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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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The Walls are Alive with the Sound of Music: Music Therapy Techniques for Incarcerated Persons

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A music therapy informed music group program was created and implemented at the Maricopa Reentry Center in Phoenix. This program \u2014 entitled Building Hope Through Music \u2014 utilized music therapy techniques including lyric analysis, songwriting, singing, musical games, and guided

A music therapy informed music group program was created and implemented at the Maricopa Reentry Center in Phoenix. This program \u2014 entitled Building Hope Through Music \u2014 utilized music therapy techniques including lyric analysis, songwriting, singing, musical games, and guided visualization in order to improve self-awareness, provide a medium for self-expression, increase teamwork and collaboration, promote relaxation, facilitate emotional processing and awareness, and improve tolerance of non-preferred activities in participants. This group was conducted for seven months and had participation from over 400 male ex-offenders.

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2018-05

An Exploration of Multicultural Musicianship through Composition and Performance

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“In what ways can I engage an audience of primarily western musicians in experiencing a new musical world in dialogue with the one they know?” The author begins by asking himself this question. He describes a project which will answer

“In what ways can I engage an audience of primarily western musicians in experiencing a new musical world in dialogue with the one they know?” The author begins by asking himself this question. He describes a project which will answer this question, then selects and focuses on a single aspect of this project: the arranging of three pieces from Kenzou Hatanaka’s Iyonokuni Matsuyama Suigun Daiko for woodwind quintet and taiko from its original orchestration for band and taiko. Emphasis is placed on creating an enticing multicultural work that equally presents western and Japanese influences, and the author’s compositional process and considerations are explained. A discussion of what the author learned about multiculturalism and himself concludes.

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2019-05

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Recording For Teachers

Description

There is value in audio recording for teachers, whether one is a music teacher recording their students and ensembles or a classroom teacher recording oneself or their students. Music and classroom teachers have various reasons for wanting to record their

There is value in audio recording for teachers, whether one is a music teacher recording their students and ensembles or a classroom teacher recording oneself or their students. Music and classroom teachers have various reasons for wanting to record their students, such as hearing what is being produced in rehearsals and having students reflect on their own performance and musical progress. Teachers may desire to record their students, but they may not know how to do so. Simple recording tools such as cell phones do not produce quality recordings, and unless they have specialized training, teachers may not be familiar with other kinds of recording equipment or how they can set up equipment in order to obtain a good quality recording. I searched for resources on recording equipment and techniques, but I could not find a single source that teachers could consult to learn about the basics of recording equipment and techniques. Teachers have limited time and may also have limited financial resources. The purpose of my project was to create a free and easy-to-use resource for teachers to answer their questions on recording and give them the tools that they need in order to get started with making basic, high quality recordings. The research process included research about different kinds of recording hardware and software, documenting recording techniques for different settings and instruments, and interviewing teachers about their needs. The product that that resulted from this project is a website, Recording For Teachers (https://sites.google.com/view/recordingforteachers/). This website features information about recording equipment, the recording process, how to produce shareable files, and an interactive means of posting questions.

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2018-12

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Design and Testing of Cold-Extruded High-Density Polyethylene for Student Oboe Reeds and A Qualitative Comparison of Synthetic and Cane Oboe Reeds

Description

This is a two-part thesis, completed in conjunction with my Materials Science and Engineering Capstone Project. The first part involves the design and testing of cold-extruded high-density polyethylene for student oboe reeds. The goal of this section was to create

