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Suitable for All Ages: A Reference for Therapeutic Music Making Experiences

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This collaborative, creative project includes 100 music therapy interventions for all ages including children 0-18, young adults 19-25, adults 26-65, and older adults/geriatrics 65-death. Five goal areas are focused on for each of the four populations. These goal areas are

This collaborative, creative project includes 100 music therapy interventions for all ages including children 0-18, young adults 19-25, adults 26-65, and older adults/geriatrics 65-death. Five goal areas are focused on for each of the four populations. These goal areas are cognitive, social, physical, emotional, and behavioral. Each intervention was modeled after Duerksen's (1978) five ways in which music can be used as a organizational, helpful, learning tool: (1) Music as a carrier of information (2) Music as a reinforcer (3) Music as a background for learning (4) Music as a physical structure for the learning activity (5) Music as a reflection of skills or processes learned. The creative possibilities of interacting musically with clients of all ages and levels of functioning are what led us to create this project. The wide variety of populations covered in this project include children on the autism spectrum, young adults suffering from depression, and geriatrics exhibiting symptoms of Dementia. This book encompasses all of these populations and more, providing client-centered activities to use in music therapy sessions. This project was created with the intention of sharing it with fellow students and peers, as well as for the future use of ourselves in our internship experiences and careers.

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2014-05

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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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Art songs of Charles Ives: accessible to beginning singers

Description

The performance of Charles Ives's art songs can be challenging to even the most experienced singers, but to beginning singers, they may be even more so, due to such twentieth-century aspects as polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatoric elements, and quarter

The performance of Charles Ives's art songs can be challenging to even the most experienced singers, but to beginning singers, they may be even more so, due to such twentieth-century aspects as polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatoric elements, and quarter tones. However, Ives used previously existing material, often familiar hymn tunes, as the foundation for many of his art songs. If beginning students first are exposed to this borrowed material, such as a simple hymn tune, which should be well within even the most experienced singer's comfort range, they can then learn this tune first, as a more simplistic reference point, and then focus on how Ives altered the tunes, rather then having to learn what seems like an entirely new melody. In this way, Ives's art songs can become more accessible to less-experienced singers. This paper outlines a method for researching and learning the borrowed materials in Ives's songs that utilize them, and reviews materials already commonly used by voice teachers to help beginning students learn their music. By combining this method, which focuses on the borrowed materials, with standard practices teachers can then help their beginning students more easily learn and perform Ives's art songs. Four songs, from the set "Four Hymn Tune Settings" by Charles Ives are used to illustrate this method.

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2012

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An analysis and discussion of Zwischenfach voices

Description

Zwischen in the German language means `between,' and over the past century, as operatic voices have evolved in both range and size, the voice classification of Zwischenfach has become much more relevant - particularly to the female voice. Identifying whether

Zwischen in the German language means `between,' and over the past century, as operatic voices have evolved in both range and size, the voice classification of Zwischenfach has become much more relevant - particularly to the female voice. Identifying whether nineteenth century composers recognized the growing opportunities for vocal drama, size, and range in singers and therefore wrote roles for `between' singers; or conversely whether, singers began to challenge and develop their voices to sing the new influx of romantic, verismo and grand repertoire is difficult to determine. Whichever the case, teachers and students should not be surprised about the existence of this nebulous Fach. A clear and concise definition of the word Fach for the purpose of this paper is as follows: a specific voice classification. Zwischenfach is an important topic because young singers are often confused and over-eager to self-label due to the discipline's excessive labeling of Fachs. Rushing to categorize a young voice ultimately leads to misperceptions. To address some of the confusion, this paper briefly explores surveys of the pedagogy and history of the Fach system. To gain insights into the relevance of Zwischenfach in today's marketplace, I developed with my advisors, colleagues and students a set of subjects willing to fill out questionnaires. This paper incorporates current interviews from two casting directors of national and international opera houses, an emerging American mezzo-soprano, a mid-career working European mezzo-soprano, an operatic stage director, an education director for opera houses and a composer. These interviews, along with modern examples of zwischenfach voices are analyzed and discussed.

