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Sonata for Piano (1963) by Sergei Michailovich Slonimsky: Musical Analysis and Discussion on Interpretation and Performance

Description: The essay begins with the overview of Russian-Soviet piano music from the second half of the 19th century to the end of the 20th century. Then, biographical information about Sergei Slonimsky and an overview of his major compositions is provided. The majority of the paper focuses on Slonimsky's Sonata for Piano (1963). A brief discussion of the Sonata's compositional history is followed by the formal analysis of the overall structure of the work. Slonimsky's original principle of organization of the music is emphasized: the system of constant interrelation of the main thematic material combined with elements of the sonata-allegro form. In the analysis of the harmonic language of the piece, the composer's extensive use of Russian folk elements such as diatonic melodies, sigh motives, parallel triads, and simultaneous use of the lower third with the major triad is pointed out. The rest of the paper focuses on issues of interpretation and performance. Special notice is given to the problem of incorporating a percussive type of playing with the elements of folk cantilena singing. The paper concludes with the history of Sonata's performances and a discussion of current recordings.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Fitenko, Nikita
Partner: UNT Libraries

Peter Lieberson's First Piano Concerto: A Buddhist-inspired poetic vision realized through twelve-tone language, other contemporary compositional techniques, together with three recitals of works by Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Albéniz, Grieg, Ginastera and Paderecki

Description: The main objective of this document is to explore the life and spiritual convictions of composer Peter Lieberson, and the creation of his Piano Concerto. Lieberson is a sought after composer who has won many awards and commissions. His works have been premiered and performed by some of the best musical artists of the late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century, such as Peter Serkin, Emmanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, and Pierre Boulez. This study is divided into six chapters. After the Introduction, a biographical summary of Peter Lieberson's life, his spiritual beliefs and compositional style is presented. Chapter II contains background information on the Piano Concerto, along with biographical sketches of Peter Serkin, for whom the work was written, and Seiji Ozawa, music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conductor of both the premier performance and Serkin's recording of the piece. Chapter III is a selective survey of the compositional techniques used in Lieberson's Concerto, in terms of the application of twelve-tone theory and the resulting octatonic, pentatonic, and whole-tone scales. Chapter IV introduces a general overview of the influence of Buddhism as a source of inspiration in the Piano Concerto. Chapter V examines aspects of performance practice issues. Chapter VI provides conclusions. The aim of this study is to further establish Peter Lieberson's stature as an important modern American composer. It is hoped that this study will encourage further research and interest in his works.
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Méndez-Flanigan, Maria Gisela
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Ch'io t'abbandono" by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: A Dramatic Image of the Education and Aptitudes of the Composer

Description: The unpublished concert aria, "Ch'io t'abbandono," by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1825), is representative of the adolescent composer's developing musical aesthetic. In this study, Mendelssohn's education, work ethic, and perfectionism are revealed, paradoxically, as both the catalysts for the piece's composition and also the reasons it was not published during Mendelssohn's lifetime. An exploration of the text, form, thematic usage, and performance demands of the aria yields specific examples of his uniquely balanced romantic-classicist style. A consideration of possible original performers of the piece, Franz Hauser and Eduard Devrient, leads to further discussion about the nature of the work as both a reflection of Mendelssohn's romantic self-expression and his appreciation for the Baroque melismatic style. The significance of the aria, both stylistic and biographical, is further delineated by a presentation of possible motivations for its composition. The musical setting of the text, as well as the text itself, indicates both Mendelssohn's awareness of himself as a maturing adolescent composer and his desire to be a composer of operatic works, a desire that was never fully realized.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Turley, Charles William
Partner: UNT Libraries

Britten’s Op 47, Five Flower Songs: Breaking Trends in Analysis

Description: Benjamin Britten’s life and music have been the subject of study from early in his musical career. Current trends in psychological analysis of Britten’s music tend to focus on common themes, such as homosexuality, pacifism, the sense of the outsider, and the loss of innocence. Similarly, theoretical analyses tend either to provide general categorizations of the technical elements in Britten’s music or to apply a singular preconceived concept as a tool for understanding his compositions. These approaches have yielded significant information but leave aspects of Britten’s personality and music unilluminated. Britten’s Op. 47, Five Flower Songs, are a collection of five part songs for a cappella chorus that are often included within the canon of 20th century choral literature. This paper examines a new perspective on Britten’s music by examining the relationship between Britten’s friendships and their influence on his compositions. Through the examination of these relationships information is revealed that allows for a new method of analysis that is particularly relevant to the Five Flower Songs. The opus was dedicated to two botanists for the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary. Contained within specific movements are extra-musical references to scientific characteristics of the flowers that are the subjects of the texts. By examining this work and important connections between other friendships and his compositional output this paper demonstrates the validity of this perspective in analyzing Britten’s life and music.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Jackson, Christopher Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Revisioning a Masterpiece: Jon Magnussen’s “Psalm”

