music and (2) the analysis of selected examples to summarize the tonal structures and modal patterns, particularly, on the modal and modulatory analysis. A comparison of similarities and differences on melodic gesture between Chinese and Western tonal practice is also included in this study.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Huang, Hsun-Pin
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Phenomenology of Music Analysis

Description: Many of the early writings and lectures of the German phenomenological philosopher Martin Heidegger involve investigations into the question of Being. An important part of these investigations is his examination of how we go about the everyday business of existing--doing our jobs, dealing with things in our environment, working through problems, thinking, talking--and what our ways of operating in these everyday activities tell us about our Being in general. Musicians have their own everyday musical tasks, two of the most prominent of which are composing and performing. Composers and performers, like everyone else, have a 'world'--Heidegger's word for the structure of relationships between equipment, persons, and tasks and the way in which a person is situated in that structure--and that 'world' allows them to cope with their musical environment in ways that enable them to make music as composers and performers. Analyzing music is an activity that a Heideggerian approach sees as derived from the primary musical activities of composing and performing. A music analyst trades the possibility of primary musical involvement for a kind of involvement that points out determinate characteristics; hence in adopting an analytical stance, the analyst trades doing something musical for saying something about music. In making such a trade, however, a prior musical involvement--a basic musicality--is always presupposed. Every way of analyzing music has its own way of making determinations, and after detailing the manner of the derivation of the general analytical attitude, this study examines several types of analysis and the ways in which they exemplify the derivative nature of analytical activity. One extended example, an analysis of Jean Sibelius's The Swan of Tuonela, provides several opportunities for discussion (via interspersed passages of commentary) of a view of music analysis drawn from Heideggerian phenomenology.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Anderson, Andrew E. (Andrew Edwin)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assimilation of Baroque and Classical Essence with Romantic Sentiment: a Structural Analysis of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's Sonata in C Minor for Organ, Opus 62, No. 2

Description: The purpose of this study is to examine Sonata No. 2 in detail from many analytical perspectives including melodies, rhythms, harmonic progressions, tonal plans, voice leading, and cadential patterns on macro- and micro-levels. It is believed that a more in-depth discussion of the composition from the perspective of harmony and voice leading may provide answer for the questions raised, and correct some misinterpretations in the works of certain writers. Furthermore, through analysis of Sonata No. 2. this study will show the relationship of the use of formal, stylistic, harmonic features between Mendelssohn and other composers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Chou, Kwong-Yan Godwin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Transposition and the Transposed Modes in Late-Baroque France

Description: The purpose of the study is the investigation of the topics of transposition and the transposed major and minor modes as discussed principally by selected French authors of the final twenty years of the seventeenth century and the first three decades of the eighteenth. The sources are relatively varied and include manuals for singers and instrumentalists, dictionaries, independent essays, and tracts which were published in scholarly journals; special emphasis is placed on the observation and attempted explanation of both irregular signatures and the signatures of the minor modes. The paper concerns the following areas: definitions and related concepts, methods for singers and Instrumentalists, and signatures for the tones which were identified by the authors. The topics are interdependent, for the signatures both effected transposition and indicated written-out transpositions. The late Baroque was characterized by much diversity with regard to definitions of the natural and transposed modes. At the close of the seventeenth century, two concurrent and yet diverse notions were in evidence: the most widespread associated "natural" with inclusion within the gamme; that is, the criterion for naturalness was total diatonic pitch content, as specified by the signature. When the scale was reduced from two columns to a single one, its total pitch content was diminished, and consequently the number of the natural modes found within the gamme was reduced. An apparently less popular view narrowed the focus of "natural tone" to a single diatonic pitch, the final of the tone or mode. A number of factors contributed to the disappearance of the long-held distinction between natural and transposed tones: the linking of the notion of "transposed" with the temperament, the establishment of two types of signatures for the minor tones (for tones with sharps and flats, respectively), the transition from a two-column scale to a single-column one, and the ...
Date: December 1988
Creator: Parker, Mark M. (Mark Mason)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Harmony in the Songs of Hugo Wolf