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Date Created
2012

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The effect of scale and familiarity on the perception of music "dissonance"

Description

Music is part of cultures all over the world and is entrenched in our daily lives, and yet little is known about the neural pathways responsible for how we perceive music. The property of "dissonance" is central to our understanding

Music is part of cultures all over the world and is entrenched in our daily lives, and yet little is known about the neural pathways responsible for how we perceive music. The property of "dissonance" is central to our understanding of the emotional meaning in music, and this study is a preliminary step in understanding how this property of music is perceived. Twenty-four participants with normal hearing listened to melodies and ranked their degrees of dissonance. Melodies that are categorized as "dissonant" according to Western music theory were ranked as more "dissonant" to a significant degree across the 9 conditions (3 conditions of scale: Major, Neapolitan Minor, and Oriental; 3 conditions of wrong notes: no wrong notes, diatonic wrong notes, and non-diatonic wrong notes). As expected, the familiar Major scale was identified as more consonant across all wrong note conditions than the other scales. Notably, a significant interaction was found, with diatonic and non-diatonic notes not perceived differently in both of the unfamiliar scales, Neapolitan and Oriental. This study suggests that the context of musical scale does influence how we create expectations of music and perceive dissonance. Future studies are necessary to understand the mechanisms by which scales drive these expectations.

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2016-12

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Libby Larsen's Margaret songs: a musical portrait of Willa Cather's Margaret Elliot

Description

Libby Larsen is one of the most performed and acclaimed composers today. She is a spirited, compelling, and sensitive composer whose music enhances the poetry of America's most prominent authors. Notable among her works are song cycles for soprano based

Libby Larsen is one of the most performed and acclaimed composers today. She is a spirited, compelling, and sensitive composer whose music enhances the poetry of America's most prominent authors. Notable among her works are song cycles for soprano based on the poetry of female writers, among them novelist and poet Willa Cather (1873-1947). Larsen has produced two song cycles on works from Cather's substantial output of fiction: one based on Cather's short story, "Eric Hermannson's Soul," titled Margaret Songs: Three Songs from Willa Cather (1996); and later, My Antonia (2000), based on Cather's novel of the same title. In Margaret Songs, Cather's poetry and short stories--specifically the character of Margaret Elliot--combine with Larsen's unique compositional style to create a surprising collaboration. This study explores how Larsen in these songs delves into the emotional and psychological depths of Margaret's character, not fully formed by Cather. It is only through Larsen's music and Cather's poetry that Margaret's journey through self-discovery and love become fully realized. This song cycle is a glimpse through the eyes of two prominent female artists on the societal pressures placed upon Margaret's character, many of which still resonate with women in today's culture. This study examines the work Margaret Songs by discussing Willa Cather, her musical influences, and the conditions surrounding the writing of "Eric Hermannson's Soul." It looks also into Cather's influence on Libby Larsen and the commission leading to Margaret Songs. Finally, a description of the musical, dramatic, and textual content of the songs completes this interpretation of the interactions of Willa Cather, Libby Larsen, and the character of Margaret Elliot.

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Date Created
2013

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Modernism and misogyny in Arnold Schoenberg's Das Buch der hängenden Gärten, Opus 15

Description

Arnold Schoenberg's 1908-09 song cycle, Das Buch der hängenden Gärten [The Book of the Hanging Gardens], opus 15, represents one of his most decisive early steps into the realm of musical modernism. In the midst of personal and artistic crises,

Arnold Schoenberg's 1908-09 song cycle, Das Buch der hängenden Gärten [The Book of the Hanging Gardens], opus 15, represents one of his most decisive early steps into the realm of musical modernism. In the midst of personal and artistic crises, Schoenberg set texts by Stefan George in a style he called "pantonality," and described his composition as radically new. Though stylistically progressive, however, Schoenberg's musical achievement had certain ideologically conservative roots: the composer numbered among turn-of-the-century Viennese artists and thinkers whose opposition to the conventional and the popular--in favor of artistic autonomy and creativity--concealed a reactionary misogyny. A critical reading of Hanging Gardens through the lens of gender reveals that Schoenberg, like many of his contemporaries, incorporated strong frauenfeindlich [anti-women] elements into his work, through his modernist account of artistic creativity, his choice of texts, and his musical settings. Although elements of Hanging Gardens' atonal music suggest that Schoenberg valued gendered-feminine principles in his compositional style, a closer analysis of the work's musical language shows an intact masculinist hegemony. Through his deployment of uncanny tonal reminiscences, underlying tonal gestures, and closed forms in Hanging Gardens, Schoenberg ensures that the feminine-associated "excesses" of atonality remain under masculine control. This study draws upon the critical musicology of Susan McClary while arguing that Schoenberg's music is socially contingent, affected by the gender biases of his social and literary milieux. It addresses likely influences on Schoenberg's worldview including the philosophy of Otto Weininger, Freudian psychoanalysis, and a complex web of personal relationships. Finally, this analysis highlights the relevance of Schoenberg's world and its constructions of gender to modern performance practice, and argues that performers must consider interrelated historical, textual, and musical factors when interpreting Hanging Gardens in new contexts.

