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Paul Robert Fauchet's Symphony in B-flat: A Performance Edition for Modern Wind Band Instrumentation

Description: Paul Robert Fauchet's Symphonie pour Musique d'Harmonie, known in the United States as Symphony in B-flat, is a four-movement composition spanning nearly thirty minutes in length and written in the style of the late romantic composers. Despite its place as one of the first symphonies for wind band, a performance of the piece that represents the composer's 1926 orchestration is difficult due to the inclusion of instruments that are no longer in common practice, including bugles, alto horns, and saxhorns. Later American editions of the work by James Robert Gillette (1933) and Frank Campbell-Watson (1948/1949) replaced these instruments, but also took several other liberties with orchestration and voicing. The primary purpose of this study was the creation of a performance edition of the Symphony for modern wind band that is accessible to a larger audience of performers and listeners. The method involved in creating the modern edition eliminates errors of extant editions and clarifies a number of the discrepancies surrounding the symphony's multiple publications. This edition attempts to retain the composer's voicing and orchestration choices. To accomplish this, the present project considered where modern instrumentation differed from the original sources and attempted to balance timbral similarities between those instruments, while also considering ease of comprehension for a modern ensemble to perform the work. Sources used to create this edition included all published editions of scores and parts, as well as a newly created full score of the 1926 printed parts. The study concludes with the inclusion of the full score of the new performance edition.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Kitelinger, Shannon Monroe
Partner: UNT Libraries

Passion Settings of the 20th- and 21st- Centuries Focusing on Craig Hella Johnson's Considering Matthew Shepard

Description: Craig Hella Johnson (b. 1963) has emerged as a leader in choral music over the last 20 years. As the conductor of the Austin, TX based chorus Conspirare Johnson implemented the European model of bringing singers together from all over the country to assemble for concerts and recordings over a short period of time. He is known for his collage programs which bring together many styles of music bound by a central theme. Through these programs he has written and arranged many pieces which are now published and being performed by choirs across the globe. Johnson's most significant work to date is a 90 minute passion oratorio which details the story of Matthew Shepard, a college student murdered in a hate crime in 1998. Considering Matthew Shepard (2016) is a wonderful example of Johnson's composition and programming style. Though not a traditional passion story, it is part of the evolution of the genre in the 20th and 21st centuries. The passion oratorio has seen a resurgence in the past 50 years and has undergone a transformation in that time. These new works pay homage to the history of the genre but have begun to stretch it in terms of form and content. This study will highlight the evolution of the passion oratorio focusing on Johnson's Considering Matthew Shepard and offer some insight into the composers style and how this work represents a modern treatment of the passion oratorio.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Ward, Robert Clark
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Re-Unification of Dr. Edwin Fissinger's Prairie Scenes: A Choral Cycle

Description: Edwin Fissinger (1920-1990) was a conductor and prolific choral composer. His compositional techniques, settings of text, jazz-influenced harmonies, and melodic propulsion fulfill an important role in each of his compositions. In the eight choral cycles he composed, Fissinger unified each cycle through thematic and textual elements. Although this resulted in a logical progression of poetry and music, Fissinger's final choral cycle, Prairie Scenes, was not published as he intended. Rather, individual selections from the cycle were published by two different publishing houses, out of sequence, and sixteen years apart. Consequently, the eight pieces are not currently performed together. Today's choral conductors, singers, and audience do not fully appreciate the value of this choral cycle and cannot understand its intended context. It is necessary to provide an in-depth investigation of the original eight-piece work Prairie Scenes: A Choral Cycle to place the appropriate organizational set together. This study illustrates the importance of the unification of Fissinger's Prairie Scenes: A Choral Cycle through a study of the poetry, the thematic material as it relates to the natural elements of the prairies, the manuscripts, and interviews with Fissinger's publishers and colleagues. An examination of Fissinger's compositional technique to convey the meaning of the text reveals a clear link between Prairie Scenes and the North Dakota prairies and its seasons. A description of the development of the choral cycle throughout music history and a biography of Edwin Fissinger and his compositional style are also included.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Jilek, Dean Francis
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sven-David Sandström's Matthäuspassion: Examining J.S. Bach's Influence and Sandström's Compositional Language, Use of Symbolism, and Religious and Spiritual Motivations

