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New Resources in Twentieth-Century Piano Music and Richard Wilson's Eclogue (1974)

Description: This dissertation draws some of the innovative composers from the early 1900's to the 1960's into the spotlight to highlight their new musical and pianistic ideas. These composers, including Debussy, Schoenberg, Webern, Bartók, Cowell and others, brought new creative forces into piano music, generating many distinctive features of modern music. The discussion of new resources in harmonic language, timbre, texture, form and concept of time has a direct bearing on aspects of Richard Wilson's Eclogue itself as well as aspects of performance problems. American Composer, Richard Wilson, has written three substantial piano solo works, Eclogue, Fixations, and Intercalations. Eclogue, from 1974, is a one-movement work. The detailed analysis of Eclogue covers aspects of form, harmonic language, timbre and texture, and rhythm and time. In addition, essential issues of performance problems such as notation, rhythmic control, extended techniques, hands distribution, and pedaling are also discussed.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Lan, Ping-Ting
Partner: UNT Libraries

Earth Ascending: A Composition in Three Movements for Female Voice, Electroacoustic Music, and Video

Description: Earth Ascending is a composition in three movements scored for female voice, electroacoustic music, and video. Composed in the Year 2000, Earth Ascending lasts approximately sixteen minutes and was created specifically for live performance in which all three elements combine to create a sonic and visual environment. As such, no single element has greater importance than any other, with each of the three performing forces assuming a foreground role at various times throughout the work. Earth Ascending is defined by a single poem written by contemporary female British poets Jeni Counzyn, Jehanne Mehta, and Cynthia Fuller. The movements are named according to the title of each poem: Earth-Body, Light-Body; Wringcliff Beach; and Pool. The movements are separated in performance by five seconds of silence and black on the video screen. The paper accompanying the score of Earth Ascending is divided into five chapters, each discussing in detail an element central to the composition itself. The Introduction presents background information, general ideas, and approaches undertaken when creating the work. Chapters 1 through 3 investigate in detail the content of the electroacoustic music, voice, and video. Chapter 4 discusses scoring techniques, revealing approaches and methods undertaken to solve issues relating to notation and ways of accurately representing sound, pitch, and rhythm within the context of a mixed media work. Chapter 5 presents information relevant to the live performance of the piece.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Lillios, Elainie
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Heidegger Collection

Description: The dissertation consists of two parts: (1) the essay and (2) the composition. The essay elucidates the composer's creative process of the orchestral works, The Heidegger Collection. The Heidegger Collection has five movements. The titles of each movement are derived from the key philosophical concepts from Heidegger's most significant writing, Being and Time: (1) State-of-Mind, (2) Idle-Talk, (3) Moment-of-Vision, (4) Dread, and (5) Being-towards-the-End. The essay discusses the meanings of the five concepts, and explains how I express my reaction to Heidegger's thinking through music composition. The essay also discusses the essential musical language of The Heidegger Collection, such as interval cycles, polyrhythmic patterns, algorithmic elements, portamento effects, chaos theory, and oriental influence.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Lin, Tung-Lung
Partner: UNT Libraries

Light From Behind the Iron Curtain: Anti-Collectivist Style in Edison Denisov's Quatre Pièces pour flûte et piano, With Three Recitals of Selected Works by Bach, Beaser, Carter, Fauré, Martin, Ibert, Liebermann, and Others

Description: An examination of the compositional style illustrative of the anti-collectivist ideology as found in Edison Denisov's Quatre Pièces pour flûte et piano. Includes a short history of Denisov's formal training, history of the Soviet musical environment, an overview of his creative output, and discussion of the anti-collectivist characteristics in his works. Defines the anti-collectivist doctrine as individual reaction to the totalitarian collective of the Soviet communist state of the twentieth century. Identification of eclectic compositional techniques, and how they represent individual expression under a totalitarian regime. Listing of Denisov's works with the flute in a primary role, interviews with Aurèle Nicolet and Ekaterina Denisov, correspondence from Denisov to Nicolet, and the manuscript score to Quatre Pièces pour flûte et piano follow as appendices.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Luce, Brian Arzy
Partner: UNT Libraries

From a Dark Millennium Comes the Music of Amber: A Comparative Study of Two Works by Joseph Schwantner

Description: The two works of Joseph Schwantner which are the focus of this study, are quite unique for this composer. These two pieces represent the only instance in which Schwantner used the same music for two different compositions. From a Dark Millennium, and Sanctuary from the Music of Amber, are identical in musical material, form and length. While From a Dark Millennium was written for a large wind ensemble, Sanctuary was scored for a sextet of flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion. The comparative analysis of these pieces reveal the essence of the music, as well as explores the scoring of each version. Both the melodic and harmonic material in this music is based almost entirely on an octatonic scale of alternating whole and half steps. Very little musical material is used in these works, however the approach toward expanding this material is exceptionally creative. The music shifts abruptly from sections that are sparse and soloistic, to scoring that is very dense. While the piano is utilized as the central timbre in both versions, the wind ensemble presents a much heavier and more percussive sound throughout. The chamber version, due to its size and instrumentation, is more ethereal, and features the performers in a soloistic environment. In examining both of these works, many of the distinctive traits found in the music of Joseph Schwantner are exhibited. The differences between these two versions help to illustrate his unique approach to composition and orchestration. The two works have also had a significant impact in their respective performance media as well. From a Dark Millennium has become an important part of the repertoire for wind ensembles; and Music of Amber, which won the 1981 Kennedy Center Friedheim Award for excellence in chamber composition, is one of Schwantner's most performed chamber pieces.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Popejoy, James
Partner: UNT Libraries

Thomas Jefferson: Life lines

Description: Thomas Jefferson: Life Lines is a five movement composition based on excerpts from Thomas Jefferson's personal letters. The material presented focuses on the intimate, human qualities of the man. The musical treatment of this material illuminates and amplifies different aspects of the inner Jefferson. The music is as diverse and varied as Jefferson's interests. The style, tone and form of the music are directly tied to Jefferson's words. Two fundamental components of Jefferson's being, the rational mind and the emotional heart, are musically portrayed in the introduction of the first movement. The music that follows in the first and all subsequent movements is derived from these two components. The first movement contains eight brief excerpts that highlight different aspects of Jefferson's mindset. Each of the remaining movements focuses on a single subject: The second movement, the death of Jefferson's wife, Martha; the third movement, Monticello; the fourth movement, a dialogue between Jefferson's head and heart; and the fifth movement, Jefferson's belief in the free mind. The music is presented by a chamber ensemble of twenty-two performers: five woodwinds (flute, oboe, two B-flat clarinets, bassoon), five brass (two french horns in F, trumpet in C, trombone, tuba), two percussionists, piano, four vocalists (alto, two tenors, bass) and five strings (two violins, viola, cello, double bass). Historical background for each epistolary excerpt and an explanation of the its corresponding music is found in the preface.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Spaniola, Joseph T.
Partner: UNT Libraries