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William Bolcom’S "Twelve New Etudes" (1988): Theoretical And Interpretative Analysis, Ran Dank 2017 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

William Bolcom’S "Twelve New Etudes" (1988): Theoretical And Interpretative Analysis, Ran Dank

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Ever since its naissance, composer William Bolcom’s set of Twelve New Etudes has garnered great critical praise, culminating with the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in 1988. Although much has been written about the background surrounding the creation of these pieces and their technical novelty, no formal analysis of this set of etudes has been published.

This dissertation thoroughly examines the various aspects which hold these pieces together. Each etude is analyzed according to a clearly defined set of criteria: dynamics, compositional language, range, texture, articulation and contour, meter and rhythm, and form. In addition, a more detailed analysis is offered ...


Mahlerian Tonality: Challenges To Classical Foreground Structures In The Music Of Gustav Mahler, Ryan Kosseff-Jones 2017 Graduate Center, City University of New York

Mahlerian Tonality: Challenges To Classical Foreground Structures In The Music Of Gustav Mahler, Ryan Kosseff-Jones

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation presents a detailed study of harmony and voice leading at local levels of structure in the music of Gustav Mahler. The results are grouped into three domains: cadences, common-tone techniques, and the Mahlerian imaginary continuo. An investigation of Mahler’s cadences reveals an underlying simplicity in the diverse tonal progressions that Mahler uses to execute the tonal close of a phrase. Cadences are shown to derive from two basic types (authentic and plagal) and three basic transformations (tonic intrusion, Phrygian 2, and contrapuntal bass). In a study of common-tone techniques, this dissertation proposes a new system for identifying ...


A Study Of Nikolai Medtner's Compositional Technique: Form And Narrative In Tales, Oliver H. Markson 2017 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

A Study Of Nikolai Medtner's Compositional Technique: Form And Narrative In Tales, Oliver H. Markson

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation delves into the compositional approach of Russian-born composer Nikolai Medtner. A discussion of Medtner’s own words on composition from his book The Muse and Fashion: Being a Defence of the Foundations of the Art of Music is followed by original analyses of four Tales. Focus is placed on the composer’s philosophy regarding the relationship between form and narrative, in association with his expressed warnings of the dangers behind shifting compositional dominance from pure music to extra-musical narrative. The analyses are followed by a discussion of the vital importance of Medtner’s music and writings for future ...


Harmony, Voice Leading, And Microtonal Syntax In Ben Johnston’S String Quartet No. 5, Daniel Huey 2017 University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Harmony, Voice Leading, And Microtonal Syntax In Ben Johnston’S String Quartet No. 5, Daniel Huey

Doctoral Dissertations May 2014 - current

This dissertation focuses on a new method for examining harmony, identifying consonance and dissonance through differential tones, and describing voice leading for pieces using just intonation, in particular for Ben Johnston’s String Quartet No. 5 (1979). Johnston employs microtonality in nearly all of his works, which contain more than the typical twelve equal-tempered pitches in the octave. This particular quartet features a great number (over 100) of pitches within the octave as is the case with many of his pieces up to his composition of String Quartet No. 5. This complex tuning system for microtonality requires a meaningful method ...


When Unexpected Beauty Burns Like Sunlight On The Sea: Songs Of Wintter Watts, Composer And Sara Teasdale, Poet, Casey A. Huggins 2017 University of Kentucky

When Unexpected Beauty Burns Like Sunlight On The Sea: Songs Of Wintter Watts, Composer And Sara Teasdale, Poet, Casey A. Huggins

Theses and Dissertations--Music

This document is an overview of Wintter Watts’ song settings of Sara Teasdale poems. Watts set 15 Teasdale poems as a part of his repertoire of approximately 200 art songs, both published and unpublished. Included are a thorough investigation of the culture of the period of American history of which Watts and Teasdale emerged as artists, biographies of each artist, with particular emphasis placed on Watts’ life and work, and theoretical and poetic analyses of each piece. Additionally, teachers of singing will find the appendix useful to explore options for student repertoire.


Music And Words: Connecting The Love Of Music With Language, Eileen P. Kennedy, Raymond Torres- Santos 2016 Education

Music And Words: Connecting The Love Of Music With Language, Eileen P. Kennedy, Raymond Torres- Santos

Publications and Research

Children from different cultures have a natural affinity for rhymes, rhythm and music. Imagine if students were able, from the beginning of their education and experiences with academic writing and literacy, to access their unconscious and original selves from which to create their writing. The study of music can help to access this aware, inventive side that can enhance anyone’s writing. As an early childhood writing teacher and a composition teacher, we draw on our experiences with young children with words and music. We examine the relationship between music and words in an effort to bring the primitive drive ...


