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The ensemble étude for violins: an examination with an annotated survey of violin trios and quartets and an original étude for four violins

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ABSTRACT &eacutetudes; written for violin ensemble, which include violin duets, trios, and quartets, are less numerous than solo &eacutetudes.; These works rarely go by the title "&eacutetude;," and have not been the focus of much scholarly

ABSTRACT &eacutetudes; written for violin ensemble, which include violin duets, trios, and quartets, are less numerous than solo &eacutetudes.; These works rarely go by the title "&eacutetude;," and have not been the focus of much scholarly research. Ensemble &eacutetudes; have much to offer students, teachers and composers, however, because they add an extra dimension to the learning, teaching, and composing processes. This document establishes the value of ensemble &eacutetudes; in pedagogy and explores applications of the repertoire currently available. Rather than focus on violin duets, the most common form of ensemble &eacutetude;, it mainly considers works for three and four violins without accompaniment. Concentrating on the pedagogical possibilities of studying &eacutetudes; in a group, this document introduces creative ways that works for violin ensemble can be used as both &eacutetudes; and performance pieces. The first two chapters explore the history and philosophy of the violin &eacutetude; and multiple-violin works, the practice of arranging of solo &eacutetudes; for multiple instruments, and the benefits of group learning and cooperative learning that distinguish ensemble &eacutetude; study from solo &eacutetude; study. The third chapter is an annotated survey of works for three and four violins without accompaniment, and serves as a pedagogical guide to some of the available repertoire. Representing a wide variety of styles, techniques and levels, it illuminates an historical association between violin ensemble works and pedagogy. The fourth chapter presents an original composition by the author, titled Variations on a Scottish Folk Song: &eacutetude; for Four Violins, with an explanation of the process and techniques used to create this ensemble &eacutetude.; This work is an example of the musical and technical integration essential to &eacutetude; study, and demonstrates various compositional traits that promote cooperative learning. Ensemble &eacutetudes; are valuable pedagogical tools that deserve wider exposure. It is my hope that the information and ideas about ensemble &eacutetudes; in this paper and the individual descriptions of the works presented will increase interest in and application of violin trios and quartets at the university level.

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2011

A pedagogical and performance edition of J. S. Bach's Violin sonata I in G minor, BWV 1001, transcribed for guitar: transcription, analysis, performance guide, pedagogical practice guide, and recording

Description

Johann Sebastian Bach's violin Sonata I in G minor, BWV 1001, is a significant and widely performed work that exists in numerous editions and also as transcriptions or arrangements for various other instruments, including the guitar. A pedagogical guitar performance

Johann Sebastian Bach's violin Sonata I in G minor, BWV 1001, is a significant and widely performed work that exists in numerous editions and also as transcriptions or arrangements for various other instruments, including the guitar. A pedagogical guitar performance edition of this sonata, however, has yet to be published. Therefore, the core of my project is a transcription and pedagogical edition of this work for guitar. The transcription is supported by an analysis, performance and pedagogical practice guide, and a recording. The analysis and graphing of phrase structures illuminate Bach's use of compositional devices and the architectural function of the work's harmonic gravities. They are intended to guide performers in their assessment of the surface ornamentation and suggest a reduction toward its fundamental purpose. The end result is a clarification of the piece through the organization of phrase structures and the prioritization of harmonic tensions and resolutions. The compiling process is intended to assist the performer in "seeing the forest from the trees." Based on markings from Bach's original autograph score, the transcription considers fingering ease on the guitar that is critical to render the music to a functional and practical level. The goal is to preserve the composer's indications to the highest degree possible while still adhering to the technical confines that allow for actual execution on the guitar. The performance guide provides suggestions for articulation, phrasing, ornamentation, and other interpretive decisions. Considering the limitations of the guitar, the author's suggestions are grounded in various concepts of historically informed performance, and also relate to today's early-music sensibilities. The pedagogical practice guide demonstrates procedures to break down and assimilate the musical material as applied toward the various elements of guitar technique and practice. The CD recording is intended to demonstrate the transcription and the connection to the concepts discussed. It is hoped that this pedagogical edition will provide a rational that serves to support technical decisions within the transcription and generate meaningful interpretive realizations based on principles of historically informed performance.

