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Fibonacci Hidden in Musical Places

Description

This research project dug into mathematics in music, exploring the various ways a number series was used in the 20th century to create musical compositions. The Fibonacci Series (FS) is an infinite number series that is created by taking the

This research project dug into mathematics in music, exploring the various ways a number series was used in the 20th century to create musical compositions. The Fibonacci Series (FS) is an infinite number series that is created by taking the two previous numbers to create the next, excluding 0 and 1 at the very start of the series. As the numbers grow larger, the ratios between the numbers of the FS approach the value of another mathematical concept known as the Golden Mean (GM). The GM is so closely related to the series that it is used interchangeably in terms of proportions and overall structure of musical pieces. This is similar to how both the FS and GM are found in aspects of nature, like to all too well-known conch shell spiral.

The FS in music was used in a variety of ways throughout the 20th century, primarily focusing on durations and overall structure in its use. Examples of this are found in Béla Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste (1936), Allegro barbaro (1911), Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Klavierstück IX (1955), and Luigi Nono’s il canto sospeso (1955). These works are analyzed in detail within my research, and I found every example to have a natural feel to them even if its use of the FS is carefully planned out by the composer. Bartók’s works are the least precise of my examples but perhaps the most natural ones. This imprecision in composition may be considered a more natural use of the FS in music, since nature is not always perfect either. However, in works such as Stockhausen’s, the structure is meticulously formatted in such that the precision is masked by a cycle as to appear more natural.

The conclusion of my research was a commissioned work for my instrument, the viola. I provided my research to composer Jacob Miller Smith, a DMA Music Composition student at ASU, and together we built the framework for the piece he wrote for me. We utilized the life cycle of the Black-Eyed Susan, a flower that uses the FS in its number of petals. The life cycle of a flower is in seven parts, so the piece was written to have seven separate sections in a palindrome within an overall ABA’ format. To utilize the FS, Smith used Fibonacci number durations for rests between notes, note/gesture groupings, and a mapping of 12358 as the set (01247). I worked with Smith during the process to make sure that the piece was technically suitable for my capabilities and the instrument, and I premiered the work in my defense.

The Fibonacci Series and Golden Mean in music provides a natural feel to the music it is present in, even if it is carefully planned out by the composer. More work is still to be done to develop the FS’s use in music, but the examples presented in this project lay down a framework for it to take a natural place in music composition.

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2019-12

Stravinsky for Guitar Quartet

Description

This project is an arrangement of three movements from Igor Stravinsky's most famous and beloved ballets for performance by classical guitar quartet. The movements arranged were "Augurs of Spring" from The Rite of Spring (1913), "Russian Dance" from Petrouchka (1911),

This project is an arrangement of three movements from Igor Stravinsky's most famous and beloved ballets for performance by classical guitar quartet. The movements arranged were "Augurs of Spring" from The Rite of Spring (1913), "Russian Dance" from Petrouchka (1911), and "Infernal Dance of All Kastchei's Subjects" from The Firebird (1910). Because the appeal of this music is largely based on the exciting rhythms and interesting harmonies, these works translate from full orchestra to guitar quite well. The arrangement process involved studying both the orchestral scores and Stravinsky's own piano reductions. The sheet music for these arrangements is accompanied by a written document which explains arrangement decisions and provides performance notes. Select movements from Stravinsky for Guitar Quartet were performed at concerts in Tempe, Glendale, Flagstaff, and Tucson throughout April 2016. The suite was performed in its entirety in the Organ Hall at the ASU School of Music on April 26th 2016 at the Guitar Ensembles Concert as well as on April 27th 2016 at Katie Sample's senior recital. A recording of the April 27th performance accompanies the sheet music and arrangement/performance notes.

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Date Created
2016-05

Original Extended Play: The Production and Marketing Plan

Description

Independent artists are thriving in the modern music industry, creating and branding their own music, and developing rich concentrations of fans. Indie artists are progressively securing positions within mainstream music while also upholding individuality. With technology advancements, to include self-recording

Independent artists are thriving in the modern music industry, creating and branding their own music, and developing rich concentrations of fans. Indie artists are progressively securing positions within mainstream music while also upholding individuality. With technology advancements, to include self-recording technology, wearable devices, and mobile operating systems, independent artists are able to extend their reach to a variety of audiences. Social media platforms' progression has further catalyzed artists' capability of growth, as they have the capacity to personalize marketing content, develop loyal fan-bases, and engage directly with potential consumers. Artists are increasingly fabricating their own unique spaces in an industry that was formerly controlled by conventions. This thesis involves the production of a three-song extended play, and ascertains how to effectively capitalize on the wide array of modern marketing platforms.

