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Recent Approaches to Real-Time Notation

Description: This paper discusses several compositions that use the computer screen to present music notation to performers. Three of these compositions, Law of Fives (2015), Polytera II (2016), and Terraformation (2016–17), employ strategies that allow the notation to change during the performance of the work as the product of composer-regulated algorithmic generation and performer interaction. New methodologies, implemented using Cycling74's Max software, facilitate performance of these works by allowing effective control of generation and on-screen display of notation; these include an application called VizScore, which delivers notation and conducts through it in real-time, and a development environment for real-time notation using the Bach extensions and graphical overlays around them. These tools support a concept of cartographic composition, in which a composer maps a range of potential behaviors that are mediated by human or algorithmic systems or some combination of the two. Notational variation in performance relies on computer algorithms that can both generate novel ideas and be subject to formal plans designed by the composer. This requires a broader discussion of the underlying algorithms and control mechanisms in the context of algorithmic art in general. Terraformation, for viola and computer, uses a model of the performer's physical actions to constrain the algorithmic generation of musical material displayed in on-screen notation. The resulting action-based on-screen notation system combines common practice notation with fingerboard tablature, color gradients, and abstract graphics. This hybrid model of dynamic notation puts unconventional demands on the performer; implications of this new performance practice are addressed, including behaviors, challenges, and freedoms of real-time notation.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Shafer, Seth N
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Among the Voices Voiceless": Setting the Words of Samuel Beckett

Description: Among the Voices Voiceless is a composition for flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), viola, cello, percussion, piano, and electronics, based on the poem "What would I do without this world faceless incurious" by Samuel Beckett. The piece is a setting for disembodied voice: the vocal part exists solely in the electronics. Having no physical body, the voice is obscured as the point of empathy for the audience. In addition, instrumental solos compete for focus during the work's twenty minute duration. In passages including a soloist, the soloist functions simultaneously as antagonist and avatar to the disembodied voice. Spoken word recordings and electronic manipulation of instrumental material provides further layers of ambiguity. The companion critical essay "Among the Voices Voiceless": Setting the Words of Samuel Beckett proposes the distillation of Beckett's style into the elements of prosaicness, repetition, fragmentation, ambiguity, and symmetry. Discussions of Beckett's works such as Waiting for Godot and Molloy demonstrate these elements in his practice. This framework informs the examination of two other musical settings of Beckett's poetry: Neither by Morton Feldman and Odyssey by Roger Reynolds. Finally, these elements are used to analyze and elucidate the compositional decisions made in Among the Voices Voiceless.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Lyszczarz, Joseph E
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interactive Networks in "Forgotten Lyres": Critical Analysis and Original Composition

Description: Forgotten Lyres is a musical response to Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem Mutability, which depicts the fragility and unpredictable nature of human life. Four independent chamber ensembles make up the performing forces of Forgotten Lyres; the musicians evoke the topics of Shelley's text as they interact and coordinate with one another according to a variety of paradigms and without the use of a conductor. This essay focuses on the approaches to coordination within and between ensembles, and the ways in which the musicians' interactions can evoke and convey Shelley's texts. The essay also examines works by Mel Powell, Toru Takemitsu, Witold Lutoslawski, and Pierre Boulez as examples and precursors for the coordination strategies employed in Forgotten Lyres.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Harenda, Timothy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Negotiating Decades of Change in America: The Houston Chinese Traditional Music Group

Description: For over two hundred years, Chinese immigrants have brought ancient customs and musical traditions to their new homes in America. As in many immigrant communities, a new heritage that embodies and exhibits both the quintessential features of American culture and genuine Chinese heritage have come together to form new expressive cultures that are uniquely "Chinese American." As the youngest of the major American Chinese immigrant centers, the city of Houston, Texas provides an exemplary example of a distinct cultural cohesion that, in part, resulted from significant cultural and political upheavals in the latter half of the twentieth century. During this era of political unrest, many Chinese people's attitudes towards their traditional culture changed drastically. The Houston Chinese Traditional Music Group (HCTMG) is a Chinese orchestra comprised of amateur and professional musicians ranging in age from 13 to over 60 years old. Performing regularly for the Chinese immigrant population in Houston, HCTMG's take on traditional Chinese music deviates greatly from that of older, more established immigrant communities on the East and West Coasts and in some parts of mainland China. Via participant observation, interviews, and analysis of source materials, this paper examines how changing political and economic climates in China during the 1960s to the 1990s—when the majority of HCTMG musicians lived in China –are reflected in the musical decisions of HCTMG and the greater Houston Chinese immigrant community at large.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Mei, Yuxin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Looking through a Different Lens, Beyond Censorship: The American Reception of "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District"

