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The solo piano music of selected contemporary Canadian women composers: database, audio samples, and annotated bibliography

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Women's contributions to the history of Canadian music can be traced back to the late nineteenth century. However, women's achievements then, and still somewhat now, are often overlooked and as a result, piano solo works by Canadian women composers are

Women's contributions to the history of Canadian music can be traced back to the late nineteenth century. However, women's achievements then, and still somewhat now, are often overlooked and as a result, piano solo works by Canadian women composers are largely unknown. The purpose of this study is to promote the wealth of solo piano repertoire composed by Canadian women, and to report the results in an accessible and comprehensible format for students, teachers, and performers at all levels. The research focuses on the most recent piano music by female composers born in or after 1950 whose compositions are available through the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) library. Brief biographies of included composers note their accomplishments, compositional output, and style characteristics. Annotations for the 103 works studied, written by twenty-six composers, include information about harmonic schemes, meters, tempos, durations, dates of the composition, CMC call number, level of difficulty, commissions, musical excerpts, premieres, and style characteristics. The style characteristics section includes composer's notes, technical challenges, musical characteristics, pedagogical values, and other pertinent information about a given piece. Since the goal of this project is to stimulate the awareness of music composed by Canadian women in a truly global sense, the research paper is supplemented by a website--www.canadianwomencomposers.com--that contains all the information found in the written portion of the annotations. This website also offers short audio samples of the compositions. The writer wishes to encourage all students, performers, and teachers to explore this resource, which reveals the richness of solo piano repertoire written by Canadian women composers.

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2011

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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

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The resonance of place: music and race in Salvador da Bahia

Description

Geography, and the social sciences more broadly, have long operated within what is arguably a paradigm of the visual. Expanding the reach of geographical consideration into the realm of the aural, though in no way leaving behind the visual, opens

Geography, and the social sciences more broadly, have long operated within what is arguably a paradigm of the visual. Expanding the reach of geographical consideration into the realm of the aural, though in no way leaving behind the visual, opens the discipline to new areas of human and cultural geography invisible in ocular-centric approaches. At its broadest level, my argument in this dissertation is that music can no longer be simply an object of geographical research. Re-conceptualized and re-theorized in a geographical context to take into account its very real, active, and more-than-representational presence in social life, music provides actual routes to geographic knowledge of the world. I start by constructing a theoretical framework and methodological approach for studying music beyond representation. Based on these theoretical and methodological arguments, I present four narratives that unfold at the intersections of race and music in the northeast Brazilian city of Salvador. From the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to the troubled neighborhood of the Pelourinho, from the manic tempos of samba to the laid back grooves of samba-reggae, and in the year-round competition between the oppressive forces of ordinary time and the fleeting possibility of carnival, music emerges as a creative societal force with affects and effects far beyond the realm of representation. Together, these narratives exemplify the importance of expanding geographical considerations beyond a strictly visual framework. These narratives contribute to the musicalization of the discipline of geography.

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2011

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The compositional styles of Alfredo Casella: an examination of four vocal works

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This paper and its accompanying recital examine three solo vocal works by Italian composer Alfredo Casella (1883-1947): "Larmes" from Cinq Mélodies (Op. 2); "Mort, ta servante est à ma porte" from L'adieu à la vie: Quatre lyriques funèbres extraites du

This paper and its accompanying recital examine three solo vocal works by Italian composer Alfredo Casella (1883-1947): "Larmes" from Cinq Mélodies (Op. 2); "Mort, ta servante est à ma porte" from L'adieu à la vie: Quatre lyriques funèbres extraites du "Gitanjali" de Rabindranath Tagore (Op. 26); and "Amante sono, vaghiccia, di voi" from Tre canzoni trecentesche (Op. 36). Each of these songs is discussed as representative of Casella's three compositional periods. A fourth song, "Ecce odor filii mei" from Tre canti sacri per baritono et organo (Op. 66), is also examined, as an end-of-life composition. Some of the more important solo vocal works composed in each period are mentioned to show where the four selected songs fit into Casella's compositional output and to suggest music for further study or repertoire.

