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An Analysis of Joe Lovano's Tenor Saxophone Improvisation on "Misterioso" by Thelonius Monk: An Exercise in Multi-Dimensional Thematicism

Description: The dissertation focuses on Joe Lovano's utilization of thematic material in relation to "Misterioso" by Thelonius Monk. Thematicism is defined more broadly in this study to include reference to the form, phrase structure, and harmony of "Misterioso". Methodological models provided by Gary Potter, Henry Martin, and Paul Hindemith serve as points of departure for this study which focuses on four areas: 1) phrasing, 2) step progression, 3) motives and formulas, and 4) harmonic implications. Thematic relationships are discovered through the analysis of the transcription of Lovano's improvisation; the four levels of the analysis work together and also independent of one another to produce a kind of thematic counterpoint. This study also examines how Lovano creates an effective solo. The study will be of benefit to students, professional musicians, pedagogues, theorists, musicologists, and jazz aficionados.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Dahlke, Andrew Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of Selected Choral Works by Kirke Mechem: Music-Textual Relationships in Settings of Poetry of Sara Teasdale

Description: Kirke Mechem (b. 1925), American composer, has a musical output which includes a variety of genres, the most prolific being choral music. This document examines selected choral works by Mechem that are set to the poetry of Sara Teasdale (b. 1884, d. 1933). Included are biographical sketches of Mechem and Teasdale. Selected choral works examined include Christmas Carol (1969) SATB and guitar, The Winds of May, five movement choral cycle (1965) SATB, Birds at Dusk, from the choral cycle Winging Wildly (1998) SATB, and Barter (1995) SA, trumpet, piano 4-hands. Analysis of the poetry involved as well as musical attributes and compositional techniques, including meter, form, harmonic structures, wordpainting, rhythmic treatment and melodic characteristics are included in the discussion.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Bierschenk, Jerome Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cyclic Patterns in John Coltrane's Melodic Vocabulary as Influenced by Nicolas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns: An Analysis of Selected Improvisations

Description: This study documents and analyzes cyclic patterns used as melodic vocabulary in John Coltrane's improvisations from compositions of 1965 to 1967. The analysis is categorized in two distinct sections. The first section analyzes melodic vocabulary that is derived from the cycle of descending major thirds progressions found in the compositions of 1959 to 1960. The second section analyzes melodic vocabulary that is derived from Nicolas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns using the theoretical terminology incorporated in the treatise. Musical examples consist of patterns from the Thesaurus and excerpts from selected improvisations of John Coltrane as transcribed by Andrew White. Important scholarly contributions relevant to the subject by Carl Woideck, Lewis Porter, David Demsey, and Walt Weiskopf are included. Every effort has been made to cite interviews with musicians and commentaries by writers contemporary to that period of time with special emphasis on the important influence of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Ornette Coleman. Chapter headings include: Literature Review and Methodology; Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Ornette Coleman: Converging Influences; Analysis: Coltrane's Major Thirds Harmonic Cycles Used as Melodic Vocabulary; Interval Cycles in Coltrane's Melodic Vocabulary Based on Patterns from Slonimsky's Thesaurus; Summary and Conclusion.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Bair, Jeff
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Piano Variations of Aaron Copland: An Analysis and Study for the Performer.

Description: Aaron Copland has been in the forefront of the American musical scene since the 1920s. He has been called an "American composer" for his ability to formulate the essence of American folk music into a wide variety of mediums. The variety and scope of his compositions encompass a diverse array of styles and techniques. From the jazz influenced works that dominated his early period to the works for Hollywood films, from the chamber music that was directly influenced by his Jewish background to the partial acceptance of serial technique, Copland has managed to delve equally into all these styles. Yet, one could arguably rank his works for the stage as his most popular and generally most successful compositions of his career. The extent to which the American public has accepted these works as being "folk" is a case for the genius and adaptability of Copland's talent. Although works like Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, and Lincoln Portrait command the attention of the general public, of whom Aaron Copland was constantly aware, there are works for the piano that deserve and demand close study by pianists. One such work is the Piano Variations. Written in 1930, it has been acknowledged as a twentieth century masterpiece in publications for piano and piano literature as well as by pianists since its premiere in 1931. It is a brutal and sparse work that encompasses a quasi-serial technique in which the motto of four notes transforms itself through the course of twenty variations and a coda. The demands of learning a work such as this can be overwhelming for the pianist not accustomed to the rigors of a non-diatonic piece. However, a careful analysis precipitated by specific questions directed not only at learning the piece but also with the goal of performance in mind, can shape the ...
Access: This item is restricted to the UNT Community Members at a UNT Libraries Location.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Saun, Rinna M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rediscovering Giuseppe Verdi's Messa da Requiem