Songs From The Willow Tree: Staging Collective Inspiration For Creative Songwriting, Aubrey W. Carpenter 2016 East Tennessee State University

Songs From The Willow Tree: Staging Collective Inspiration For Creative Songwriting, Aubrey W. Carpenter

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The songwriting process, inspiration to song, can take many forms. This project explores a highly structured approach, using themes derived from reported individual experience to direct the creation of musical ends addressing common experience.


Preparation For Collegiate Music Theory And Aural Skills Through Repertoire, Caroline E. Dunmire 2016 Liberty University

Preparation For Collegiate Music Theory And Aural Skills Through Repertoire, Caroline E. Dunmire

Senior Honors Theses

Music majors often struggle in first-year music theory and aural skills coursework. These struggles have lead to increased dropout rates among music students. Even those students who succeed in music theory course work often are not able to apply theory concepts to music literature. Some universities have identified this problem and sought to rectify it through offering remedial course work, however the universities should not bear this burden. Success in theory and aural skills is linked to mastery of music fundamentals and basic aural skills. Pre-college studies should focus on these subjects and not place too much emphasis on advanced ...


Marsilio Ficino's Music Theory, Amanda E. Crossan 2016 Oglethorpe University

Marsilio Ficino's Music Theory, Amanda E. Crossan

Oglethorpe Journal of Undergraduate Research

This paper explores the musical theory of Marsilio Ficino, a 15th century Italian philosopher. Examining his own work and those works which inspired him this paper attempts to explain his theory and understand its place in the world today. Looking at modern examples of the Renaissance philosopher's ideas shows that he may not have been too far from discovering the truth.


Musical Forces In Claude Vivier’S Wo Bist Du Licht! And Trois Airs Pour Un Opéra Imaginaire, Emilie L. Marshall 2016 The University of Western Ontario

Musical Forces In Claude Vivier’S Wo Bist Du Licht! And Trois Airs Pour Un Opéra Imaginaire, Emilie L. Marshall

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Claude Vivier’s (1947–1983) idiosyncratic and moving composition style often evades traditional, pitch-centred approaches to music-theoretical analysis; however, the somatic and sensual qualities of his style encourage a metaphorical appreciation of his music. This study analyses Wo bist du Licht! (1981) and the first two airs from Trois airs pour un opéra imaginaire (1982), which both feature his technique sinusoïdale, from the perspective of conceptual metaphor and musical forces. At the centre of this study are the dominant conceptual metaphors that linguist George Lakoff and philosopher Mark Johnson identify as being integral to our understanding of time, and which ...


Symmetry And Interval Cycles In The Quartettos Of Mario Davidovsky, Ines Thiebaut Lovelace 2016 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Symmetry And Interval Cycles In The Quartettos Of Mario Davidovsky, Ines Thiebaut Lovelace

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The music of Mario Davidovsky has seldom been analyzed past the timbral implications of his electroacoustic pieces and gestural aspects of his phrasing, and there has been virtually no attention paid to its pitch organization, despite the composer’s longstanding interest in writing for acoustic instruments. In this dissertation, I demonstrate how two main consistent resources for the organization of pitch govern the musical continuity and formal structure of his music, what I’ve called symmetry potentiality—actuality, and interval cycle potentiality-actuality processes. The interval cycle potentiality-actuality process refers to the various interval cycles that self-perpetuate, completing aggregates. This self-perpetuation ...


The Fourth Movement Of György Ligeti's Piano Concerto: Investigating The Musical-Mathematical Connection, Cynthia L. Wong 2016 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

The Fourth Movement Of György Ligeti's Piano Concerto: Investigating The Musical-Mathematical Connection, Cynthia L. Wong

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This interdisciplinary study explores musical-mathematical analogies in the fourth movement of Ligeti’s Piano Concerto. Its aim is to connect musical analysis with the piece’s mathematical inspiration. For this purpose, the dissertation is divided into two sections. Part I (Chapters 1-2) provides musical and mathematical context, including an explanation of ideas related to Ligeti’s mathematical inspiration. Part II (Chapters 3-5) delves into an analysis of the rhythm, form, melody / motive, and harmony. Appendix A is a reduced score of the entire movement, labeled according to my analysis.


Musical And Dramatic Roles Of The Chorus In Hugo Weisgall’S "Esther", Michael A. Capobianco IV 2016 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Musical And Dramatic Roles Of The Chorus In Hugo Weisgall’S "Esther", Michael A. Capobianco Iv

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Hugo Weisgall is considered one of America’s most important opera composers. He invariably chose subject matter of high artistic or philosophical importance, composing operas that dealt with significant 20th-century moral, social, and philosophical issues. In writing his final opera, Esther, which the New York City Opera premiered in October, 1993, Weisgall was able to make a larger statement about his Jewish heritage, the history of Jewish persecution and ultimate survival. The dissertation suggests that we enter the music and meaning of the opera most deeply through a consideration and study of the Chorus. The Chorus’s roles are as ...