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2014

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Trumpet pedal tones: their history and pedagogical uses

Description

The normal playing range of a brass instrument includes a definitive stopping note in the instrument's low register. However, players have the ability to manipulate their lips to extend the low range beyond this point; notes sounding below an instrument's

The normal playing range of a brass instrument includes a definitive stopping note in the instrument's low register. However, players have the ability to manipulate their lips to extend the low range beyond this point; notes sounding below an instrument's normal playing range are called pedal tones. The history of pedal tones in trumpet performance and pedagogy has long been a source of confusion and misinformation. Consequently, this paper also discusses the educational value of using pedal tones, includes a brief history of players and teachers who have formulated pedal tone exercise methods, and examines their use within the six most influential method books that promote the use of pedal tones. The six books are Original Louis Maggio System for Brass by Carlton MacBeth, Double High C in 37 Weeks by Roger Spaulding, Systematic Approach to Daily Practice by Claude Gordon, Trumpet Yoga by Jerome Callet, James Stamp Warm-Ups +Studies by Thomas Stevens, and The Balanced Embouchure by Jeff Smiley.

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2014

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Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra

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Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra was conceived in February of 2013, and conceptually it is my attempt to fuse personal expressions of jazz and classical music into one fully realized statement. It is a three movement work (fast, slow,

Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra was conceived in February of 2013, and conceptually it is my attempt to fuse personal expressions of jazz and classical music into one fully realized statement. It is a three movement work (fast, slow, fast) for 2 fl., 2 ob., 2 cl., bsn., 2 hrn., 2 tpt., tbn., pno., perc., str. (6,4,2,2,1). The work is approximately 27 minutes in duration. The first movement of the Concerto is written in a fluid sonata form. A fugato begins where the second theme would normally appear, and the second theme does not fully appear until near the end of the solo piano section. The result is that the second theme when finally revealed is so reminiscent of the history of jazz and classical synthesis that it does not sound completely new, and in fact is a return of something that was heard before, but only hinted at in this piece. The second movement is a kind of deconstructive set of variations, with a specific theme and harmonic pattern implied throughout the movement. However, the full theme is not disclosed until the final variation. The variations are interrupted by moments of pure rhythmic music, containing harmony made up of major chords with an added fourth, defying resolution, and dissolving each time back into a new variation. The third movement is in rondo form, using rhythmic and harmonic influences from jazz. The percussion plays a substantial role in this movement, acting as a counterpoint to the piano part throughout. This movement and the piece concludes with an extended coda, inspired indirectly by the simple complexities of an improvisational piano solo, building in complexity as the concerto draws to a close.

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2013

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Re-sonification of objects, events, and environments

Description

Digital sound synthesis allows the creation of a great variety of sounds. Focusing on interesting or ecologically valid sounds for music, simulation, aesthetics, or other purposes limits the otherwise vast digital audio palette. Tools for creating such sounds vary from

Digital sound synthesis allows the creation of a great variety of sounds. Focusing on interesting or ecologically valid sounds for music, simulation, aesthetics, or other purposes limits the otherwise vast digital audio palette. Tools for creating such sounds vary from arbitrary methods of altering recordings to precise simulations of vibrating objects. In this work, methods of sound synthesis by re-sonification are considered. Re-sonification, herein, refers to the general process of analyzing, possibly transforming, and resynthesizing or reusing recorded sounds in meaningful ways, to convey information. Applied to soundscapes, re-sonification is presented as a means of conveying activity within an environment. Applied to the sounds of objects, this work examines modeling the perception of objects as well as their physical properties and the ability to simulate interactive events with such objects. To create soundscapes to re-sonify geographic environments, a method of automated soundscape design is presented. Using recorded sounds that are classified based on acoustic, social, semantic, and geographic information, this method produces stochastically generated soundscapes to re-sonify selected geographic areas. Drawing on prior knowledge, local sounds and those deemed similar comprise a locale's soundscape. In the context of re-sonifying events, this work examines processes for modeling and estimating the excitations of sounding objects. These include plucking, striking, rubbing, and any interaction that imparts energy into a system, affecting the resultant sound. A method of estimating a linear system's input, constrained to a signal-subspace, is presented and applied toward improving the estimation of percussive excitations for re-sonification. To work toward robust recording-based modeling and re-sonification of objects, new implementations of banded waveguide (BWG) models are proposed for object modeling and sound synthesis. Previous implementations of BWGs use arbitrary model parameters and may produce a range of simulations that do not match digital waveguide or modal models of the same design. Subject to linear excitations, some models proposed here behave identically to other equivalently designed physical models. Under nonlinear interactions, such as bowing, many of the proposed implementations exhibit improvements in the attack characteristics of synthesized sounds.

