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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

An orchestra audition handbook for bass players

Description

The following project is an audition preparation handbook for double bass players. The materials and techniques included are designed for use by advanced collegiate bass players seeking work as freelance or contracted musicians. Subjects ranging from finding an opening, becoming

The following project is an audition preparation handbook for double bass players. The materials and techniques included are designed for use by advanced collegiate bass players seeking work as freelance or contracted musicians. Subjects ranging from finding an opening, becoming mentally and physically prepared, and developing the skills and experience necessary to be successful will be examined. The most frequently requested audition excerpts are included in this document, carefully extracted from the original orchestra parts and notated with efficient fingerings. Elements of style and performance are discussed. Each of the excerpts is recorded on the enclosed CD, performed by the author as examples to the readers. It is the hope of the author that the study and use of this text will better prepare the readers for entrance into the working world of the music industry. Ideas, processes, and materials that are often neglected in a degree program are examined with the hope that students will be better prepared to audition for, and win orchestral positions.

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Date Created
2011

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The ensemble étude for violins: an examination with an annotated survey of violin trios and quartets and an original étude for four violins

Description

ABSTRACT &eacutetudes; written for violin ensemble, which include violin duets, trios, and quartets, are less numerous than solo &eacutetudes.; These works rarely go by the title "&eacutetude;," and have not been the focus of much scholarly

ABSTRACT &eacutetudes; written for violin ensemble, which include violin duets, trios, and quartets, are less numerous than solo &eacutetudes.; These works rarely go by the title "&eacutetude;," and have not been the focus of much scholarly research. Ensemble &eacutetudes; have much to offer students, teachers and composers, however, because they add an extra dimension to the learning, teaching, and composing processes. This document establishes the value of ensemble &eacutetudes; in pedagogy and explores applications of the repertoire currently available. Rather than focus on violin duets, the most common form of ensemble &eacutetude;, it mainly considers works for three and four violins without accompaniment. Concentrating on the pedagogical possibilities of studying &eacutetudes; in a group, this document introduces creative ways that works for violin ensemble can be used as both &eacutetudes; and performance pieces. The first two chapters explore the history and philosophy of the violin &eacutetude; and multiple-violin works, the practice of arranging of solo &eacutetudes; for multiple instruments, and the benefits of group learning and cooperative learning that distinguish ensemble &eacutetude; study from solo &eacutetude; study. The third chapter is an annotated survey of works for three and four violins without accompaniment, and serves as a pedagogical guide to some of the available repertoire. Representing a wide variety of styles, techniques and levels, it illuminates an historical association between violin ensemble works and pedagogy. The fourth chapter presents an original composition by the author, titled Variations on a Scottish Folk Song: &eacutetude; for Four Violins, with an explanation of the process and techniques used to create this ensemble &eacutetude.; This work is an example of the musical and technical integration essential to &eacutetude; study, and demonstrates various compositional traits that promote cooperative learning. Ensemble &eacutetudes; are valuable pedagogical tools that deserve wider exposure. It is my hope that the information and ideas about ensemble &eacutetudes; in this paper and the individual descriptions of the works presented will increase interest in and application of violin trios and quartets at the university level.

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2011

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Madiba 46664

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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born July 18, 1918 into the Madiba clan in Mvezo, Transkei, South Africa. Mandela was a lawyer by trade and a freedom fighter who envisioned freedom and equality for all South Africans regardless of race. In

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born July 18, 1918 into the Madiba clan in Mvezo, Transkei, South Africa. Mandela was a lawyer by trade and a freedom fighter who envisioned freedom and equality for all South Africans regardless of race. In 1965, Mandela was imprisoned at Robben Island for twenty-seven years for treason and terrorist activities against the South African apartheid regime: he was assigned prison numbers 46664. In 1992, Mandela was released from prison and two years later not only became the first democratically elected president of South Africa, but also its first black president. "Madiba 46664" is an eight-minute chamber work scored for flute, oboe, clarinet in B-flat, and bassoon; vibraphone, and two percussionists; piano; violins, violas, and celli. The work blends traditional South African rhythms of the drumming culture with elements of Western harmony and form in contrasting textures of homophony, polyphony and antiphony. "Madiba 46664" utilizes Mandela's prison number, birthdate and age (at the time the composition process began in 2013) for the initial generation of meter, rhythm, harmony, melody, and form. The work also shares intercultural concepts that can be seen in the works of three contemporary African composers, South Africans Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph and Andile Khumalo, and Nigerian Ayo Oluranti. Each section represents a period of Mandela's life as a freedom fighter, a prisoner, and a president. The inspiration stems from the composer's discussions with Mandela soon after his release from prison and prior to his presidency. These lively discussions pertained to the state of traditional music in then apartheid South Africa and led to this creation. The conversations also played a role in the creative process.

