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The study of artist transcriptions is an effective vehicle for assimilating the language and style of jazz. Pairing transcriptions with historical context provides further insight into the back story of the artists' life and method. Innovators are often the subject of published studies of this kind, but transcriptions of plunger-mute master Al Grey have been overlooked. This document fills that void, combining historical context with thirteen transcriptions of Grey's trombone features and improvisations. Selection of transcribed materials was based on an examination of historically significant solos in Al Grey's fifty-five-year career. The results are a series of open-horn and plunger solos that showcase Grey's sound, technical brilliance, and wide range of dynamics and articulation. This collection includes performances from a mix of widely available and obscure recordings, the majority coming from engagements with the Count Basie Orchestra. Methods learned from the study of Al Grey's book Plunger Techniques were vital in the realization of his work. The digital transcription software Amazing Slow Downer by Roni Music aided in deciphering some of Grey's more complicated passages and, with octave displacement, helped bring previously inaudible moments to the foreground.
The purpose of this project was to examine the lives and solo piano works of four members of the early generation of female composers in Taiwan. These four women were born between 1950 and 1960, began to appear on the Taiwanese musical scene after 1980, and were still active as composers at the time of this study. They include Fan-Ling Su (b. 1955), Hwei-Lee Chang (b. 1956), Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew (b. 1957), and Kwang-I Ying (b. 1960). Detailed biographical information on the four composers is presented and discussed. In addition, the musical form and features of all solo piano works at all levels by the four composers are analyzed, and the musical characteristics of each composer's work are discussed. The biography of a fifth composer, Wei-Ho Dai (b. 1950), is also discussed but is placed in the Appendices because her piano music could not be located. This research paper is presented in six chapters: (1) Prologue; the life and music of (2) Fan-Ling Su, (3) Hwei-Lee Chang, (4) Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew, and (5) Kwang-I Ying; and (6) Conclusion. The Prologue provides an overview of the development of Western classical music in Taiwan, a review of extant literature on the selected composers and their music, and the development of piano music in Taiwan. The Conclusion is comprised of comparisons of the four composers' music, including their personal interests and preferences as exhibited in their music. For example, all of the composers have used atonality in their music. Two of the composers, Fan-Ling Su and Kwang-I Ying, openly apply Chinese elements in their piano works, while Hwei-Lee Chang tries to avoid direct use of the Chinese pentatonic scale. The piano works of Hwei-Lee Chang and Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew are chromatic and atonal, and show an economical usage of material. Biographical information on Wei-Ho Dai and an overview of Taiwanese history are presented in the Appendices.
This document highlights the increased involvement of “ college boys ” or “ white college boys ” - better-educated middle-class white and light-skinned persons - in steelbands in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Following an introductory overview of the demography of Trinidad and Tobago, the history of Carnival, and the interregnum of the temporary instruments used between the ban of indigenous drums in the 1880s and the invention of the steelpan at the end of the 1930s, this document will examine the history and membership of these college boy bands, with particular emphasis on the Hit Paraders. Two factors that highlight the vital role played by these college boy steelbands are discussed: commercial sponsorship of bands, and support that bands received from the People's National Movement Party. A detailed timeline of steelpan invention and innovations is also included.
Bohuslav Martinù (1890-1959) was a prolific composer who wrote nearly 100 works for piano. His highly imaginative and eclectic style blends elements of the Baroque, Impressionism, Twentieth-century idioms and Czech folk music. His music is fresh and appealing to the listener, yet it remains intriguing as to how all the elements are combined in a cohesive manner. Martinù himself provides clues to his compositional process. He believed in pure musical expression and the intensity of the musical idea, without the need for extra-musical or programmatic connotations. He espoused holistic and organic views toward musical perception and composition, at times referring to a work as an "organism." This study examines Martinù's piano style in light of his many diverse influences and personal philosophy. The first portion of this paper discusses Martinù's overall style through several piano miniatures written throughout his career. It takes into consideration the composer's personal background, musical influences and aesthetic convictions. The second portion focuses specifically on Martinù's first large-scale work for piano, the Fantasie et Toccata, H. 281. Written during a time in which Martinù was black-listed by the Nazis and forced to flee Europe, this piece bears witness to the chaotic events of WWII through its complexity and intensity of character. The discussion and analysis of the Fantasie et Toccata intends to serve as a guide to interpretation for the performer or listener and also seeks to promote the piano music of Bohuslav Martinù to a wider audience.