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Date Created
2012

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Florencia Grimaldi: Latin America's soprano heroine

Description

Although opera is the last musical genre one typically associates with Latin America, Mexican composer Daniel Catán (1949-2011) found surprising success across the United States and overseas with his opera Florencia en el Amazonas (1996). Catán blends colorful music with

Although opera is the last musical genre one typically associates with Latin America, Mexican composer Daniel Catán (1949-2011) found surprising success across the United States and overseas with his opera Florencia en el Amazonas (1996). Catán blends colorful music with literary elements to create a representation of Latin American culture through language, drama, scenery, and music. Among these elements is realism mágico (magical realism), a significant characteristic of Latin American literature. Indeed, the plot of the opera is influenced by Gabriel García Márquez's novel, El amor en los tiempos del cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera, 1985), as well as the poem "Mariposa de obsidiana" (Obsidian Butterfly, 1951) and the short story "La hija de Rappaccini" (Rappaccini's Daughter, 1953), both by Octavio Paz. To create his protagonist in the opera, Florencia Grimaldi, Catán combines the dramatic qualities of several European soprano heroines. This figure's character development is conveyed largely through her Act I, Scene 2, aria, "Florencia Grimaldi," and her Act II, Scene 17, aria, "Escúchame." An overview of the opera places these two arias into context, and their musical content and text-setting are closely examined in relation to the character of Florencia. Finally, how Daniel Catán creates a soprano heroine from the Latin American perspective is discussed.

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Date Created
2013

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Performance adrenaline: the effects of endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline on the performing singer

Description

The thrill of a live performance can enhance endorphin, serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline levels in the body. This mixture of heightened chemical levels is a result of "performance adrenaline." This phenomenon can positively and/or negatively affect a performing

The thrill of a live performance can enhance endorphin, serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline levels in the body. This mixture of heightened chemical levels is a result of "performance adrenaline." This phenomenon can positively and/or negatively affect a performing singer. A singer's body is her instrument, and therefore, any bodily change can alter the singing voice. The uptake of these chemicals can especially influence a central aspect of singing: breath. "Performance adrenaline" can induce shallow or clavicular breathing, alter phonation, and affect vibrato. To optimize the positive effects and counteract the negative, diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, and beta-blockers are explored as viable management tools. When managed properly, the boost offered by "performance adrenaline" can aid the singer in performing and singing. After a review of medical and psychological studies that reveal the physiological and emotional effects of endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline, this paper will explore the biological changes specific to vocalists and methods to optimize these effects in performance.

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2015

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Female Greek virtue in the House of Atreus: daughters of Agamemnon as depicted in Handel's Oreste, Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, and Strauss's Elektra

Description

This doctoral project involves a multi-disciplined analysis concerning Agamemnon's daughters (Iphigenia, Electra, and Chrysothemis) and how these women's gender and virtues were depicted as compared with ideal Greek women in antiquity. Three composers in three different eras adapted the literary

This doctoral project involves a multi-disciplined analysis concerning Agamemnon's daughters (Iphigenia, Electra, and Chrysothemis) and how these women's gender and virtues were depicted as compared with ideal Greek women in antiquity. Three composers in three different eras adapted the literary and musical depictions of these women based on the composer's society, culture, audience expectations, musical climate and personal goals. George Friedrich Handel's Oreste (1734), Christoph Willibald von Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride (1779) and Richard Strauss's Elektra (1909) are the main operas used for this analysis. The Mycenaean House of Atreus, a dynasty which the ancient Greeks traced back to the time of the Trojan War in the 12th century BCE, figures prominently in Greek mythology and ancient Greek literature concerning the Trojan War. The House of Atreus included Agamemnon, King of Mycenae and commander of the Greeks at Troy, his wife Clytaemnestra, their son Orestes, and their daughters: Iphigenia, Electra, and Chrysothemis. For over three thousand years, the legend of this ancient family has inspired musical scores, plays, poetry, architecture, sculpture, paintings, and movies. Numerous studies examine the varying interpretations of the House of Atreus myths; few, if any, address the ways in which female Greek virtues are depicted operatically within the myths. In the music of Handel's Oreste, Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride and Strauss's Elektra, Agamemnon's daughters contradict the ideal Greek woman while still exhibiting heroic or idealistic virtues. The analysis of the operas in their social contexts will address the audience expectations and composers' dramatic interpretations of the myth. This analysis will include: a brief overview of ancient Greek culture and gender roles; a literary comparison of the original dramas to the librettos; societal audience expectations in their historical contexts; musical, philosophical, and literary influences on the composers; and an examination of music composed in two different centuries and in three different styles. The brief historical, cultural, literary, and musical analyses highlight the absence and presence of ancient Greek virtues, and how these women can be presented both as heroic, or virtuous, and unvirtuous in the same production.

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Date Created
2012