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2015-05

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Rainbow Connection: An Integrated Choir for Building Relationships

Description

Rainbow Connection is an integrated choir with members on and off the autism spectrum. It was founded in the spring of 2012 by Barrett students Ali Friedman, Megan Howell, and Victoria Gilman as part of an honors thesis creative project.

Rainbow Connection is an integrated choir with members on and off the autism spectrum. It was founded in the spring of 2012 by Barrett students Ali Friedman, Megan Howell, and Victoria Gilman as part of an honors thesis creative project. Rainbow Connection uses the rehearsal process and other creative endeavors to foster natural relationship building across social gaps. A process-oriented choir, Rainbow Connection's main goals concern the connections made throughout the experience rather than the final musical product. The authors believe that individual, non-hierarchical relationships are the keys to breaking down systemized gaps between identity groups and that music is an ideal facilitator for fostering such relationships. Rainbow Connection operates under the premise that, like colors in a rainbow, choir members create something beautiful not by melding into one homogenous group, but by collaboratively showcasing their individual gifts. This paper will highlight the basic premise and structure of Rainbow Connection, outline the process of enacting the choir, and describe the authors' personal reactions and takeaways from the project.

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2014-12

Once On This Island - An Exploration of Nontraditional Casting

Description

Only in the world of acting can an individual be denied a job simply on the basis of their appearance, and in my thesis, I sought to explore alternatives to this through the concept of nontraditional casting and casting against

Only in the world of acting can an individual be denied a job simply on the basis of their appearance, and in my thesis, I sought to explore alternatives to this through the concept of nontraditional casting and casting against "type", which included the presentation of a full-length production of the musical "Once on this Island" which I attempted to cast based on vocal quality and skill alone rather than taking physical characteristics into account. I researched the history and implementation of nontraditional casting, both in regards to race and other factors such as gender, socio-economic status, and disability. I also considered the legal and intellectual property challenges that nontraditional casting can pose. I concluded from this research that while nontraditional casting is only one solution to the problem, it still has a great deal of potential to create diversity in theater. For my own show, I held the initial auditions via audio recording, though the callback auditions were held in person so that I and my crew could appraise dance and acting ability. Though there were many challenges with our cast after this initial round of auditions, we were able to solidify our cast and continue through the rehearsal process. All things said, the show was very successful. It is my hope that those who were a part of the show, either as part of the production or the audience, are inspired to challenge the concept of typecasting in contemporary theater.

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2014-12

Achieving a Flow State in Piano Performance by Redefining Technical Challenges

Description

This project is a small scale investigation of various factors concerning "Flow" in Piano Performance. "Flow" is the sweet spot where ability and challenge are about equal, and usually high (Csikszentmihalyi 1990). Piano performance is a state of playing the

This project is a small scale investigation of various factors concerning "Flow" in Piano Performance. "Flow" is the sweet spot where ability and challenge are about equal, and usually high (Csikszentmihalyi 1990). Piano performance is a state of playing the piano with some intent to perform. In this case, the intent is to create something new or improvise. Improvisation is one form of expressive creativity on the piano stemming from some knowledge and extrapolation upon that knowledge (Nachmanovitch 82). Creativity is essential to the development of new music, and though extensive literature exists on both creativity and music independently, there is a gap in research regarding links between the two (Macdonald et al. 2006). This project aims to address some of these gaps by working with piano players and non-musicians of various technical skill levels to examine the "Flow" state in improvisation as well as potential factors affecting creative performance. Factors such as listening, self-confidence, frustration in methodology, and meditation practices were found to correlate positively with technical skill. Participants who completed the practice program were able to reconstruct challenges and enter the "Flow" state in improvisation regardless of high or low technical scores.

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2016-05

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Modeling Surface Brightness of the HH 901 Jets in the Carina Nebula

Description

The purpose of this thesis is to accurately simulate the surface brightness in various spectral emission lines of the HH 901 jets in the Mystic Mountain Formation of the Carina Nebula. To accomplish this goal, we gathered relevant spectral emission

The purpose of this thesis is to accurately simulate the surface brightness in various spectral emission lines of the HH 901 jets in the Mystic Mountain Formation of the Carina Nebula. To accomplish this goal, we gathered relevant spectral emission line data for [Fe II] 12660 Å, Hα 6563 Å, and [S II] 6720 Å to compare with Hubble Space Telescope observations of the HH 901 jets presented in Reiter et al. (2016). We derived the emissivities for these lines from the spectral synthesis code Cloudy by Ferland et al. (2017). In addition, we used WENO simulations of density, temperature, and radiative cooling to model the jet. We found that the computed surface brightness values agreed with most of the observational surface brightness values. Thus, the 3D cylindrically symmetric simulations of surface brightness using the WENO code and Cloudy spectral emission models are accurate for jets like HH 901. After detailing these agreements, we discuss the next steps for the project, like adding an external ambient wind and performing the simulations in full 3D.

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Created

Date Created
2020-05