Description: In 2001, composer Jon Magnussen met the unusual challenge of unifying his new score for Psalm, an already-existing dance work from 1967, with the original artistic conceit of the choreographer, José Limón, who died in 1972. Limón was inspired directly by his reading of André Schwartz-Bart’s Holocaust novel, The Last of the Just, and had initially desired to use Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms as the score for the dance. Faced with cost-preclusive licensing fees for the Stravinksy, Limón engaged Eugene Lester to compose a score for Psalm. The Lester score, now lost, served the work for only a brief time, when the piece fell out of the repertory. When approached to create a new score for the extant dance work, Magnussen chose to draw his own influence from three works: the dance itself, Schwartz-Bart’s novel, and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. In addition, Limón Company Artistic Director Carla Maxwell served as Magnussen’s collaborator in reworking Psalm to resemble the work she believed Limón had desired all along. Magnussen’s influence from Stravinsky and Schwartz-Bart are revealed in the choices of text, the scored forces, and melodic ideas generated by the composer by mapping the names of significant Holocaust sites onto scalar patterns. Limón’s memoir, personal articles, and sketches of artistic ideas along with personal interviews with Magnussen and Maxwell will inform my research. These sources easily establish Magnussen as a significant composer, and Psalm as a significant work of art; its value is reflected in the careful confluence of the artistic contributions of three significant artists, Limón, Schwartz-Bart, and Magnussen.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Burnett, Jason
Partner: UNT Libraries

James Macmillan’s St John Passion: the Role of Celtic Folk Idioms and the Reproaches

Description: In 1829, Passion settings entered the secular concert hall with Felix Mendelssohn’s revival of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Berlin. The genre has fallen in and out of favor with composers because of the subject matter and Bach’s prominence in the setting. James MacMillan’s St. John Passion has established itself as one of the preeminent modern passion settings by manipulating past idioms such as chant, chorales, and other popular passion conventions in concert with his use of Celtic folk idioms. He creates a passion experience that strives for a spiritually Catholic influence. This approach has earned praise and harsh criticism. MacMillan’s unique use of keening and the drone offers a uniquely Scottish passion that allows for Jesus’ crucifixion to be more poignant to the intended initial audience. In addition to his use of Celtic folk idioms, MacMillan uses added text; most central to this paper is The Reproaches. Movement eight (The Reproaches) is the emotional and musical climax of the work. This inclusion of text has shifted the climax, namely Jesus’s death and burial, to moments before his death. In addition, the value of the work as a liturgical work is lost by the inclusion of these texts, but a religious and spiritual essence remain.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Frank, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Defining the Contralto Voice Through the Repertoire of Ralph Vaughan Williams

Description: At the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of the contralto voice type had reached its apex in England. Throughout the remainder of the century, the number and popularity of recorded contraltos has decreased alongside the rise of the mezzo-soprano voice type. Due to the contralto’s decline and the lack of repertoire composed specifically for the voice, the definition of “contralto” remains somewhat ambiguous. The large contralto repertoire of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams displays a unique sensitivity to the contralto, particularly with regards to vocal range, flexibility, tessitura, and sustainability. These works thus suggest a new perspective for the voice type. The scope of Vaughan Williams’s oeuvre examined includes each of his operatic roles for contralto and choral works featuring the contralto. Also examined will be the compositional techniques implemented within these pieces which demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the contralto voice. A workable definition of the voice type for the pedagogue and performer is included.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Daniels, Sarah 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

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

A Performer's Guide to John Musto's Penelope: A Cycle of Seven Songs for Soprano and Piano

Description: Award-winning composer John Musto stands at the forefront of modern American art-song composition. Many of his songs, such as "Litany" from Shadow of the Blues, have already achieved a place in the standard contemporary repertory for singers. His compositional technique weaves influences of jazz, blues, ragtime, and popular music with classical technique to make music that is decidedly modern but accessible and well liked both by critics and audiences. Unfortunately, though he is still actively composing, very little has been written about Musto and there is a lack of information available about his more recent compositions. This performance guide addresses one of Musto's acclaimed song cycles, Penelope, (a cycle of seven songs for soprano and piano) commissioned and premiered in 2000. The story of the cycle is an updated version of the character Penelope from Homer's The Odyssey and was a collaboration between Musto and poet Denise Lanctot. Including interviews with Musto, and his wife, soprano Amy Burton, who premiered the cycle and for whom it was written, the document provides background information on how the cycle was conceived and gives in-depth performance information on each of the seven songs of Penelope. In addition to musical examples and poetry from the songs, this study also contains a catalogue of Musto's compositions listing premiere dates, performers, and information about the commission of each work.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Kanakis, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Then Svenska Messan by Johan Helmich Roman: A Study of Text Setting