Description: The songs of Hugo Wolf represent the culmination of the Romantic German Lied tradition. Wolf developed a personal chromatic harmonic style that allowed him to respond to every nuance of a poetic text, thereby stretching tonality to its limits. He was convinced, however, that despite its novel nature his music could be explained through the traditional theory of harmony. This study determines the degree to which Wolf's belief is true, and begins with an evaluation of the current state of research into Wolf's harmonic practice. An explanation of my analytical method and its underlying philosophy follows; historical perspective is provided by tracing the development of three major elements of traditional theory from their inception to the present day: fundamental bass, fundamental chords, and tonal function. The analytical method is then applied to the works of Wolf's predecessors in order to allow comparison with Wolf. In the investigation of Wolf's harmonic practice the individual elements of traditional functional tonality are examined, focusing on Wolf's use of traditional harmonic functions in both traditional and innovative ways. This is followed by an investigation of the manner in which Wolf assembles these traditional elements into larger harmonic units. Tonal instability, rapid key shifts, progressive tonality, tonal ambiguity, and transient keys are hallmarks of his style. He frequently alters the quality of chords while retaining the function of their scale-degree root. Such "color" chords are classified, and their effect on harmonic progression examined. Wolf's repetitive motivic style and the devices that he employs to provide motion in his music are also discussed. I conclude by examining Wolf's most adventuresome techniques—including parallel chords successions, chromatic harmonic and melodic sequences, and successions of augmented triads--and the suspension of tonality that they produce. This project encompasses all of Wolf's songs, and should be a useful tool for Wolf ...
Date: August 1989
Creator: McKinney, Timothy R. (Timothy Richmond)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Application of Grundgestalt Theory in the Late Chromatic Music of Chopin: a Study of his Last Three Polonaises

Description: The late chromatic music of Chopin is often difficult to analyze, particularly with a system of Roman numerals. The study examines Schoenberg's Grundgestalt concept as a strategy for explaining Chopin's chromatic musical style. Two short Chopin works, Nocturne in E-flat major. Op. 9, No. 2, and Etude in E major, Op. 10, No. 3, serve as models in which the analytic method is formulated. Root analysis, in the manner of eighteenth-century theorist Simon Sechter, is utilized to facilitate harmonic analysis of chromatic passages. Based upon the analytic method developed, the study analyzes the last three polonaises of Chopin: Polonaise in F-sharp minor, Op. 44, Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53, and Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat major, Op. 61. The Grundgestalt-based analysis shows harmonic, melodic and rhythmic connections in order to view Chopin's chromaticism and formal structure from a new perspective. With this approach, the chromaticism is viewed as essential to the larger form.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Spicer, Mark Joseph
Partner: UNT Libraries

Harry Partch: And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell on Petaluma

Description: Harry Partch's tuning system is an important contribution to tuning theory, and his music is original and significant. Part One of this study presents a brief biography of Partch, a discussion of his musical aesthetics (Monophony and Corporeality), and a technical summary of his tuning system. These elements are placed in historical perspective. Part Two presents a comprehensive analysis of "And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell on Petaluma," discussing the organization of formal, textural, rhythmic, linear, and tonal elements in the thirty-four "verses" of the work. Part Two concludes by showing how large-scale structure in the work is achieved through an overlay process.
Date: August 1982
Creator: Nicholl, Matthew James
Partner: UNT Libraries

Formal Organization in Ground-bass Compositions

Description: This thesis examines formal organization in ground-bass works. While it is true that many or even most works of the ground-bass repertoire are variation sets over a ground, there also exist many ground-bass works that are not in variation form. The primary goal of this thesis is to elucidate the various ways in which such non-variation formal organizations may be achieved. The first chapter of this work discusses the general properties of ground basses and various ways that individual phrases may be placed in relation to the statements of the ground. The second chapter considers phrases groupings, phrase rhythm, and the larger formal organizations that result. The third chapter concludes this study with complete analyses of Purcell’s “When I am laid in earth” from Dido and Aeneas and Delanade’s “Jerusalem, convertere ad dominum Deum tuum” from his setting of the Leçons de ténèbres.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Stevens, Bryan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Fantasias of John Dowland: An Analysis

