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The Significance of Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Sonata Op.12

Description: The aspiration of this dissertation is to bring forth the significance of Shostakovich's Piano Sonata Op.12. This sonata is a hybrid of the German musical tradition, Russian Modernism, and Liszt's thematic transformation technique. It demonstrates Shostakovich's highly intellectual compositional skills influenced by the education that he received at St. Petersburg Conservatory as well as the exposure to modern music in the 1920s. This dissertation discusses composition techniques, such as the harmonic piers adapted from Alexander Scriabin, neighboring-tone technique, which involves the application of semitone cell throughout the piece, as well as the technique of thematic transformation borrowed from Liszt. These all come together by Shostakovich's design in the most controversial sonata form. The Piano Sonata Op.12 also sheds light on Shostakovich's early compositional style and proves its contribution to the evolution of sonata genre in the twentieth-century.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Kan, Ling-Yu
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Assimilation of Baroque Elements in Ferruccio Busoni's Compositions as Exemplified by the Fantasia nach Bach and the Toccata

Description: Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) has a firmly established reputation as one of the giant pianists of his age, yet his compositions are largely neglected both in musicological circles and on the concert stage. A better understanding of his thought processes might lead to a greater appreciation of his art, and the acknowledgement of his reverence for the music of Bach is an important key to such an understanding. Busoni's Fantasia nach Bach and Toccata, although two decidedly dissimilar compositions in terms of purpose and conception, represent two manifestations of Busoni's respect for Bach, whether it be in the form of assimilating Bach's compositions into one of his own, or by creating an original work to the same mold as some of Bach's works.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Van Schalkwyk, Willem Andreas Stefanus
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Performance Guide to Luigi Nono's Post-Prae-Ludium No. 1 "Per Donau"

Description: Luigi Nono's work Post-Prae-Ludium No.1 "per Donau" represents a model for the emerging genre of electroacoustic tuba music. It is important to preserve this electroacoustic work because of its value to the tuba literature. Not only is it one of the first electroacoustic works for the tuba, but it also was composed by a man who is highly regarded in the field of music composition. Its preservation will be difficult because of the rapid advancement in technology. Within the last three decades of existence, the technology has evolved three times. An examination of the performance practice in Post-Prae-Ludium was undertaken to understand the demand on the performer required to play this work. This study will look at both non-traditional performance practices, as well as an inherent problem of how the advancement of technology can actually threaten the survival of a work dependent upon a specific version of electronic technology. Nono worked in collaboration with Giancarlo Schiaffini to compose a work for tuba and live electronics. Correspondence with Schiaffini has provided his thoughts on the collaboration of Post-Prae-Ludium with Nono and given a better understanding of how to perform the work. Technology will change, and these current adaptations of Post-Prae-Ludium may not be valid in one or two decades. However, with the description and instruction given by Nono and Schiaffini, in addition to recordings made of Post-Prae-Ludium, there is a record from which to reproduce this work. This study provides a source allowing performers to reproduce this work, thereby preserving it for future performers.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Tignor, Scott Edward
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

Susan Botti's Cosmosis: A Conductor's Analysis with Performance Considerations

Description: In 2005, composer Susan Botti won the coveted Prix de Rome in musical composition and spent eleven months in residency at the American Academy in Rome. That same year, the University of Michigan Wind Symphony, under the direction of Michael Haithcock, premiered her exciting new work Cosmosis at the College Band Directors National Association Conference in New York City. The bi-annual conference is a venue for the premiere of new works for wind ensembles and bands, and the 2005 conference saw the world premiere of nine works for winds and percussion, many of which were performed in the legendary Carnegie Hall. What made the debut performance of Cosmosis exciting and notable was the composer's own appearance as soprano soloist, and the inclusion of a chorus of women augmenting the ensemble of winds and percussion. Such a combination of elements is unique, and created a fresh and powerful sonority. Botti's inventive approach to composition has expanded the repertoire for both women's chorus and wind ensemble with this distinctive work. This study is intended to serve as a guide to the study and performance of Cosmosis. The information provides a detailed examination of the work from its conception to its premiere performance. The work is based on the poetry of American poetess May Swenson, and Botti's interpretation of the poetry in music unveils interesting parallels between these artistic disciplines. The research provides a contextual framework from which the conductor may begin study of the work, and which may lead to an informed performance of the work.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Schroeder, Angela
Partner: UNT Libraries