Description: This document includes a brief biography of Johan Helmich Roman, a discussion about the two most important manuscripts of Then Svenska Messan, or The Swedish Mass, and a discussion concerning the circumstances of the first performance of this work. Roman was a prolific composer of instrumental works for various ensembles and solo instruments. He wrote a smaller amount of vocal music and even less choral music; however, most of his music for choirs, vocal ensembles, and vocal soloists featured the Swedish language. The composer advocated the establishment of uniform rules of Swedish spelling and grammar. He also sought to develop and expand the genre of Church music in the Swedish vernacular. This document focuses on the composer's attention to the nature of the Swedish language when setting the text.
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Date: December 2005
Creator: Lindström, G. Mikael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sitting Next to Bach: the Influence of Js Bach on Sven-david Sandström’s Bach Motet Project with a Focus on the Motets “Der Geist Hilft” and “Singet Dem Herrn”

Description: In many of his choral works, Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström has sought a connection with the musical masters of the past. The number of Sandström works that bear a strong connection to Bach’s music is quite extensive and includes High Mass (1994), Magnificat (2005), the six motets (2003-2008) which constitute the Bach Motet Project under current discussion, and St. Matthew Passion, which recently premiered in Germany and Sweden in 2014. This study explores the extent to which Sven-David Sandström emulated the motets of J.S. Bach in the composition of his own motets. Further, this paper investigates these motets as a collection and examines two individual works within the collection as case studies for in-depth analysis. Ultimately, through analysis and discussion of the text, the division of text, the scoring of the motets, points of imitation, and specific compositional devices, the discussion explains how Sandström pays homage to Bach in the Motet Project primarily through the use of similar structural elements while maintaining his unique compositional voice to forge his own expressive path.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Franklin, James Christopher
Partner: UNT Libraries

Utilizing Standard Violin Orchestral Excerpts As a Pedagogical Tool: an Analytical Study Guide with Functional Exercises

Description: Orchestral excerpts have been used as a teaching material by violin pedagogues to develop violin techniques in addition to scales and etudes in the twentieth century. However, instructions on developing specific techniques and the relationship to its musical content have been left out. This dissertation provides an analytical study guide addressing the common challenges for violinists. Ten orchestral excerpts are selected from surveying frequently requested orchestral excerpts for the first violin. Through analysis of each excerpt, insight from the other violinists and pedagogues are included. Fifty-four functional exercises with comments are created to help violinists practice effectively and serve as a pedagogical tool in violin instruction.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Chang, Ai-Wei
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Indigenous Bushmen Musical Elements and Significant Compositional Traits on Niel Van Der Watt’s Song Cycle, Die Wind Dreun Soos ‘N Ghoera, ‘N Siklus Boesman-mites

Description: In Ghoera, Afrika-verse vir kinders, poet Hennie Aucamp demonstrates an affiliation with and reflection of his surroundings, such as the tribal communities he experienced as a child. This group of African children’s poems, published by Protea Boekhuis in 2011, became the source of inspiration for composer Niel van der Watt’s song cycle Die wind dreun soos ‘n ghoera, ‘n Siklus Boesman-mites. This study investigates and identifies significant compositional traits that contributed to van der Watt’s song cycle. To explore and understand the nature of such influences, the second chapter considers the composer’s early childhood; religious world views; student life; social, environmental, and political ideas; personal tonal language; and western musical elements. To ascertain possible indigenous Bushmen musical elements in van der Watt’s song cycle, the third chapter traces the history of the Bushmen and their marginalization, followed by a brief survey of historical writings on Bushmen music, and an identification process utilizing musicologist Percival R. Kirby’s research on Bushmen music as a foundation. The fourth chapter explores the origins of the cycle and other significant compositional influences. This study suggests that Hennie Aucamp’s poetry and Niel van der Watt’s song cycle represent a reconciling vehicle for cross-cultural understanding generating awareness and greater appreciation of the life, myths, oral traditions, and the music of the Bushmen.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Bester, Christiaan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Voice Building Exercises From the Cornelius L Reid Archive: an Introduction