Despite a quickly growing repertoire list for the brass quintet, the music of the early Argentine tango has remained relatively neglected by brass quintet arrangers and performers. With the goal of bringing a neglected art form to the brass quintet repertoire, three arrangements based on early twentieth century Argentine tango songs are presented here: "Elegante Papirusa" by Tito Roccatagliata, "A La Gran Muñeca" by Jesús Ventura, and "La Cotorrita" by Samuel Castriota. The arrangements follow the style of three early recordings produced by The Victor Talking Machine in 1920 and 1922, as performed by two authentic Argentine orquesta típicas: Orquesta Típica Select and Orquesta Típica Fresedo. A brief history of the style and instrumental evolution of tango music from its influences and origins up until 1920 is discussed, followed by a detailed account of the musicians and circumstances involved in the three early recordings. An explanation of the issues encountered by the author in adapting the early tango style to the brass quintet setting is discussed, along with the solutions realized in order to make the project successful and practical for a moderately advanced brass quintet. The full brass quintet scores are provided as part of the Appendix.
Works for clarinet in the twentieth century exist in abundance; furthermore, the number of extant works from the Classical period is substantial. However, works for solo clarinet in the late-Romantic style are lacking; most of the significant literature for clarinet is contained in orchestral works. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to add to the solo clarinet repertoire of the late Romantic-style through the transcription of works written originally for viola. The four works transcribed for this project are by York Bowen. Bowen was a British composer and pianist who taught at the Royal Academy of Music in England. Although his career flourished in the twentieth century, his music reflects the music of the late-Romantic style. The project includes a transcription of Bowen's Sonata No. 1 in C minor, Op. 18 for viola and piano, Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 22 for viola and piano, Romance in D-flat for viola and piano, and Phantasy in F, Op. 54 for viola and piano. Additionally, a brief examination of Bowen's life, an overview of each piece, details regarding transcription parts, a list of changes made to the original part, and a recording of each transcription is included in the document.
Venezuelan maraca playing is largely unknown to musicians with Western Art Music backgrounds. While some composers utilize the instrument and its associated performance practices, the resources available to learn about the subject are limited and scattered. Through research, observations, and studying with correspondences, this document will explore the vastness of Venezuelan musical concepts and maraca techniques to seek out common goals and generate a resource that is accessible to musicians and musicologists. A large part of this research will focus on the Contemporary Music in the Western tradition that has been inspired by Venezuelan maraca playing. I will explain the context in which this music is commonly found and how to apply it to a contemporary setting. The individuals I interviewed span a variety of backgrounds and expertise. All have extensive experience in Venezuelan maraca traditions. Their individual points of view will give unique perspectives to help affix the music of the past to the creation of music in the future. The limited resources on this subject inhibit education, performance quality, new music, and further research. Ultimately, my document and recordings will provide imperative examples to help develop a greater understanding of an understudied Venezuelan art form.
Every year hundreds of aspiring musicians audition for positions with professional orchestras throughout the United States. This study is designed to provide a comprehensive look at professional orchestral auditions for trumpet. While other resources rely on the single opinion of their author, this study gathers information from a broad range of sources to develop its conclusions. This project was completed in three phases. In the first phase, lists of excerpts from trumpet auditions were compiled. In the second phase, an online survey of musicians who have served on a trumpet audition committee was conducted. In the final phase, four principal trumpet players of major orchestras and one conductor were interviewed to look further into the criteria and procedures used in orchestral trumpet auditions. The results of this study can be grouped into four categories: the desired qualities sought in a trumpet audition, common mistakes and concerns for those taking auditions, common mistakes and concerns for audition committees, and a discussion of the top fifteen excerpts asked in auditions. The data from this study can be used to consider two different perspectives: what does an aspiring trumpet player need to do to win an audition? And also, what should a committee want to hear? Although there is a broad range of opinion when considering trumpet auditions, certain standards remain. Also, while most of those involved in this study agree that the audition process is among the fairest ways to determine the winner of a job with an orchestra, they also agree that significant changes to the process still need to be made. This is especially true with reference to the types of excerpts asked and the audition procedures used.
This paper is the writing component of a project the author under took to create an entertaining program for a chamber ensemble. It discusses ways for chamber ensembles to create entertaining concert programs for today's audiences. Information was gathered by analyzing four interesting and successful groups--The Canadian Brass, Mnozil Brass, Les Trompettes de Lyon, and The Blue Man Group--and identifying common traits. These traits help facilitate the ultimate goal of making connections with audiences and include originality, comedy, choreography, memorization, continuous presentation, musical appeal, high quality presentations, and the proper personnel. These attributes were then implemented into the author's experimental group, the Omni Brass Ensemble, for testing with live audiences. Materials were used from published interviews, articles, newspapers, ensemble websites, and recordings of their performances. From the author's performances with the Omni Brass Ensemble, indications are that these findings work with live audiences.
This paper investigates the origins of the piano recital as invented by Franz Liszt, presents varying strategies for program design, and compares Liszt's application of the format with current trends. In addition it examines the concepts of program music, musical ekphrasis, and Gesamtkunstwerk and proposes a new multimedia piano concert format in which music combines with the mediums of literature and the visual arts; Picturing Rachmaninoff, and Picturing Ravel provide two recent examples of this format.