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2013

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A study and analysis of trombonist Andy Martin's improvisations: thematic hooks as a teaching/learning tool

Description

This project sheds light on trombonist Andy Martin's improvisation and provides tools for further learning. A biographical sketch gives background on Martin, establishing him as a newer jazz master. Through the transcription and analysis of nine improvised solos, Martin's improvisational

This project sheds light on trombonist Andy Martin's improvisation and provides tools for further learning. A biographical sketch gives background on Martin, establishing him as a newer jazz master. Through the transcription and analysis of nine improvised solos, Martin's improvisational voice and vocabulary is deciphered and presented as a series of seven thematic hooks. These patterns, rhythms, and gestures are described, analyzed, and presented as examples of how each is used in the solos. The hooks are also set as application exercises for learning jazz style and improvisation. These exercises demonstrate how to use Martin's hooks as a means for furthering one's own improvisation. A full method for successful transcription is also presented, along with the printed transcriptions and their accompanying information sheets.

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2013

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English folk song influences on the Vaughan Williams Concerto for oboe and strings

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The Concerto for Oboe and String by Ralph Vaughan Williams is often described as a pastoral work without any consideration for what makes that an accurate description. This paper outlines the connections to English folk song that create what are

The Concerto for Oboe and String by Ralph Vaughan Williams is often described as a pastoral work without any consideration for what makes that an accurate description. This paper outlines the connections to English folk song that create what are considered the pastoral qualities in the work. Vaughan Williams' relationship with English folk song, as collector and arranger, is well-documented, as is his advocacy for their use in compositions. By the time he wrote the Oboe Concerto at the end of his career, folk song elements had completely infused his compositional style. The Oboe Concerto shares many stylistic traits with English folk song. These stylistic elements: mode, melodic structure, form, and rhythm and meter are first analyzed in terms of English folk song, then how these features are utilized in the Oboe Concerto. Another connection to English folk song is in the manner of accompanying the Concerto. Vaughan Williams had firm opinions on how to accompany folk songs and wrote many sample accompaniments, which bear a marked resemblance to the accompaniment for the Oboe Concerto. The same is true for the accompaniment he wrote for a specifically folk song-inspired work, the Six Studies in English Folk Song for Violoncello and Pianoforte. Specific examples from both works are compared to the Concerto accompaniment. Finally, several motives and melodic figures found in folk songs included in the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, which was edited by Vaughan Williams, are also found in the Oboe Concerto. An understanding of the use of English folk song elements and specific quotes in the Oboe Concerto, as well as the folk song-style treatment in accompaniment provide concrete evidence of the pastoral quality prevalent in many works of Vaughan Williams. Not only can this support a well-informed and more rewarding performance of the Oboe Concerto, but the same analysis can be applied to many of his other works as well, in addition to the works of a generation of English composers whose style he influenced.

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Date Created
2013

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An analysis of the Concerto for bassoon and orchestra by Nino Rota

Description

Nino Rota was a prolific composer of twentieth-century film and concert music, including the Concerto for bassoon and orchestra in b-flat major. Composing over 150 film scores for directors such as Federico Fellini, Francis Ford Coppola, Henry Cass, King Vidor

Nino Rota was a prolific composer of twentieth-century film and concert music, including the Concerto for bassoon and orchestra in b-flat major. Composing over 150 film scores for directors such as Federico Fellini, Francis Ford Coppola, Henry Cass, King Vidor and Franco Zeffirelli, Rota received distinguished acclaim from several film institutions, professional film reviewers and film music experts for his contributions to the art form. Rota also composed a great deal of diverse repertoire for the concert stage (ballet, opera, incidental music, concerti, symphonies, as well as several chamber works). The purpose of this analysis is to emphasize the expressive charm and accessibility of his concerto in the bassoon repertoire. The matter of this analysis of the Concerto for bassoon and orchestra concentrates on a single concerto from his concert repertoire completed in 1977, two years before Rota's death. The discussion includes a brief introduction to Nino Rota and his accomplishments as a musician and film composer, and a detailed outline of the motivic and structural events of contained in each movement of the concerto. The shape of the work is analyzed both in detailed discussion and by the use of charts, including reduced score figures of excerpts of the piece, which illustrate significant thematic events and relationships. The analysis reveals how Rota uses lyrical thematic material in a consistently, and he develops the music by creating melodic sequences and varied repetitions of thematic material. He is comfortable writing several forms, as indicated by the first movement, Toccata - a sonata-type form; the second movement, Recitativo, opening with a cadenza and followed by a theme and brief development; and the third movement, a theme (Andantino) and set of six variations. Rota's writing also includes contrapuntal techniques such as imitation, inversion, retrograde and augmentation, all creating expressive interest during thematic development. It is clear from the discussion that Rota is an accomplished, well-studied and lyrical composer. This analysis will inform the bassoonist and conductor, and aid in developing a fondness for the Concerto for bassoon and orchestra and perhaps other concert works.

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2012