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Theory Jam: A New Approach to Music Theory

Description

Theory Jam is a series of online, education videos that teach music theory in a fun, engaging way. Our project is a response to the growing need for successful online education content. It incorporates strategies for creating effective educational video

Theory Jam is a series of online, education videos that teach music theory in a fun, engaging way. Our project is a response to the growing need for successful online education content. It incorporates strategies for creating effective educational video content and engages with contemporary debates in the field of music theory surrounding the purpose of a music theory education.

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2018-05

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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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Date Created
2014

A performer's guide to the solo flute works of Kaija Saariaho: Laconisme de l'aile and NoaNoa

Description

The works of premier Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho demonstrate a fascination with the exploration and expansion of timbral possibilities. This project explores Laconisme de l'aile and NoaNoa, the only two of her works written for solo C-flute. Saariaho has developed

The works of premier Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho demonstrate a fascination with the exploration and expansion of timbral possibilities. This project explores Laconisme de l'aile and NoaNoa, the only two of her works written for solo C-flute. Saariaho has developed a unique compositional style for the flute, characterized by extremes of color which are expressed through extended techniques such as the integration of the voice, with and without text, into the music, the exploration of "noise," the transformation between different timbres, and the use of electronic effects. Laconisme de l'aile (1982) is a dramatic and passionate work filled with lyrical gestures and intriguing timbres with optional electronic effects, and is an excellent introduction to the composer's writing for the flute. NoaNoa (1992) is characteristic of her mature compositional style. Like many of her later works, the electronic aspect of the work is integral to the piece. Saariaho's exploration of the timbral spectrum of the flute has resulted in a complex and unusual style of notation, making these works somewhat inaccessible for performers. Additionally, the technological requirements for NoaNoa make the work both intimidating and impossible to perform without either extensive technical knowledge or consultation with someone who has the necessary technical expertise. Through a detailed performance guide and reference recordings of both works, this project aims to make these two works accessible. All technical specifications are explained and the performance instructions address notation as well execution of all designated effects. Additionally, instructions for the electronic portion of NoaNoa allow flutists to perform the work with minimal assistance.

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Created

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

A recording project featuring four newly commissioned duets for clarinet and bass clarinet with tenor saxophone and bassoon

Description

Four new duets by different composers were commissioned for this project that utilize the clarinet and bass clarinet with tenor saxophone and bassoon. The pieces are Three Southwest Landscapes by Dan Caputo, Gestures by Michael Lanci, Connotations and Denotations by

Four new duets by different composers were commissioned for this project that utilize the clarinet and bass clarinet with tenor saxophone and bassoon. The pieces are Three Southwest Landscapes by Dan Caputo, Gestures by Michael Lanci, Connotations and Denotations by Jeffery Brooks, and Lyddimy by Thomas Breadon, Jr. The present document includes background information and a performance guide for each of the pieces. The guide gives recommendations to aid musicians wishing to perform these works. Also included are transcripts of interviews conducted with each composer and performer, as well as full scores of each piece. In addition to the document there are recordings of all four pieces.

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Date Created
2014

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Biographical sketch and selected works of Armando Guevara Ochoa

Description

Due to the recent inclusion of a semi-regular "News from Latin America" column since 2007 in The Clarinet magazine and an increased emphasis on world music genre performances at the International Clarinet Association's annual ClarinetFest, Latin American clarinet compositions have

Due to the recent inclusion of a semi-regular "News from Latin America" column since 2007 in The Clarinet magazine and an increased emphasis on world music genre performances at the International Clarinet Association's annual ClarinetFest, Latin American clarinet compositions have become increasingly popular. Consequently, Latin American performers and composers are receiving more attention and recognition than ever before. The contemporary repertoire for clarinet increasingly includes works highlighted at the ClarinetFest international festivals, and many clarinetists express interest in finding new Latin American compositions. In order to supplement this growing Latin American repertoire and to introduce the life and works of Peruvian composer Armando Guevara Ochoa (1926-2013), this project presents a brief biography of the composer, a discussion of his musical style, and new editions of his popular works transcribed for clarinet. A recording of these works is included in an appendix to this document. Prior to this research, much of the scholarship written about Guevara Ochoa was in Spanish. While most sources and scholars relate that Guevara Ochoa composed over 400 works, the whereabouts of fewer than 200 are currently known. This project will supplement Guevara Ochoa's clarinet literature and raise awareness of his compositions in English-speaking countries.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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A recording project featuring three newly commissioned works for clarinet

Description

This project features three new pieces for clarinet commissioned from three different composers. Two are for unaccompanied clarinet and one is for clarinet, bass clarinet, and laptop. These pieces are Storm's a Comin' by Chris Burton, Light and Shadows by

This project features three new pieces for clarinet commissioned from three different composers. Two are for unaccompanied clarinet and one is for clarinet, bass clarinet, and laptop. These pieces are Storm's a Comin' by Chris Burton, Light and Shadows by Theresa Martin, and My Own Agenda by Robbie McCarthy. These three solos challenge the performer in various ways including complex rhythm, use of extended techniques such as growling, glissando, and multiphonics, and the incorporation of technology into a live performance. In addition to background information, a performance practice guide has also been included for each of the pieces. This guide provides recommendations and suggestions for future performers wishing to study and perform these works. Also included are transcripts of interviews done with each of the composers as well as full scores for each of the pieces. Accompanying this document are recordings of each of the three pieces, performed by the author.