Description: The study introduces the Cornelius Reid Archive and provides biographical and functional context for Reid’s teaching method, which he referred to as functional voice training. Biography, summary of Reid’s ideas on environmental control and vocal registration, together with descriptions taken from Reid’s own writings of the function and purpose of various exercises transcribed from the Archive, constitute the primary chapters. Appendices include complete transcription of ca. 170 exercises and several illustrations of Dr. Douglas Stanley’s overt teaching methods.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Yarrington, Jonathan S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Combination of Eastern and Western Musical Worlds: Korean Performance Techniques Applied to Western Symphony Orchestra in Relation to Isang Yun’s Tänzerische Fantasie Für Großes Orchester, Muak (1987)

Description: Isang Yun employed several contrasting methods to achieve the combination of two different musical worlds, Eastern and Western, in his Tänzerische Fantasie für Großes Orchester, Muak. In presenting Eastern elements, he adopts Taoism as his musical philosophy, describes the Korean traditional dance motion Chun-Aeng-Mu (Dance of the Oriole), and applies Korean traditional performance practice in the use of Western instruments. Showing the influence of aspects of Western music, he employs a musical form similar to that of the Baroque Concerto Grosso, evokes Igor Stravinsky’s rhythmic mood and tension from Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), and even uses his own compositional technique Hauptklangtechnik within the format of Western orchestration. In its analysis of Muak, this research project addresses how Korean performance practice can be applied to the modern Western symphony orchestra. This research project also provides insights regarding the sounds of instruments in the Korean tradition and explains how it is possible to create those sounds with modern instruments in order to make Yun’s dream sounds possible. This study provides several examples and describes various performance techniques that appear in Korean traditional music. It provides indications to orchestras and conductors, assisting them to arrive at effective basic performance ideas for the performance of Muak.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Lo, MeeAh
Partner: UNT Libraries

Choral Resonance: Re-Examining Concepts of Tone and Unification.

Description: Resonant singing creates possibilities with dynamic shading, subtlety of phrasing, and rich vibrant tone that astonishes listeners. Choral singing that employs resonance as a fundamental ensemble virtue yields impressive results that lend themselves well to the varying demands of any choral score. Fortunately, choruses of every level can benefit from an increased understanding of the basic principles of resonance in the singing voice. Research on issues of upper partial energy and the presence of the singer's formant in a choral ensemble has been limited in approach. Many published studies regarding upper partial energy in the choral ensemble are based on what the ensemble is already doing, which is linked to the teaching of that specific director and that specific choir. Research must include a wider range of aesthetic choices with regard to choral unification. Through examining spectrograms that represent the sound of some of the most renowned choirs, it is possible to see that many of these ensembles are producing tone that contains a high level of upper formant energy. Interviews with established conductors reveal approaches and teaching methodologies that reinforce this type of singing. It is possible to teach the individuals in a choir to increase the level of resonance in their voices, creating a collective sound containing a vibrancy that is easier to tune and unify. This paper explores resonance in choral singing by first explaining the basic principles of sound production, then defining a resonant tone as one containing the strong presence in the upper partials generally associated with classically trained singers, and finally discussing how this type of resonance is developed in choirs.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Quist, Amanda Renee
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

John Harbison's The Flight into Egypt: An Analysis for Performance

Description: John Harbison's status as a significant contemporary American composer is confirmed by his numerous appointments, honorary degrees, and awards. He is the recipient of nearly every major composition award, with works performed by major orchestras and in important opera houses spanning the world. This paper examines in detail Harbison's most acclaimed choral work, the 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Flight into Egypt. This study of the score is a "conductor's analysis," offering a musical guide for the conductor who seeks to perform this work. To provide a context for the discussion, Chapter 1 offers a brief biographical sketch of Harbison's life and career. Chapter 2 provides the analysis of the work and includes a history from commission to premier, a discussion of Harbison's selection of text, and an examination of the pitch organization which informs the piece. In Chapter 3, I present important rehearsal and performance implications to consider when undertaking a performance of the work. Interviews with two well-regarded conductors who have performed The Flight into Egypt, David Hoose and Patrick Gardner, and the composer himself, provide valuable insight into this discourse.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Galante, Brian Edward
Partner: UNT Libraries

First Movement of the Beethoven Third Piano Concerto: An Argument for the Alkan Cadenza