Description: In spite of an increasing interest in the analysis of Renaissance music by contemporary theorists, few analyses of lute music exist. It is hoped that this thesis will serve to open a new area of analysis to scholars of Renaissance music. Chapter I deals with the background information necessary for the analysis, including Dowland's biography, lute history, technique, and notation, and the practice of modality on the lute. An overview of Dowland's music, especially the solo lute music, ends the chapter. Chapter II traces the form and development of the fantasia and surveys Dowland's seven fantasias. In Chapters III-V, the works are divided according to mode and analyzed in terms of counterpoint, dissonance, motivic development and modality. Chapter VI provides concluding remarks.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Walker, William J. (William Jared)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Form in Popular Song, 1990-2009

Description: Through an examination of 402 songs that charted in the top 20 of the Billboard year-end charts between the years 1990 and 2009, this dissertation builds upon previous research in form of popular song by addressing the following questions: 1) How might formal sections be identified through melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, and text? 2) How do these sections function and relate to one another and to the song as a whole? 3) How do these sections, and the resulting formal structures, relate to what has been described by previous theorists as normative? 4) What new norms and trends can be observed in popular song forms since 1990? Although many popular songs since 1990 do follow well-established forms, some songwriters and producers change and vary these forms. AAA strophic form, AABA form, Verse-Chorus form, Verse-Chorus with Prechorus and/or Postchorus sections, Verse-Chorus-Bridge form, “Other, with a Chorus” and “Other, without a Chorus” forms are addressed. An increasing number of the songs in each of the above listed forms are based on a repeating harmonic progression or no harmonic progression at all. In such songs, the traditional method of identifying sections and section-functions through harmonic analysis is less useful as an analytical tool, and other musical elements (melody, rhythm, instrumentation, and text) are as important, if not even more so, in determining the form of songs in the sample.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Ensign, Jeffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Syntactic Structures in Functional Tonality

Description: Chapter I examines linguistic structures fundamental to most tasks of comprehension performed by humans. Chapter II proposes musical elements to be linguistic structures functioning within a musical symbol system (syntax). In this chapter, functional tonality is explored for systemic elements and relationships among these elements that facilitate tonal understanding. It is postulated that the listener's comprehension of these tonal elements is dependent on cognitive tasks performed by virtue of linguistic competence. Chapter III examines human information processing systems that are applicable both generally to human cognition and specifically to tonal comprehension. A pedagogy for listening skills that facilitate tonal comprehension is proposed in the fourth and final chapter and is based on information presented in preceding chapters.
Date: August 1985
Creator: Phelps, James, 1954-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computer Realization of Human Music Cognition

Description: This study models the human process of music cognition on the digital computer. The definition of music cognition is derived from the work in music cognition done by the researchers Carol Krumhansl and Edward Kessler, and by Mari Jones, as well as from the music theories of Heinrich Schenker. The computer implementation functions in three stages. First, it translates a musical "performance" in the form of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) messages into LISP structures. Second, the various parameters of the performance are examined separately a la Jones's joint accent structure, quantified according to psychological findings, and adjusted to a common scale. The findings of Krumhansl and Kessler are used to evaluate the consonance of each note with respect to the key of the piece and with respect to the immediately sounding harmony. This process yields a multidimensional set of points, each of which is a cognitive evaluation of a single musical event within the context of the piece of music within which it occurred. This set of points forms a metric space in multi-dimensional Euclidean space. The third phase of the analysis maps the set of points into a topology-preserving data structure for a Schenkerian-like middleground structural analysis. This process yields a hierarchical stratification of all the musical events (notes) in a piece of music. It has been applied to several pieces of music with surprising results. In each case, the analysis obtained very closely resembles a structural analysis which would be supplied by a human theorist. The results obtained invite us to take another look at the representation of knowledge and perception from another perspective, that of a set of points in a topological space, and to ask if such a representation might not be useful in other domains. It also leads us to ask if such a ...
Date: August 1988
Creator: Albright, Larry E. (Larry Eugene)
Partner: UNT Libraries