Description: Beginning with his High Mass written in 1994, popular Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström modeled multiple compositions after famous canonical works using the same texts and/or instrumentation. Sandström wants to be compared tot he greatest, specifically in how a twenty-first century composer responds to a text set , in the case of J.S. Bach's , over 250 years ago. His setting of Matthäuspassion (MP), which uses the same libretto as J.S. Bach, is his most extensive non-operatic work, one he considers his most significant, and likely his last work based on a preexisting model. This study 1) examines the influence of J.S. Bach's MP on Sandström's setting in the use of characters and chorales, 2) illustrates Sandström's compositional language in MP based on recent studies on his choral music, 3) describes his use of musical symbolism, and 4) discusses his religious and spiritual motivations behind the work, as well as his preferred uses in performance.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Jilek, Dwight
Partner: UNT Libraries

British-Style Brass Bands in U.S. Colleges and Universities

Description: Since the 1980s, British-style brass bands - community ensembles modeled after the all-brass and percussion bands of Great Britain - have enjoyed a modest regeneration in the United States. During this same period, as many as 23 colleges and universities in the U.S. have founded their own curricular or extra-curricular brass band. The purpose of this research study was: to discover which schools sponsor a brass band currently; to discover which schools formerly sponsored a brass band but have since discontinued it; to describe the operational practices of collegiate brass bands in the U.S.; and to determine what collegiate brass band conductors perceive to be the challenges and benefits of brass band in the curriculum. Data for the study were collected between February, 2015 and February, 2016 using four custom survey instruments distributed to conductors of college and university brass bands. The results showed that 11 American collegiate institutions were sponsoring a brass band during the period of data collection. Additional findings included descriptions of the operations of collegiate brass bands, such as availability of credit, rehearsal time, and instrumentation. Results also included the conductors' reported perceptions that both challenges and benefits are inherent in student brass band participation, and that brass band is a positive experience for students. An additional 3 community-based brass bands, not sponsored by but located near a college or university, were found to include collegiate students among their player personnel. A total of 9 schools formerly sponsoring brass bands were found to have discontinued their program. A repertoire analysis of 733 titles of compositions performed by both active and formerly active brass bands revealed that bands performed original works for brass band nearly as often as transcribed or arranged works.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Taylor, Mark Amdahl
Partner: UNT Libraries

Johannes Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem: A Comparison of the Reduced Orchestration Techniques in Joachim Linckelmann's Chamber Ensemble Version to Brahms's Four-Hand Piano Version

Description: Recognizing the challenges small groups have to program a major work, in 2010, Joachim Linckelmann created a chamber ensemble arrangement of Johannes Brahms's "Ein deutsches Requiem." In 1869, J.M. Reiter-Biedermann published Brahms's four-hand piano arrangement of "Ein deutsches Requiem." Brahms's arrangement serves as an excellent comparison to the chamber ensemble version by Linckelmann, since it can be assumed that Brahms chose to highlight and focus on the parts he deemed the most important. This study was a comparative analysis of the two arrangements and was completed in three stages. The first stage documented every significant change in Joachim Linckelmann's recent chamber arrangement. The second stage classified each change as either a reduction, reorganization, or elimination. The final stage of the analysis was to compare the choices made by Linckelmann to those made by Brahms. The results show that Linckelmann's choices for reduction, reorganization, and elimination closely align with those of Brahms. The only differences between the arrangements can be attributed to Linckelmann's focus on retaining the original orchestral timbre and Brahms's focus on providing the original vocal parts.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hawley, Michael Aaron
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Multidimensional Polymetric Analysis of Excerpts from the Wind Band Music of Dan Welcher and Yo Gotō

