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Bryan Johanson's 13 ways of looking at 12 strings for two guitars: recording and critical investigation

Description

The purpose of this project is to introduce Bryan Johanson's composition for two guitars, 13 Ways of Looking at 12 Strings, and present an authoritative recording appropriate for publishing. This fifty-minute piece represents a fascinating suite in thirteen movements. The

The purpose of this project is to introduce Bryan Johanson's composition for two guitars, 13 Ways of Looking at 12 Strings, and present an authoritative recording appropriate for publishing. This fifty-minute piece represents a fascinating suite in thirteen movements. The author of this project performed both guitar parts, recorded them separately in a music studio, then mixed them together into one recording. This document focuses on the critical investigation and description of the piece with a brief theoretical analysis, a discussion of performance difficulties, and guitar preparation. The composer approved the use and the scope of this project. Bryan Johanson is one of the leading contemporary composers for the guitar today. 13 Ways of Looking at 12 Strings is a unique guitar dictionary that takes us from Bach to Hendrix and highlights the unique capabilities of the instrument. It utilizes encoded messages, glass slides, metal mutes, explosive "riffs," rhythmic propulsion, improvisation, percussion, fugual writing, and much more. It has a great potential to make the classical guitar attractive to wider audiences, not limited only to guitarists and musicians. The main resources employed in researching this document are existing recordings of Johanson's other compositions and documentation of his personal views and ideas. This written document uses the composer's prolific and eclectic compositional output in order to draw conclusions and trace motifs. This project is a significant and original contribution in expanding the guitar's repertoire, and it uniquely contributes to bringing forth a significant piece of music.

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Created

Date Created
2011

CYOA an examination of the possibilities of dynamic musical objects as a new format for music distribution

Description

CYOA is a prototype of an iPhone application that produces a single, generative, musical work. This document details some of the thoughts and practices that informed its design, and specifically addresses the overlap between application structure and musical form. The

CYOA is a prototype of an iPhone application that produces a single, generative, musical work. This document details some of the thoughts and practices that informed its design, and specifically addresses the overlap between application structure and musical form. The concept of composed instruments is introduced and briefly discussed, some features of video game design that relate to this project are considered, and some specifics of hardware implementation are addressed.

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Created

Date Created
2013

A pedagogical and performance edition of J. S. Bach's Violin sonata I in G minor, BWV 1001, transcribed for guitar: transcription, analysis, performance guide, pedagogical practice guide, and recording

Description

Johann Sebastian Bach's violin Sonata I in G minor, BWV 1001, is a significant and widely performed work that exists in numerous editions and also as transcriptions or arrangements for various other instruments, including the guitar. A pedagogical guitar performance

Johann Sebastian Bach's violin Sonata I in G minor, BWV 1001, is a significant and widely performed work that exists in numerous editions and also as transcriptions or arrangements for various other instruments, including the guitar. A pedagogical guitar performance edition of this sonata, however, has yet to be published. Therefore, the core of my project is a transcription and pedagogical edition of this work for guitar. The transcription is supported by an analysis, performance and pedagogical practice guide, and a recording. The analysis and graphing of phrase structures illuminate Bach's use of compositional devices and the architectural function of the work's harmonic gravities. They are intended to guide performers in their assessment of the surface ornamentation and suggest a reduction toward its fundamental purpose. The end result is a clarification of the piece through the organization of phrase structures and the prioritization of harmonic tensions and resolutions. The compiling process is intended to assist the performer in "seeing the forest from the trees." Based on markings from Bach's original autograph score, the transcription considers fingering ease on the guitar that is critical to render the music to a functional and practical level. The goal is to preserve the composer's indications to the highest degree possible while still adhering to the technical confines that allow for actual execution on the guitar. The performance guide provides suggestions for articulation, phrasing, ornamentation, and other interpretive decisions. Considering the limitations of the guitar, the author's suggestions are grounded in various concepts of historically informed performance, and also relate to today's early-music sensibilities. The pedagogical practice guide demonstrates procedures to break down and assimilate the musical material as applied toward the various elements of guitar technique and practice. The CD recording is intended to demonstrate the transcription and the connection to the concepts discussed. It is hoped that this pedagogical edition will provide a rational that serves to support technical decisions within the transcription and generate meaningful interpretive realizations based on principles of historically informed performance.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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Three meditations on the philosophy of Boethius: performance instructions

Description

Three Meditations on the Philosophy of Boethius is a musical piece for guitar, piano interior, and computer. Each of the three movements, or meditations, reflects one level of music according to the medieval philosopher Boethius: Musica Mundana, Musica Humana, and

Three Meditations on the Philosophy of Boethius is a musical piece for guitar, piano interior, and computer. Each of the three movements, or meditations, reflects one level of music according to the medieval philosopher Boethius: Musica Mundana, Musica Humana, and Musica Instrumentalis. From spatial aspects, through the human element, to letting sound evolve freely, different movements revolve around different sounds and sound producing techniques.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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BCM International and its role in the contemporary wind band

Description

Formed in 1999, BCM International, comprised of composers Eric Whitacre, Jonathan Newman, Steven Bryant, and James (Jim) Bonney dedicated itself to publishing repertoire in the wind band medium. This project focuses on the work of these four composers, who, at

Formed in 1999, BCM International, comprised of composers Eric Whitacre, Jonathan Newman, Steven Bryant, and James (Jim) Bonney dedicated itself to publishing repertoire in the wind band medium. This project focuses on the work of these four composers, who, at the beginning of the “digital age,” joined together to create a new entrepreneurial and self-published entity. This paper aims to discuss their contribution to the wind band medium, thereby adding to the genre’s body of research.