Description: The censorship of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District is a familiar story to musicologists, but reception of the opera is not frequently mentioned. Examining the reception of a work can bring a work's relative importance into focus. In this thesis, German literary and reception theorist Hans Robert Jauss's model of the horizon of expectations is applied to reviews of American productions of Lady Macbeth. Curiosity about communism following the Great Depression in 1930s, America and American music critics' knowledge that Soviet composers worked for the Soviet regime led to the belief that Lady Macbeth was officially approved export from the Soviet Union. When the article condemning the opera as a Western formalism appeared in the Soviet magazine, Pravda, Americans needed to adjust their understanding of Lady Macbeth as a socialist expression. Following the work's revival in San Francisco in 1981, the influence of Solomon Volkov's Testimony is prevalent in many reviews. Many reviewers use Volkov's narrative of Shostakovich as covert dissident of the Soviet Union to assert that the censorship of the opera was about the content of the plot and not the music. Following the Soviet rejection of the work, American critics tried to claim Shostakovich for the West based on the values of individual freedom and feminism set forth in Lady Macbeth.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Cassell, Holly Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Monolith: A Piece for Midi Piano, Mixed Sextet, and Fixed Electronics"

Description: Reference to a regular pulse is one of the most common ways of measuring time in music. As the basis for tempo, meter, subdivisions, and even formal symmetry, pulse, or the sonic articulation of regular units of time, is found throughout all levels of music. In this paper, I describe how I used a structure of twelve simultaneous pulses to compose "Monolith," a recent piece for MIDI piano, Pierrot ensemble, and fixed electronics. In the first chapter, I contextualize "Monolith" by briefly examining pulse's relationship to hierarchical structure in music and the possibilities for creativity in pulse-based hierarchical structures. In the second chapter, I analyze the use of pulse in Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians," György Ligeti's "Self-portrait with Reich and Riley (with Chopin in the background), and Conlon Nancarrow's "Study No. 36 for Player Piano." In the third chapter, I describe in detail the relationship between the twelve-pulse structure and the various movements that comprise "Monolith," focusing on the relationship between compositional freedom and prescribed structure throughout the work.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Vaughn, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Moravian Church and Its Trombone Choir in America, a Lecture Recital, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by W. Presser, R. Monaco, L. Bassett, P. Bonneau, E. Bozza, R. Dillon and Others

Description: The purpose of the lecture was to investigate the historical and musical heritage of the Moravian Church, with a particular interest in the works and players of the American Moravian Trombone Choir. The historical overview of people, customs, and practices is traced from its beginnings with the Unitas Fratrum in Bohemia through the Northern Germany settlement of Herrenhut and the establishment of the American Moravian colony at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The musical life of the church is represented by a discussion of the early hymns of the founding fathers in Bohemia and the subsequent instrumental music of the Moravian trombone choir in America. The trombone choir played chorales that were used to call the congregation to order, announce important visitors to the town, and provide music at special occasions. Anthems were played by trombones (when players were available) in regular church services, or outside when it was necessary to double voice parts. Concerted music was played in the Bethlehem Collegium Musicum. Biographies of the players of the 18th and 19th century trombone choirs provide information attesting to the proficiency and dedication of these musicians. A list of players who contributed to the trombone choir movement since the 19th century is included, as well as information about the popularity and function of the Moravian Trombone Choir today.
Date: August 1984
Creator: Branstine, Wesley R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Practices of English Diction for Singers 1900-1971

Description: Specialized training in English diction for singers became increasingly prevalent in the twentieth century. Along with this growth, a small but significant literature on the subject developed. There are divergent practices recommended for American singers, displayed by nine authors in ten books published between 1900 and 1971. A comparative study yields pedagogies of vowel and consonant production. Issues of sounds in context, including proper linkage and stress, adjustments from speech to song, and practices dictated by musical style, are paramount. The literature demonstrates an increased use of International Phonetic Alphabet symbols as a pedagogical tool. The areas of kinesiology and acoustical research are suggested for further study.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Barber, Carol H. (Carol Hansell)
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Performance Edition of Joseph Fiala's Concertante in B-Flat for Clarinet, Taille (English Horn) and Orchestra, a Lecture Recital, Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of W.A. Mozart, C. Debussy, D. Milhaud, J. Brahms, P. Hindemith, and Others

Description: Joseph Fiala (1754-1816) was a composer and performer of the classical period. His many compositions include manuscripts of a concerto for clarinet, taille, and orchestra in the Fürstlich Thurn und Taxis Hofbibliothek in Regensburg, West Germany and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. , U.S.A. This paper identifies the instrument called "taille" as the English horn and discusses the work in areas of form, harmony, rhythm, orchestration, and use of solo instruments. Comparison with contemporary works shows the piece is typical of the eighteenth-century symphonie concertante and, together with the composer's manuscript, provides a basis for editing of the solo parts.
Date: August 1983
Creator: Widder, David R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Serenades and Divertimenti of Mozart

Description: This study has two divisions: Part I, an historical and analytical summary of the emergence and development of the divertimento and the serenade in the eighteenth century, and Part II, the culmination of these structures in the works of W. A. Mozart. Two primary purposes are envisioned: 1) to further our knowledge of how German Gesellshafts-musik evolved toward its peak in the second half of the eighteenth century, and 2) to furnish a useful analytical handbook of Mozart's works in these genres.
Date: June 1960
Creator: Gibson, O. Lee (Oscar Lee)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Seville Cancionero: Transcription and Commentary