Description: Polymetric writing is an integral technique in contemporary compositional practice. Dan Welcher and Yo Goto are principal employers of this practice in the wind band medium. Their methods endure even the results of modern scholarship showing limited human perception of polyrhythmic events. This dissertation provides a comprehensive metric analysis of excerpts from the music of Welcher and Goto. Five examples are explored from major band works of each of the two composers. The analytical process in the study utilizes the metrical concept set forth by Maury Yeston, so that a comparison can be made between the rhythmic components of the competing meters. The results of the study show that both Welcher and Goto, in all ten excerpts, create polymetric sections containing elements that surpass the aural limits proposed by modern scholarship. Additionally, through identification of the misaligned metric layers causing each polymeter, pedagogical considerations are offered to aid performance of each identified excerpt.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Robinson, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Conductor's Guide to Un-Yung La's Choral Music as Reflected in Easter Cantata

Description: Un-Yung La was one of the first Korean composers of Western style choral music who used Korean folk elements in his composers. According to Un-Yung La's musical theory, which he demonstrated in Easter Cantata. Korean-style melody and rhythm were created based on Korean traditional scales and he also used Western-style harmonization. He attempted a new Korean style of expression through Sikimsae technique in Korean traditional vocal music genres: Pansori and Sijo. The purpose of this paepr is to discuss traditional Korean performance elements related to melody, harmony, and rhythm as employed in La's Easter Cantata. The study will increase the knowledge of western conductors who wish to understand Korean folk music in preparation for performance of choral works such as La's Easter Cantata.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Ryu, Hanpill
Partner: UNT Libraries

The West Point Band's Wind Commissioning Project in Celebration of the Bicentennial of the United States Military Academy

Description: The United States Military Academy Band, also known as the West Point Band is the oldest active band in the United States Army and the oldest unit at the United States Military Academy, and is considered to be one of the finest military musical organizations in the world. The band has also been instrumental in facilitating the creation of new works for wind band.As the commissioning of new music has been essential to the expansion of the wind band's repertoire, several major commissioning projects were undertaken in the mid-twentieth century by various organizations, including the West Point Band, the Goldman Band in conjunction with the League of Composers and later the American Bandmasters Association, Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, the American Wind Symphony, and the College Band Directors National Association. These commissioning projects and many others have contributed hosts of new quality works to the repertoire of the wind band. The West Point Band's 1952 commissioning project celebrating the Sesquicentennial of the United States Military Academy was among the first of these mid-twentieth century commissioning projects to seek out prominent composers of the day and have them write works for wind band. The project contributed several seminal pieces to the wind band's repertoire, including Morton Gould's Symphony for Band: West Point. In 1996, as tribute to both the Academy and to the earlier commissioning project, the West Point Band sought to celebrate the Academy's 2002 bicentennial in a similar fashion by commissioning well-known composers to contribute substantial wind works. These pieces would be premiered and recorded by the West Point Band over a number of years, including a gala Bicentennial Celebration concert at Carnegie Hall in March 2002. The purpose of this study is to create a consolidated written record of the wind music composed for the West ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Morse, Matthew Carl
Partner: UNT Libraries

William Byrd's Motet "Tristitia et Anxietas" Through Elizabethan Eyes: Performance Practice Based on an Examination of Sixteenth-Century Sources

Description: By considering sixteenth-century English chorister training, modern singers of Renaissance vocal music are informed of the practical and academic demands unique to Elizabethan musicians and audiences. Clauses in relevant choirmaster contracts provide an insight into pedagogical expectations of teachers and their choristers. Studies included plainchant, grammar, Latin, rhetoric, improvisation, poetry, morality, instrumental instruction on organ and viols, and composition. For those not associated with cathedrals and collegiate chapels, Thomas Morley outlined the educational sequence of his teacher's generation in his 1597 publication, "A plaine and easie introduction to practicall musicke." Morley presented education as discourse between students and teacher, and covered the fundamentals of singing, improvisation, and composition. With the digitization of and online access to Renaissance performing sources, present-day performers can readily examine the design of sixteenth-century manuscript and printed partbooks. Performance practice recommendations can be gleaned from the physical nature of the music that once equipped the Renaissance chorister with the visual means necessary for expression. Combined with principles of chorister training, this project suggests learned choices in pronunciation, tone, intonation, phrasing, pitch, text underlay, musica ficta, rhetoric, and expression for the prima pars of William Byrd's middle period motet, "Tristitia et anxietas."
Date: August 2016
Creator: Irving, John Wells
Partner: UNT Libraries