Similarly to previous investigations of this sort, the author will: 1) offer a biographical sketch through the lens of each individual composer; 2) discuss the establishment of BCM International; 3) track the individual output for wind band of each of the four composers through performance data found in the College Band Directors National Association’s Report; and 4) discuss the composer reported influence of John Corigliano, their teacher, on their compositional process.

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Created

Date Created
2016

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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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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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Wellness resources at postsecondary music schools: a survey of how this information is being offered

Description

Musicians have the potential to experience health problems related to their

profession. The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) requires schools to

provide information about wellness. There are 634 degree-granting, not for profit, NASM

accredited postsecondary music schools in America. This study

Musicians have the potential to experience health problems related to their

profession. The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) requires schools to

provide information about wellness. There are 634 degree-granting, not for profit, NASM

accredited postsecondary music schools in America. This study examined the types of

wellness resources offered at 387 of these schools or 60%. Wellness information was

divided into three categories: physical, psychological and hearing. The types of resources

offered, category of information and the size of the school were considered. Schools were

emailed and their websites were searched for wellness information.

Forty-eight percent of the schools had website information, 32% offered wellness

workshops, 16% of the schools offered wellness courses, and 32% of the schools covered

wellness information through other methods. Nineteen percent of the schools said that

they did not offer courses or workshops and did not say how they are meeting the

requirement. Physical wellness information was most widely available, followed by

hearing information, while psychological wellness information was harder to find.

Smaller schools were less likely to offer wellness courses but otherwise the size of a

school did not play a significant role in the types of wellness resources they were able to

offer.

Based on the findings, more schools should incorporate wellness information on

their websites and hold wellness workshops. Psychological wellness information should

be more widely available. Schools should advertise the wellness information that they

offer so that students are aware of the options available to them.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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They called me an alien: Hanns Eisler's American years, 1935-1948

Description

In the 1930s, with the rise of Nazism, many artists in Europe had to flee their homelands and sought refuge in the United States. Austrian composer Hanns Eisler who had risen to prominence as a significant composer during the Weimar

In the 1930s, with the rise of Nazism, many artists in Europe had to flee their homelands and sought refuge in the United States. Austrian composer Hanns Eisler who had risen to prominence as a significant composer during the Weimar era was among them. A Jew, an ardent Marxist and composer devoted to musical modernism, he had established himself as a writer of film music and Kampflieder, fighting songs, for the European workers' movement. After two visits of the United States in the mid-1930s, Eisler settled in America where he spent a decade (1938-1948), composed a considerable number of musical works, including important film scores, instrumental music and songs, and, in collaboration with Theodor W. Adorno, penned the influential treatise Composing for the Films. Yet despite his substantial contributions to American culture American scholarship on Eisler has remained sparse, perhaps due to his reputation as the "Karl Marx in Music." In this study I examine Eisler's American exile and argue that Eisler, through his roles as a musician and a teacher, actively sought to enrich American culture. I will present background for his exile years, a detailed overview of his American career as well as analyses and close readings of several of his American works, including three of his American film scores, Pete Roleum and His Cousins (1939), Hangmen Also Die (1943), and None But the Lonely Heart (1944), and the String Quartet (1940), Third Piano Sonata (1943), Woodbury Liederbüchlein (1941), and Hollywood Songbook (1942-7). This thesis builds upon unpublished correspondence and documents available only in special collections at the University of Southern California (USC), as well as film scores in archives at USC and the University of California, Los Angeles. It also draws on Eisler studies by such European scholars as Albrecht Betz, Jürgen Schebera, and Horst Weber, as well as on research of film music scholars Sally Bick and Claudia Gorbman. As there is little written on the particulars of Eisler's American years, this thesis presents new facts and new perspectives and aims at a better understanding of the artistic achievements of this composer.

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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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Created

Date Created
2013

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The undocumented: a musical analysis of three saxophone solos of the "light music" era

Description

The solo repertoire from the Light Music Era serves as an important link between the Classical and Jazz soloist traditions. These characteristics are best highlighted through an analysis of three solo transcriptions: Felix Arndt's Nola as performed by Al Gallodoro,

The solo repertoire from the Light Music Era serves as an important link between the Classical and Jazz soloist traditions. These characteristics are best highlighted through an analysis of three solo transcriptions: Felix Arndt's Nola as performed by Al Gallodoro, Rudy Wiedoeft's Valse Vanité, as performed by Freddy Gardener, and Jimmy Dorsey's Oodles of Noodles, as performed by Al Gallodoro. The transcriptions, done by the author, are taken from primary source recordings, and the ensuing analysis serves to show the saxophone soloists of the Light Music Era as an amalgamation of classical and jazz saxophone. Many of the works performed during the Light Music Era are extant only in recorded form. Even so, these performances possess great historical significance within the context of the state of the saxophone as an important solo instrument in the wider musical landscape. The saxophone solos from the Light Music Era distinguish themselves through the use of formal development and embellishment of standard "song forms" (such as ABA, and AABA), and the use of improvisational techniques that are common to early Jazz; however, the analysis shows that the improvisational techniques were distinctly different than a Jazz solo improvisation in nature. Although it has many characteristics in common with both "Classical Music" (this is used as a generic term to refer to the music of the Western European common practice period that is not Pop music or Jazz) and Jazz, the original research shows that the saxophone solo music from the Light Music Era is a distinctly original genre due to the amalgamation of seemingly disparate elements.

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Created

Date Created
2012