This is a two-part thesis, completed in conjunction with my Materials Science and Engineering Capstone Project. The first part involves the design and testing of cold-extruded high-density polyethylene for student oboe reeds. The goal of this section was to create a longer-lasting reed that produces a similar sound to a cane reed, has less variation in quality, and costs less per year than cane reeds. For low-income students in particular, the cost of purchasing cane oboe reeds ($500-$2,000 per year) is simply not feasible. This project was designed to allow oboe to be a more affordable option for all students. Money should not be a factor that limits whether or a not a child is able to explore their interests. The process used to create the synthetic reed prototype involves cold-extrusion of high-density polyethylene in order to induce orientation in the polymer to replicate the uniaxial orientation of fibrous cane. After successful cold-extrusion of a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) cylinder, the sample was made into a reed by following standard reedmaking procedures. Then, the HDPE reed and a cane reed were quantitatively tested for various qualities, including flexural modulus, hardness, and free vibration frequency. The results from the design project are promising and show a successful proof of concept. The first prototype of an oriented HDPE reed demonstrates characteristics of a cane reed. The areas that need the most improvement are the flexural modulus and the stability of the higher overtones, but these areas can be improved with further development of the cold-extrusion process. The second part of this thesis is a survey and analysis focusing on the qualitative comparison of synthetic and cane oboe reeds. The study can be used in the future to refine the design of synthetic reeds, more specifically the cold-extruded high-density polyethylene student oboe reed I designed, to best replicate a cane reed. Rather than approaching this study from a purely engineering mindset, I brought in my own experience as an oboist. Therefore, the opinions of oboists who have a wide range of experience are considered in the survey. A panel of five oboists participated in the survey. They provided their opinion on various aspects of the five reeds, including vibrancy, response, stability, resistance, tone, and overall quality. Each of these metrics are rated on a scale from one to five, from unacceptable to performance quality. According to the survey, a participant's personal, hand-made cane reed is overall the most preferred option. My prototype HDPE student reed must be improved in many areas in order to rank near the other four reeds. However, its vibrancy and resistance already rival that of a Jones student reed. As this is just the first prototype, that is a significant accomplishment. With further refinement of the cold-extrusion and reedmaking method, the other areas of the HDPE reed may be improved, and the reed may eventually compete with the existing synthetic and cane reeds on the market.

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2018-05

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Navigating Cultural Difference in Gospel Music Study and Performance

Description

The meanings and values that people assign to music and the material culture that music creation offers make excellent data sources for uncovering new and transformative aspects of culture. Gospel music is a subculture that emphasizes a unique performance style,

The meanings and values that people assign to music and the material culture that music creation offers make excellent data sources for uncovering new and transformative aspects of culture. Gospel music is a subculture that emphasizes a unique performance style, and is based upon culturally specific religious, social, musical, and historical contexts. Students in the ensemble who musically developed through a Western classical-based connective strand may experience some adjustment from what they know and develop new skills to navigate across cultural difference. The purpose of this study was to document how participants in a specific university gospel choir setting navigated across cultural differences for gospel choir study and performance. Participants were recruited and interviewed a total of three times about their experience in the ensemble. Questions that guided the study focused on three areas: religious difference, social difference, and musical difference. An in-case analysis of each participant showed that overall, experiences in the choir were positive. Participants from a variety of diverse backgrounds approached new cultural learning differences such as physical movement, aural music learning, religious text, and performance context with an open mind and an individualized way of navigating through difference. In order for participants to reach a point where they felt that they had cultural competency in a new musical area, in this case, the establishment of a strong community was especially essential because of the assumptions attached to this ensemble and because of many of the participants' initial limited understanding of cultural markers for learning music that draw on improvisatory and aural means. This study implies that there are connections between each cultural difference that are related. For the educator intending to introduce new cultural competencies in their classrooms, considering the dynamics in which cultural differences might interact with each other is essential.

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2018-05

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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Date Created
2019-12

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Personal Branding in the Popular Music Industry: An Exploration of New Technological and Behavioral Consumer Strategies in Rap

Description

Personal branding within the music industry has long fallen under the supervision of profit-centric major record labels, whose control extended throughout artist’s music, copyrights, merchandising, and fair-use compensation. This paper explores how artists’ branding has evolved within the recording industry