Motives, Allusions, and Eclecticism: A Panametric Analysis of the First Movement of Christian Lindberg's Mandrake in the Corner Based on the Method of Jan LaRue

Description: For more than 20 years, Christian Lindberg has been internationally recognized as the premiere trombone soloist of our time. Few, however, are familiar with his compositions. For over ten years, he has composed many solo and ensemble works for trombone. Many prominent musical organizations in the world have performed Lindberg's music, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the University of North Texas Wind Ensemble. Today, Christian Lindberg has commission requests up to 2010. Christian Lindberg completed Mandrake in the Corner, a three movement concerto for trombone, in 1999. The purpose of this dissertation is to present an analysis of the first movement of Mandrake in the Corner to provide the first in depth study of Lindberg's compositional style. This analysis borrows freely from the method of Jan LaRue, which focuses on sound, harmony, melody, rhythm, and growth of musical structure on the small, middle, and large levels. The focus of this study centers on the aspects of melody, harmony, and rhythm to explain how the piece works despite the lack of a second theme or change of key in the first movement.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Underwood, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Choral Works of Robert Ward: A View of His Compositional Approach to Text Settings and His Use of Symbols and Allusions

Description: Robert Eugene Ward's impressive body of work encompasses almost every genre of music. He has composed symphonies, operas, large orchestral pieces, chamber works, solo instrumental pieces, extended choral works, short choral pieces, ceremonial works, a ballet, theatre pieces, and even jazz and swing band pieces. Ward's name is recognized in most musical circles but usually only for his opera The Crucible, a work for which he earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1962. In fact, a survey of all the dissertations, articles, interviews, and books written about Robert Ward shows that the vast majority of these studies focus on his most famous opera. His choral works, though they comprise some of Ward's most expressive work, have received little attention. Ward's works show a deliberate use of symbols and allusions. While this use is far from an innovative concept in composition, Ward distinguishes himself with a consistent and purposeful application of these devices establishing an unmistakable interweaving of text, composition, and context. This study examines several of Ward's short choral compositions as they relate to the composer's use of symbols and allusions. Comparisons are made to Ward's use of these devices in his operatic works as a means of determining the consistency of their use throughout his vocal works. Chapter 1 looks at the composer's background, influence, and experience as to their impact on his approach to composition. Chapter 2 lays the groundwork for the discussion of symbols and allusions in music by establishing their basis and function in literary arts in general. The final chapter explores Ward's use of symbols and allusions in four of his choral works.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Tucker, Carlton S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Examination of Laude: Four Character Sketches for Solo Trumpet in B-flat or C by Stanley Friedman, together with Three Recitals of Selected Works by Joseph Haydn, George Fredrick Handel, Eric Ewazen, and Others

Description: Stanley Friedman is a composer of many works, primarily for brass instruments, that have become part of the standard repertoire. Solus, for Trumpet Unaccompanied, for example, appears on many audition and competition lists, as do others of his works. On the other hand, Laude: Four Character Sketches for Solo Trumpet, commissioned by the International Trumpet Guild in 1980, is unfortunately not widely known among trumpet performers and educators. The intent of this study is to demonstrate, through discussion and analysis, the qualities and potential appeal of this lesser-known work and to renew interest in its performance. Among the six chapters is an overview of Laude, including an explanation of Friedman's peculiar titles for each movement: Nocturne for St. Thomas, Phantasie für Der Wiz, Berceuse for John Julius, and Rondo for Professor Nabob. Other chapters discuss the procedure for analysis of the work and probable sources for melodic material. The motivic development and form of each movement of the work are also explored. The final chapter includes recommendations for the performance of Laude and is followed by a summary and conclusion.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Lambert, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries

An historical and analytical survey of the Transcendental Etudes by Sergei Liapunov.