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Date Created
2013

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An investigation of finger motion and hand posture during clarinet performance

Description

Finger motion and hand posture of six professional clarinetists (defined by entrance into or completion of a doctorate of musical arts degree in clarinet performance) were recorded using a pair of CyberGloves® in Arizona State University's Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous

Finger motion and hand posture of six professional clarinetists (defined by entrance into or completion of a doctorate of musical arts degree in clarinet performance) were recorded using a pair of CyberGloves® in Arizona State University's Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing Laboratory. Performance tasks included performing a slurred three-octave chromatic scale in sixteenth notes, at sixty quarter-note beats per minute, three times, with a metronome and a short pause between repetitions, and forming three pedagogical hand postures. Following the CyberGloves® tasks, each subject completed a questionnaire about equipment, playing history, practice routines, health practices, and hand usage during computer and sports activities. CyberGlove® data were analyzed to find average hand/finger postures and differences for each pitch across subjects, subject variance in the performance task and differences in ascending and descending postures of the chromatic scale. The data were also analyzed to describe generalized finger posture characteristics based on hand size, whether right hand thumb position affects finger flexion, and whether professional clarinetists use similar finger/hand postures when performing on clarinet, holding a tennis ball, allowing hands to hang freely by the sides, or form a "C" shape. The findings of this study suggest an individual approach based on hand size is necessary for teaching clarinet hand posture.

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Date Created
2011

A catalog of solo works for marimba with electronics: and an examination and performance guide of "Flux" for marimba and electronic tape by Mei-Fang Lin

Description

The marimba has garnered increased attention in percussion performance over the past thirty years. Literature for beginners through professionals in a multitude of styles have been written. With the ever-growing number of marimbists since the 1980's there has been a

The marimba has garnered increased attention in percussion performance over the past thirty years. Literature for beginners through professionals in a multitude of styles have been written. With the ever-growing number of marimbists since the 1980's there has been a high demand for new works. Numerous pieces were created through commissions: composers contracted to write music by individuals, institutions, and consortia. Three primary types of marimba solo music were written: unaccompanied solos, concerti, and marimba solos with electronic accompaniment. Since electronic music is relatively new in marimba performance, there is very little information published regarding this topic. Only a handful of well-known compositions in this genre have been widely performed, and a great number of existing works are unfamiliar to the percussion world. The goal of this study is to generate an overview of electronic music in marimba performance by compiling a chronological catalog of compositions written for solo marimba with electronics. In addition, this study wishes to promote this genre of solo marimba music through the commission, performance, examination, and recording of a new work for marimba and electronics. It is the author's wish to bring this topic to percussionists' attention, and to enrich the marimba solo literature by both exploring existing literature and encouraging the commissioning and performance of marimba music.

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Date Created
2011

Salvation Army Solo Repertoire for Euphonium and Piano: A Recording and Annotated Bibliography

Description

The purpose of this project was to: (1) describe a brief history of Salvation Army works for euphonium and piano that are relevant to the larger euphonium repertoire, and (2) produce a professional-quality compact disc recording of these works for

The purpose of this project was to: (1) describe a brief history of Salvation Army works for euphonium and piano that are relevant to the larger euphonium repertoire, and (2) produce a professional-quality compact disc recording of these works for study and reference. Part I of this project is an annotated bibliography discussing selected works for euphonium and piano written exclusively by Salvation Army composers. Each bibliographic entry is accompanied by a brief annotation, including information on each composer, hymn tunes used in each work, and difficulties encountered in performance. Part II of this project consists of a professional-level recording of these works. The recording and bibliography is intended to serve as a reference guide for students and teachers of Salvation Army euphonium literature, and is also intended to serve as a pedagogical tool utilized in the development of high school and university-level euphonium students. Five solos and one duet with piano accompaniment were selected for this project, works that represent a wide variety of Salvation Army compositional styles. The works also cover a wide range of technical and musical challenges, and are appropriate for study by both undergraduate and graduate students of music. All of the works are currently in publication as of this writing. The following works are included in this project: "The Song of the Brother" by Erik Leidzén, "Ransomed" by George Marshall, "Ochills" by Ernest Rance, "The Better World" by Norman Bearcroft, "Symphonic Rhapsody for Euphonium" by Edward Gregson, and "Timepiece" by Norman Bearcroft.

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Date Created
2012