Description: The Seville Cancionero is a manuscript collection of songs from late fiftennth-century Spain and is preserved today in the Biblioteca Colombina of Seville with the number 7-1-28. This dissertation describes the document and provides commentary and transcriptions of the Seville Cancionero.
Date: August 1960
Creator: Lawes, Robert Clement
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of the Variation Technique Employed by Beethoven and Copland

Description: Draws a comparison between the piano variation techniques of Beethoven and Copland with reference only to the two works discussed herein, Thirty-Two Variations and Piano Variations, with the intent of gaining from these isolated examples knowledge of the changes in variation writing from Beethoven's time to the present.
Date: May 1964
Creator: Parrish, Mary Kay, 1940-
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Experimental Study of Intonation Factors of the Cornet and Trumpet

Description: Many musicians have theorized that intonation would be improved if all players in a band or orchestral section used instruments of identical dimensions and material. This study consists of a test taken under experimental conditions comparing the Conn 38A cornets used in the North Texas State University Concert Band with a random selection of trumpets, using the same performers for both sets of instruments.
Date: August 1971
Creator: McMahon, Ann E. (Ann Elizabeth)
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Rhythm in Bach's Orgelbüchlein

Description: The present study is limited to Bach's Orgelbüchlein. The OB has been chosen because it represents a "closed" group of works which are in the same general style.
Date: 1952
Creator: Austin, Larry
Partner: UNT Libraries

John Playford and His Introduction to the Skill of Musick

Description: To provide a background for this study, an attempt has been made to correlate the facts known about Playford's life and work. The examination of the treatise has two main objectives: 1. to give an exposition of the material presented by Playford (which includes not only theory of music with examples, but also instructions on singing and on playing the viol and the violin, as well as a number of musical compositions); and 2. wherever possible, to discover the sources used by Playford in writing the treatise.
Date: 1958
Creator: Carapetyan, Leon F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Heinrich Schütz

Description: This work is a study of the historical and social background, the life and the compositions of Heinrich Schutz.
Date: May 1958
Creator: Streetman, Richard David, 1933-
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Development of Modern Solo Trumpet Literature as Traced through the Morceaux de Concours at the Paris Conservatory

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to give the reader an insight into the development of solo trumpet literature as well as to present historical information concerning the development of the trumpet and the effect it had on the literature written for that instrument. Only music originally written for trumpet will be considered as the many transcriptions of older music that now appears are not characteristic of the idiomatic writing for trumpet at that time.
Date: 1957
Creator: Olson, Robert Dale
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Works for Solo Trumpet by Alan Hovhaness

Description: The purpose of this study is to determine the general style characteristics of the works for solo trumpet by Alan Hovhaness, viz., Khrimian Hairig, Overture to Avak, Prayer of Saint Gregory, and Haroutiun. The musical elements of form, melody, harmony, tonality, rhythm, texture, and counterpoint are examined objectively in order to determine the essential features of the music. Further consideration is given to the idiomatic use of the solo trumpet in these compositions. Each composition is examined separately, the conclusions and generalizations of the style features being reserved for the final chapter.
Date: August 1957
Creator: Tull, Fisher Aubrey
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Musical Value of Ten Band Class Methods for Junior High School Level

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to present a detailed evaluation of the musical value in ten leading class band methods suitable for use in the junior high school. Presentation of tone production, mechanics of the instruments, and placement of beginning tones are discussed only when the value of the music is directly involved.
Date: August 1950
Creator: Dorsey, Harold B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reviewing Commercial Music Resources: a Guide for Aspiring Singers and Vocal Professionals

Description: Contemporary commercial music is a broad label used to describe the styles of popular music including pop, rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, hip-hop, country and heavy metal. the vocal ability required for each of these genres varies greatly but may require the use of screaming, belting, utilizing vocal fry and growling or singing with a breathy or dark tone. Singers who wish to perform in these genres may need assistance with vocal technique to assure the longevity and the quality of their singing. Due to the rise in popularity and the accessibility of contemporary commercial music (CCM), commercial pedagogical guides and self-study manuals are abundantly available for purchase. Aspiring singers are searching for appropriate training for this genre without having an awareness of how the voice works and how to maintain good vocal hygiene. Those who seek out private instruction are often frustrated when traditional classical training techniques are offered, rather than techniques utilizing CCM styles. Because CCM pedagogy is relatively new and few pedagogues in this specialized field are well known, the self-taught singer is responsible for finding a reliable study source. Many vocal instructors and choral directors are interested in familiarizing themselves with new stylistic techniques to enhance the performance of their students while maintaining vocal health. By reviewing popular vocal method books and techniques, insight may be given to assist a singer or vocal teacher in selecting resources of CCM styles.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Hanlon, Susan Christina
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Natural Learning Process and Its Implications for Trombone Pedagogy

Description: This thesis considers the natural learning process as defined by Timothy Gallwey and Daniel Kohut. This learning theory is examined and applied to trombone pedagogy while also considering physiological attributes to trombone performance. a brief synopsis of the history and lineage of the trombone is considered in order to understand the current setting of the trombone medium.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Reider, Shane Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries