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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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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

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

Gilded Pastures

Description

This expository thesis explores the financial health and actuarial analysis of a particular solution for those seeking stability and security in their golden years: the CCRC industry. A continuing care retirement community, or CCRC, is a comprehensive project and campus

This expository thesis explores the financial health and actuarial analysis of a particular solution for those seeking stability and security in their golden years: the CCRC industry. A continuing care retirement community, or CCRC, is a comprehensive project and campus that offers its residents a full spectrum of care from independent living, to assisted living, to skilled nursing. After reading this paper, any person with no prior knowledge of a continuing care retirement community should gain a firm understanding of the background, risks and benefits, and legislative safeguards of this complex industry. Financially, a CCRC operates in some aspects similar to long-term care (LTC) insurance. However, CCRCs provide multiple levels of care operations while maintaining a pleasant, engaging community environment where seniors can have all their lifestyle needs met. The expensive and complex operations of a CCRC are not without risk: the industry has seen marked periods of bankruptcy followed by increasing and changing regulatory oversight. Thus, CCRCs require a periodic actuarial analysis and report, among array of other legislative safeguards against bankruptcy. A CCRC's insolvency or inability to meet its obligations can be catastrophic and inflict suffering and damages not only to its residents but also their friends and families. With seniors historically being one of the most vulnerable demographic groups, it is absolutely essential that an all-encompassing care facility continues to exist and fulfill its contractual promises by maintaining sound actuarial practices and financial health. This thesis, in addition to providing an exposition of the background and functions of the CCRC, describes the existing actuarial and financial studies and audits in practice to ensure sound governance and the quality of life of CCRC residents.

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2017-05