Description: Several interpretations in performances, recordings, and publications of Giuseppe Verdi's Messa da Requiem raise issues concerning the relationship between these readings and the composer's intention. Understanding Verdi's tempo and phrasing in the Requiem is of crucial importance in rediscovering his intention. Knowing that Verdi's metronome markings were not merely performance suggestions but that they actually reflected his final decision is equally important. Unlike his operas, fast tempos are not introduced suddenly in the Requiem; rather, where tempo changes occur gradually from one section to the next, thereby maintaining the music's overall character. Verdi's phrasing is very subtle, and unconventional, because one sign may have multiple meanings. Compounding this complication are the many editorial errors in the published editions. David Rosen, in his critical edition, corrected many of these errors, and made additional editorial suggestions, but there are still numerous places where determining correct phrasing, as well as tempo fluctuations, knowledge of Verdi's use of signs and symbols is difficult.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Cho, Ick Hyun
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Six Piano Sonatas of James Sellars: Aspects of Form, Rhythm, Texture, and Style

Description: James Sellars has established himself as one of America's foremost composers whose eclectic style reveals a wealth of influences. His artistic combination of various traditional and avant-garde techniques, along with his sensitive and expert craftsmanship has earned him an important position in contemporary American music. Sellars' compositional styles have encompassed neo-Romanticism, in his early days, through post-serialism and Dada to an eclectic, post-Romantic style utilizing popular elements including electro-acoustic techniques. His extensive catalog of over 150 compositions includes works for orchestra, opera, chorus, dance, chamber, voices with ensemble, solo voice, piano, instrumental solos, band, and media. Sellars' compositions for piano solo span a 38-year period and total 17 works, the most important of which are his six one-movement sonatas, which represent, according to Sellars, "a journey from modernism to post-modernism." Their value lies in their eclectic stylistic approaches, artistic nd technical challenges, and pianistic effectiveness. The first three sonatas, incorporating post-serial elements, fall into a modernist stylistic stance while numbers four through six, in postmodern style, contrast one another drastically. Sonata Brasileira, recalls the broad sweeping gestures of the Romantic period; Sonata V reveals the influence of the absurdist Dada movement; and the last sonata Patterns on a Field, blends minimalism with elements of rock music. These sonatas represent Sellars' significant contribution to the genre of the piano sonata and deserve a position among other important American piano sonatas of the twentieth century. Despite Sellars' numerous successes and highly active performance schedule, no study or research has focused on the composer or any of his works. Taken as a whole, the six sonatas represent an important yet relatively unknown body of twentieth century solo piano literature, which justifiably merit further study and performance. The aim of this dissertation is to provide an introduction to the composer and present a study ...
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Solomons, John
Partner: UNT Libraries

Systematic Composition and Intuition in a Concerto for Organ and Orchestra

Description: Historically, composers have used methods in addition to inspiration in writing music. Regardless of the source materials they used, composers ultimately rely on their musical sensitivity to inform the compositional decision-making. Discuses the rotational aspects of decimals that are created from certain prime-number denominators, and focuses on the prime number 17. Shows how these decimals can be transformed by converting them to different number bases. Looks at the Golden Proportion and its use in creating formal structures. Examines compositional and aesthetic issues arising from using number series to generate the pitches, rhythms, and sections in the Concerto for Organ and Orchestra. This process of composition reveals musical gestures that may not have been discovered using more intuitively based approaches to composition. Shows how musical sensitivity was necessary in shaping the numerically derived material in order to create aesthetically satisfying music.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Worlton, James Timbrel
Partner: UNT Libraries

William Bolcom's Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1989)

Description: Composer William Bolcom (1938-) has shown a remarkable capacity for incorporating disparate materials and combining them to create original compositions, while often using traditional genres and forms. This style has earned Bolcom the reputation as a leading composer of American postmodernism. This study provides a brief sketch of Bolcom's development as a postmodern composer, his repertoire for violoncello and piano, and it examines his compositional style as applied in his Sonata for Violoncello and Piano (1989). In the Sonata Bolcom applies a wide variety of musical vocabulary from serious and popular traditions. He juxtaposes contrasting ideas to create and resolve rhythmic, melodic and harmonic tensions and amalgamates concepts of three centuries of music history into one new integral work. All these disparate elements with classical, romantic, impressionist, expressionist, modernist and popular connotations are molded together to form a serious piece of musi c with a sense of humor. The three contrasting movements of the Sonata share many common rhythmic, melodic and harmonic traits. The movements form a congruent work of Classical and Romantic spirit, often reminiscent of Brahms' music, despite the mixed use of traditional, popular, and modernist musical languages.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Janssen, Tido
Partner: UNT Libraries