Description: Sergei Mikhailovich Liapunov (1859-1924) was a distinguished Russian composer, pianist and teacher of the late 19th and early 20th century whose works are relatively unknown. His piano pieces were highly regarded and performed by pianists such as Konstantin Igumnov, Josef Hofmann, Josef Lhévinne, Ferruccio Busoni, and Vladimir Horowitz. However, they are rarely included in modern pianists' repertoire both in Russia and abroad, and are often viewed merely for their historic significance. Works of Liapunov are characterized by a life-affirming character and monumental beauty largely inspired by the images of nature as well as the sounds of his native Russian folk songs and dances. His music rarely conveys the urgency or profound melancholy which is often seen in the music composed during the same period by Rachmaninoff and Scriabin. Liapunov continued and enriched the great traditions of Russian music started by Glinka and The Mighty Five. He did not discover bold new ways of composing, and at the same time did not succumb to the temptation of following contemporary musical trends. The Twelve Transcendental Etudes, op. 11, dedicated to the memory of Franz Liszt, are masterpieces of immense value both from a technical and artistic standpoint. Just like Liszt's études, they were not designed merely to display virtuosity, but to demonstrate that the piano is capable of achieving orchestral sounds and tone painting. There is no doubt that the virtuosic style of Franz Liszt as well as the Russian Romantic tradition and folklore had the greatest influence on Liapunov's Transcendental Etudes. It is also clear that Chopin's works must have occupied a large part of his repertoire. This paper will examine both Russian and Western European influences on Liapunov's style as demonstrated in this étude cycle.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Chernyshev, Igor
Partner: UNT Libraries

The American Trumpet Sonata in the 1950s: An Analytical and Sociohistorical Discussion of Trumpet Sonatas by George Antheil, Kent Kennan, Halsey Stevens, and Burnet Tuthill.

Description: The trumpet, or some ancestral form of the trumpet, has existed nearly as long as civilization itself. Despite its long history, however, the trumpet's solo repertoire remained limited and relatively unvaried until the second half of the twentieth century. Like most music, the American trumpet sonatas from the 1950s are a reflection of the culture and history surrounding their composition. The purpose of this research is to show how the trumpet sonatas by George Antheil, Kent Kennan, Halsey Stevens, and Burnet Tuthill are both distinctly American and unmistakably from the 1950s. The post-war era in America is often viewed as a time of unbridled optimism stemming from economic prosperity and the nation's military and industrial supremacy. The decade of the 1950s is often viewed today as a simpler, happier time in America's history. The trumpet sonatas of this era reflect this primarily in their ebullient rhythms and brilliant, often heroic melodies. However, darker characteristics of the decade (the rise of communism, for example) also make veiled appearances in these four sonatas. After an overview of the social and musical trends of the decade, the central chapter of the work delineates formal, thematic, and tonal structures of each of the four sonatas and their constituent movements. Highlighted throughout the analyses are similarities between the pieces, especially intervallic structures, motivic rhythms, and melodic construction. The final chapter discusses these similarities further and integrates them into 1950s American history and culture.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Dearden, Jennifer Lorien
Partner: UNT Libraries

Snow Spell: An Interactive Composition for Erhu, Flute, Piano, Cello, and Max/MSP

Description: Snow Spell is an interactive composition for erhu, flute, cello, piano, and Max/MSP interactive computer music system. This one-movement piece, Snow Spell, is intended to depict the beauty of a snow scene by presenting four different impressions of snow envisioned by the composer through music. The definition, history, and significance of interactive music are explored. Various modes of interactivity to control signal processing modules, and technical considerations for signal routing and level control in the interactive computer music system are also explored. Chinese music elements in Snow Spell including pentatonic scales, glissandi, and quotations from the Chinese folk tune River of Sorrow are investigated.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Cheng, Chien-Wen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Franz Liszt: (1811-1886): The Two Episodes from Lenau's Faust as a Unified Work

Description: Franz Liszt composed his Two Episodes from Lenau's Faust between 1856 and 1861. The composer intended to portray two emotionally contrasting scenes from Lenau's Faust in a set for orchestra, the first being The Night Procession and the second The Dance in the Village Inn. Liszt created a duet version of the orchestral set, and also a solo piano version of The Dance in the Village Inn, known as the Mephisto Waltz No. 1. The set was not performed together due to the immense popularity of The Dance in the Village Inn but also due to an unfortunate publication history resulting in the pieces being published separately by Schuberth publishers, published years apart from each other. As a result The Night Procession is largely forgotten today and The Dance in the Village Inn is interpreted as a single work outside of its context in a set. In this dissertation the works are examined from within its context in a set. Background information includes information on Liszt's student Robert Freund (1852-1936), and a solo piano transcription of the orchestral alternative ending to The Dance in the Village Inn. A comparison between Liszt's orchestral, solo and duet versions of the Mephisto Waltz No. 1 and the Liszt-Busoni Mephisto Waltz No. 1 is also made.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Grobler, Pieter Johannes Christoffel
Partner: UNT Libraries
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