Description: The goal of this dissertation is not only to introduce the unique cadenza by Alkan but also to offer an argument from the performer’s point of view, for why Alkan’s cadenza should be considered when there exists a cadenza by Beethoven himself, not to mention those by a number of other composers, both contemporaries of Beethoven and later. Information in reference to the brief history of the cadenza and the pianoforte in the time of Mozart and Beethoven is presented in Chapter 2. A brief bibliography about Alkan is presented in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 describes not only the cadenza in the era of Alkan, but also a comparison which is presented between Beethoven and Alkan's cadenzas. Examples of the keyboard range, dynamic contrast, use of pedal and alternating notes or octaves, and creative quote are presented in Chapter 4. In conclusion, the revival of Alkan's cadenza is mentioned, and the author's hope to promote the Alkan's cadenza is presented in Chapter 5.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Ding, Yang
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ancient Musical Ideas Through a Twenty-First Century Lens: An Examination of Tarik O’Regan’s Scattered Rhymes and Its Relationship to Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame

Description: British composer Tarik Hamilton O’Regan (b. 1978, London) is earning a reputation as an important composer of today. The innovative works of O’Regan are entering the spectrum of professional, educational, and community performing organizations across the United States and Europe. Scattered Rhymes’ intricate melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic relationships with Messe de Notre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377) make an examination and comparison of the two works significant. Analyzing Scattered Rhymes by tracing its roots to Guillaume de Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame, results in a renewed interest in this ancient work and brings prominence to Tarik O’Regan’s modern musical interpretation of ancient ideas. Understanding Scattered Rhymes as a work based on ideas from the fourteenth century in fusion with compositional concepts rooted in the modern era promotes Scattered Rhymes as one that is valuable in the current musical landscape.
Date: August 2011
Creator: LaBarr, Cameron Frederick
Partner: UNT Libraries

"The Rainy Fragrance Musical”: Wintter Watts’ Song Cycle Vignettes Of Italy With Poetry By Sara Teasdale

Description: Wintter Watts (1884-1962) was one of the most admired composers of American art song in the early twentieth century. The history of great singers who performed his songs at that time attests to the reputation of Watts as a song composer. Unfortunately the songs of Watts have become largely neglected by singers from later generations. The song cycle Vignettes of Italy (1919) for high voice is regarded by many as Watts♠ best-known composition. Vignettes of Italy was frequently performed by many famous singers in America in his day, but is little known in the current repertoire of American art song and rarely performed today. Vignettes of Italy is worthy of reintroduction to contemporary audiences and singers. This study explores the significant contributions Wintter Watts made to the body of American art song in the early twentieth century and presents a thorough investigation of Watts♠ compositional techniques of Sara Teasdale♠s texts in his song cycle Vignettes of Italy. These techniques include the use of carefully tailored rhythms, modulations, harmonic progressions, and accompaniment figures to give unique treatment to the musical setting of individual words, poetic ideas, and broader moods. I hope this research provides a foundation of understanding of this cycle, assists singers and pianists in presenting artistically coherent performances, and creates a fuller comprehension and appreciation of Watts songs.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Kwon, Hye-Ryung
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role Of The Piccolo In Beethoven's Orchestration

Description: This dissertation discusses the role of the piccolo in Beethoven’s orchestration in his symphonic works. These include the Fifth Symphony, the Sixth Symphony, the Egmont Overture and the Ninth Symphony. The document includes the history of piccolo’s development since the ninth century B.C. until the modern Boehm piccolo. The author provides comparative observation through Beethoven’s orchestration techniques such as the range covered, instrumental pairing, balance, and melodic organization of each symphony works. In addition to discussing development of the piccolo in orchestration, this study compares the piccolo’s usage through motives (e.g. the “Ode to Joy” theme), harmonic analysis; range; balance; and melodic organization. Appendix A provides of tables that summarize piccolo’s harmonic function of works discussed to help the reader comprehend the piccolo function at a glance. This dissertation includes observations of performers, theorists and musicians; and these guides provide the reader with better understanding of the piccolo’s place in Beethoven’s orchestration. By following the observations, piccolo players will bring a deeper musical and technical understanding to individual performances.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Teng, Kuo-Jen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Increasing glottal closure in an untrained male chorus by integrating historical, scientific, and clinical practice into choral voice building exercises

Description: An examination of the historical treatises of Manuel Garcia II and Giambattista Mancini, scientific studies pertaining to glottal closure, and Vocal Function Exercises used in clinical speech pathology led to an exploratory study that attempted to increase the glottal closure in an untrained university male chorus using only choral voice building exercises. The exploratory study used a single group, pre-test post-test design, and data was recorded using audio recordings of the entire chorus as well as electroglottograph measurements of individual subjects. The data show an increase in glottal closure as measured by closed quotient values, and an increase in energy in the upper partials of the recorded acoustic signal from the chorus.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Cottrell, Duane Coles
Partner: UNT Libraries