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2014

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

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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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A New home: a composition for chamber orchestra

Description

A New Home is a multi-movement musical composition written for a chamber orchestra of flute, oboe, clarinet in B-flat, bassoon, horn in F, trumpet in C, trombone, bass trombone, percussion (1), pianoforte, and strings. The duration of the entire

A New Home is a multi-movement musical composition written for a chamber orchestra of flute, oboe, clarinet in B-flat, bassoon, horn in F, trumpet in C, trombone, bass trombone, percussion (1), pianoforte, and strings. The duration of the entire piece is approximately fourteen minutes (movement 1: four minutes; mvt. 2: four minutes and thirty seconds; mvt. 3: five minutes and thirty seconds). As an exercise in compositional experimentation, some of the musical techniques explored throughout the piece are harmonic planing or parallelism, ostinati, modality, chromatic dissonance, thematic transformation, mixed meter, and syncopation, as well as issues of orchestral blend, balance, and color.

The first movement, ironically titled “Don’t Panic,” highlights my initial anxieties on experimentation by creating hectic textures. The movement is structured around two main alternating sections of chromatic, chordal dissonance with more modal, melodic syncopation in addition to a developmental section, but a sense of rhythmic groove is prominent throughout. The second movement, “Still Here,” is a darker, more sensitive music as it explores various settings of its main thematic material interspersed with march-like episodes and a related secondary theme. The themes are organized around a diatonic scale that omits one pitch to comprise a six-note scale. The third movement, “Change of State,” recalls the modality and rhythmic liveliness of the first movement, and it bears a thematic relationship to the second movement. Much of the material also revolves around scales and mediant relationships to comprise an opening theme, a groove section, and an ethereal, glassy texture which ends the movement. Essentially, the piece closes with a calmer music in contrast to the brute force that opened the piece.

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Date Created
2016

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Organ Improvisation in Context: Historical and Practical Influences on the Craft of Improvisation at the Organ

Description

The craft of improvisation at the organ has survived a long period of dormancy and is experiencing a strong resurgence in the twenty-first century. This project seeks to establish a precedence for the value of notated music as a resource

The craft of improvisation at the organ has survived a long period of dormancy and is experiencing a strong resurgence in the twenty-first century. This project seeks to establish a precedence for the value of notated music as a resource in learning improvisation, and then, through music analysis, provide examples of how that process can develop. The result of the ideas presented here is a pathway whereby any disciplined organist can learn to imitate composed music, assimilate the musical ideas, and innovate through the act of spontaneous improvisation.

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Date Created
2012

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A selection of choral works by Ola Gjeilo for SATB choir: composition, interpretation, and recording of the Phoenix Chorale's Northern Lights: Choral Music by Ola Gjeilo

Description

Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) is highly regarded as an accomplished and prolific composer of choral music. His creative output includes works for chorus, solo piano, and wind symphony. His unique style infuses elements of cinematic music, jazz and

Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) is highly regarded as an accomplished and prolific composer of choral music. His creative output includes works for chorus, solo piano, and wind symphony. His unique style infuses elements of cinematic music, jazz and improvisation, with particularly intriguing selections of text. This study examines the factors that influence Gjeilo's compositional techniques, and the musical interpretations of conductor Charles Bruffy in his preparation for The Phoenix Chorale's recording Northern Lights: Choral Works by Ola Gjeilo. The eleven works discussed in this study are: The Ground, Evening Prayer, Ubi caritas, Prelude, Northern Lights, The Spheres, Tota pulchra es, Serenity, Phoenix (Agnus Dei), Unicornis captivatur, and Dark Night of the Soul. As a relatively new and young composer, there is very little published literature on Gjeilo and his works. This study provides an intimate glance into the creative process of the composer. By composing in multiple styles and with a variety of inspirational sources, Gjeilo creates a fresh approach toward composition of new choral music. His style is revealed through interviews and numerous collaborations with conductors and performers who have prepared and performed his music, as well through an examination of the eleven works recorded by The Phoenix Chorale.

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Date Created
2013

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Organ culture in post-war Poland, 1945-2012

Description

Throughout the history of Western art music, political and religious institutions have exerted powerful influence through their patronage and censorship. This is especially relevant to the organ, an elaborate and expensive instrument which has always depended on institutional support. The

Throughout the history of Western art music, political and religious institutions have exerted powerful influence through their patronage and censorship. This is especially relevant to the organ, an elaborate and expensive instrument which has always depended on institutional support. The fascinating story of Polish organ culture, which has existed since the Middle Ages, reflects the dramatic changes in Polish politics throughout the centuries. An understanding of this country's history helps to construct a comprehensive view of how politics influenced the developments in organ building and organ playing. This paper describes the dynamics of the Church, government and art institutions in Poland during the years 1945-2012. A brief summary of the history of Polish organ culture sets the stage for the changes occurring after WWII. The constant struggle between the Church and the communist regime affected music making and organ culture in Poland from 1945-1989. The political détente that occurred after 1989 led to a flowering of new instruments, restorations and performance opportunities for organists. By exploring the relationship between Polish organ culture and prevailing agendas in the 20th century, the author demonstrates how a centuries-old tradition adapted to survive political and economic hardships.

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Date Created
2012

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Three early twentieth century tango songs arranged for brass quintet

Description

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

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.

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Date Created
2011