The Relation Of Analysis To Performance Of Post-Tonal Violin Music: Three Case Studies, Karen E. Rostron 2016 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

The Relation Of Analysis To Performance Of Post-Tonal Violin Music: Three Case Studies, Karen E. Rostron

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation investigates analytical and performance relationships through studies of three post-tonal pieces for solo violin: Élégie by Igor Stravinsky (1944), Riconoscenza per Goffredo Petrassi by Elliott Carter (1984), and Melismata by Milton Babbitt (1982). The challenge of interpretation is especially evident in non-tonal music, as performers are unlikely to have any knowledge of the relevant relationships between pitches, functions of harmonies, or formal features in the pieces they play. In this respect analysis can contribute to an understanding needed to form a meaningful interpretation. I will attempt to show that even the most seemingly abstract theoretical concepts can have ...


Dual-Aspect Meter: A Theory Of Metrical Consonance, Dissonance, Weight, And Variety, Andrew Wilson 2016 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dual-Aspect Meter: A Theory Of Metrical Consonance, Dissonance, Weight, And Variety, Andrew Wilson

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The core argument of the dissertation emerges as a synthesis of ideas introduced in the first four chapters. Resonances with recent metrical theories are explored in chapter 1. Chapter 2 problematizes modern and historical theories through a phenomenological examination of meter and phenomenal accent in a few baroque sarabandes. Meter in these pieces is shown to involve entrainment to both a beat hierarchy and a recurrent weight profile, clarifying that metrical dissonance is fundamentally an expressive category, not a phenomenal category. Chapters 3 and 4 articulate a theory of weight, reviewing and refining phenomenal-accent theory, developing a notion of musical ...


Ten Etudes For Solo Cello By Sofia Gubaidulina, Julia A. Biber 2016 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Ten Etudes For Solo Cello By Sofia Gubaidulina, Julia A. Biber

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Sofia Gubaidulina is regarded as one of the most original and highly respected voices in contemporary music today. Her use of the Fibonacci and its related series to structure her compositions has become a defining feature of her music and, therefore, most analysis has focused on pieces that incorporate this method, which she calls “rhythm of form.” Consequently, works written prior to her adoption of this method have garnered much less analytical attention. However, in her earlier works­––from the late 1960s through the early 80s––Gubaidulina not only explores new sounds and colors, but also found creative ways to ...


War Of The Worlds: Music And Cosmological Battles In The Balinese Cremation Procession, Michael B. Bakan 2016 Florida State University

War Of The Worlds: Music And Cosmological Battles In The Balinese Cremation Procession, Michael B. Bakan

Yale Journal of Music & Religion

Abstract

This article explores processional action as a form of cosmological intervention in Hindu-Balinese cremation processions, focusing on the multiple and intersecting functions of a particular type of Balinese instrumental music ensemble: the gamelan beleganjur. It explores the alternately “enlivening and protective aspects” (DeVale 1990, 62) that underlie the use of beleganjur music in the ngaben, or cremation ritual, showing how beleganjur’s sonic power and rhythmic drive serve to combat malevolent spirit beings, strengthen and inspire processional participants in their efforts to meet challenging ritual obligations, and grant courage to the souls of deceased individuals embarking on their perilous ...


A Proposal For The Inclusion Of Jazz Theory Topics In The Undergraduate Music Theory Curriculum, Alexis Joy Smerdon 2016 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

A Proposal For The Inclusion Of Jazz Theory Topics In The Undergraduate Music Theory Curriculum, Alexis Joy Smerdon

Masters Theses

The demands of the twenty-first century require musicians to be more stylistically versatile since there are more opportunities for performance when musicians are familiar with not only classical but also jazz and popular music. Understanding the theory behind jazz and pop styles will help prepare the musicians for these opportunities. Since all music students take music theory, it is in the students’ best interest for teachers of theory to include jazz theory topics in the classical music theory curriculum. The purpose of this thesis is to propose the inclusion of jazz theory topics in the undergraduate music theory curriculum. To ...


Dynamic And Attack Associations In Boulez’S Le Marteau Sans Maître, Wayne C. Wentzel 2016 Butler University

Dynamic And Attack Associations In Boulez’S Le Marteau Sans Maître, Wayne C. Wentzel

Wayne Wentzel

This paper explores dynamic and attack associations in the Bourreux de Solitude movement of Pierre Boulez's pivotal piece, Le Marteau sans maître.


Sonatas, Rondos, And Cupcakes: The Efficacy Of Collaborative Learning In Undergraduate Music Theory Courses, Kyle Gullings 2016 University of Texas at Tyler

Sonatas, Rondos, And Cupcakes: The Efficacy Of Collaborative Learning In Undergraduate Music Theory Courses, Kyle Gullings

Kyle Gullings

This paper examines the efficacy of collaborative and creative learning models in undergraduate music theory courses, using as comparative case studies group projects I assigned in three consecutive Form and Analysis classes from 2011 through 2014. I make the case that creative group projects, when executed correctly, have a net benefit for students, and that we as educators should make more effective use of them in our courses.


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