Personal branding within the music industry has long fallen under the supervision of profit-centric major record labels, whose control extended throughout artist’s music, copyrights, merchandising, and fair-use compensation. This paper explores how artists’ branding has evolved within the recording industry alongside the development of emerging technologies and the discovery of certain patterns in consumer behavior. Starting with an overarching exploration of the origins of commercialized music, this paper iterates how certain record labels ascended the corporate hierarchy to influence consumers’ accessible listening options. This understanding leads to an analysis of the inception of illegal file-sharing websites as an outlet for music distribution, as well as its long-lasting effects on industry distribution tactics and music streaming platforms. This paper then narrows to the origins of the rap industry, delving into the traditionally-rooted experiential celebrations that birthed such an impactful genre. Following an understanding of the history of the recording and rap industries, this paper identifies the modern music listener’s behaviors and choices, supplemented by an examination of how consumer social technologies have motivated these changes. To best understand the role of these evolving perceptions, this paper evaluates four successful rap artists - Chance the Rapper, Tekashi 6ix9ine, Lil Nas X, and Travis Scott - and determines the strategies employed by these individuals and their branding teams. Finally, in determining these strategies, this paper outlines the essential takeaways from this research that would aid in the advancement of an artist’s personal branding today.

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2019-12

Witching Hours

Description

Witching Hours is the debut studio album of Chicago-born, Phoenix-residing trumpet player John Michael Sherman. It is a consummation of his work in the Arizona State University jazz studies program both as a performer and composer. Featured on the album

Witching Hours is the debut studio album of Chicago-born, Phoenix-residing trumpet player John Michael Sherman. It is a consummation of his work in the Arizona State University jazz studies program both as a performer and composer. Featured on the album are several other musicians who John Michael played alongside throughout his tenure at ASU, including Chaz Martineau on tenor saxophone, Evan Rees on piano, Reid Riddiough on guitar, Vince Thiefain on bass, Matt McClintock on drums, and Dan Meadows on baritone saxophone. The album features seven pieces, all original compositions or arrangements. The first track, "Workin' My Nerves", is a blues shuffle in the key of F. This is followed by "Scarborough Fair", an arrangement of the classic English folk tune in a rock style. The title track, "Witching Hours", is an cadaverous linear composition in 7/4 which is followed by "Goliath", a pseudo-tone poem about the biblical giant. "I Should Have Known" is a pensive ballad featuring an a capella intro and cadenza, followed by the most recent composition, a minor blues-esque piece entitled "Who Said That?" The final track, "Don't Change A Thing", is an upbeat samba which was written in John Michael's first year of college. These pieces demonstrate an understanding of the jazz tradition and exhibit influences from such musicians as Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, and Snarky Puppy. The album was recorded at Tempest Recording in Tempe and produced by Clarke Rigsby. Clarke is a veteran recording engineer and is the first choice of many of Phoenix's finest jazz musicians, including thesis director and head of the ASU jazz department Michael Kocour. The pieces were composed and recorded under the guidance of Mike Kocour and Jeff Libman. Witching Hours represents a culmination of John Michael's course in the Arizona State University jazz department and his endeavors as a trumpet player and composer.

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2017-05

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Aiding Musicians: A Content Analysis of Select Music Schools' Wellness Courses in the United States

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This thesis describes a survey of multiple universities accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) that offer wellness courses. The survey sought to identify topics to aid in furthering musicians' wellness. Ideally, the information provided will hel

This thesis describes a survey of multiple universities accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) that offer wellness courses. The survey sought to identify topics to aid in furthering musicians' wellness. Ideally, the information provided will help aid Arizona State University and other universities create a wellness course for their students. For this research, 65 university music schools, departments, and conservatories were asked to provide information and syllabi on musicians' wellness courses they offered. Thirty-one schools replied and provided information (48%), and syllabi from 38 music courses were collected and analyzed. Content analysis revealed: (1) Topics of musicians' wellness varied from studying a specific technique to general overviews of multiple approaches to wellness; (2) The most frequently discussed topics were health, the Alexander Technique, wellness, prevention, anxiety, anatomy, Body Mapping, alignment, yoga, hearing, relaxation, and neurology; (3) All wellness courses offered one to three credits toward a music degree; (4) The courses were generally taught by a variety of professionals; (5) Intended course audiences ranged from undergraduates to graduate students and included specific vocal/instrumental performance areas. Results indicated that there are many ways that universities successfully aid their students by providing wellness information. Further consideration for wellness course options is suggested in practice and research, with the goal of offering performers strategies for optimal health and wellness.

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2017-05