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2013

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An investigation of finger motion and hand posture during clarinet performance

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Finger motion and hand posture of six professional clarinetists (defined by entrance into or completion of a doctorate of musical arts degree in clarinet performance) were recorded using a pair of CyberGloves® in Arizona State University's Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous

Finger motion and hand posture of six professional clarinetists (defined by entrance into or completion of a doctorate of musical arts degree in clarinet performance) were recorded using a pair of CyberGloves® in Arizona State University's Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing Laboratory. Performance tasks included performing a slurred three-octave chromatic scale in sixteenth notes, at sixty quarter-note beats per minute, three times, with a metronome and a short pause between repetitions, and forming three pedagogical hand postures. Following the CyberGloves® tasks, each subject completed a questionnaire about equipment, playing history, practice routines, health practices, and hand usage during computer and sports activities. CyberGlove® data were analyzed to find average hand/finger postures and differences for each pitch across subjects, subject variance in the performance task and differences in ascending and descending postures of the chromatic scale. The data were also analyzed to describe generalized finger posture characteristics based on hand size, whether right hand thumb position affects finger flexion, and whether professional clarinetists use similar finger/hand postures when performing on clarinet, holding a tennis ball, allowing hands to hang freely by the sides, or form a "C" shape. The findings of this study suggest an individual approach based on hand size is necessary for teaching clarinet hand posture.

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2011

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Attitudes and perspectives of pre-college guitar students: a study to help explain difficulty with note-reading in class guitar

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This study examined attitudes and perspectives of classroom guitar students toward the reading of staff notation in music. The purpose of this qualitative research was to reveal these perceptions in the student's own words, and compare them to those of

This study examined attitudes and perspectives of classroom guitar students toward the reading of staff notation in music. The purpose of this qualitative research was to reveal these perceptions in the student's own words, and compare them to those of orchestra and band students of comparable experience. Forty-seven students from four suburban middle and high schools on the east coast were selected through purposeful sampling techniques. Research instruments included a Musical Background Questionnaire and a thirty-five question Student Survey. Follow-up interviews were conducted with students to clarify or expound upon collected data. Guitar, orchestra, and band teachers were interviewed in order to provide their perspectives on the issues discussed. The Student Survey featured a five-point Likert-type scale, which measured how much students agreed or disagreed with various statements pertaining to their feelings about music, note-reading, or their class at school. Collected data were coded and used to calculate mean scores, standard deviations, and percentages of students in agreement or disagreement with each statement. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed into a word processing document for analysis. The study found that while a variety of perspectives exist within a typical guitar class, some students do not find note-reading to be necessary for the types of music they desire to learn. Other findings included a perceived lack of relevance toward the classical elements of the guitar programs in the schools, a lack of educational consistency between classroom curricula and private lesson objectives, and the general description of the struggle some guitarists experience with staff notation. Implications of the collected data were discussed, along with recommendations for better engaging these students.

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2011

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Violin Curriculum Incorporating Visual, Aural and Kinesthetic Perceptual Learning Modalities

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To be a versatile violinist, one needs interdependence of aural, visual and kinesthetic skills. This thesis introduces aural, visual and kinesthetic learning modalities, and explores the way each is used in the Suzuki, Paul Rolland, Orff, Kodály, and Dalcroze methods,

To be a versatile violinist, one needs interdependence of aural, visual and kinesthetic skills. This thesis introduces aural, visual and kinesthetic learning modalities, and explores the way each is used in the Suzuki, Paul Rolland, Orff, Kodály, and Dalcroze methods, as well as in Edwin Gordon’s Musical Learning Theory. Other methods and pedagogical approaches were consulted and influential in developing the curriculum, such as the teaching of Mimi Zweig, but were not included in this paper either because of an overlap with other methods or insufficient comparable material. This paper additionally presents a new curriculum for teaching beginning violin that incorporates aural, visual, and kinesthetic learning in a systematic and comprehensive manner. It also details a sequenced progression to learn new repertoire and develop proficiency with rhythm, solfège, reading and writing musical notation, and left- and right-hand technique.

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2017

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Eliminating Fear and Unleashing Creativity: Incorporating Improvisation into Performance Practice and Education

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This research project was written simultaneously with a composition for double

bass and piano that centers around improvisational concepts. The composition is intended for intermediate to advanced musicians to have an opportunity to practice improvisational performance and, hopefully, further their understanding

This research project was written simultaneously with a composition for double

bass and piano that centers around improvisational concepts. The composition is intended for intermediate to advanced musicians to have an opportunity to practice improvisational performance and, hopefully, further their understanding and improve their ability to make convincing and creative musical decisions.

Improvisation, an aspect of music that has a deep tradition in Western Classical music, is often feared by classical musicians. The lack of improvisation in classical music, the idea that it is a specialized skill, and the lack of encouragement from studio teachers contributes greatly to this fear. In addition, teachers themselves often fear teaching and utilizing improvisation in performance for these same reasons. The introduction of improvisation into both the student’s and the teacher’s studies and daily practice can be beneficial in the development of meaningful performance and understanding music theory concepts.

This paper will introduce improvisation into daily practice that will educate both the student and the teacher and cement the understanding of theoretical concepts and standard repertoire. Various improvisation games (creating new material and improvising from traditional classical music) will be introduced. This study will begin with a brief survey of the tradition of improvisation in Western classical music from the Middle Ages to the present.

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2017