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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

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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

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

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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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2013

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Performing Heinrich Biber's Mystery sonatas on solo guitar, and principles for arranging early Baroque solo sonatas

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This is a solo guitar transcription of the first five movements, known as the "Joyous Mysteries," of the Mystery Sonatas by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, accompanied by a history of the sonata collection, an analysis of the process of

This is a solo guitar transcription of the first five movements, known as the "Joyous Mysteries," of the Mystery Sonatas by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, accompanied by a history of the sonata collection, an analysis of the process of translating a Baroque solo sonata to the guitar, and a guide for performance. The work was chosen because of its significance and popularity within violin repertoire, and the suitability of the solo sonata genre for performance on a guitar. The first section of this project addresses the history and appeal of Biber and the Mystery Sonatas. It is supplemented by a brief survey of guitar transcriptions of Biber's compositions, and the value of the present edition in modern guitar literature. The second section explores the process and challenges of arranging the Mystery Sonatas for solo guitar, followed by a summation of the general allowances and limitations the genre offers to arrangers. The third section focuses on performance practice issues encountered in adapting this series and other Baroque solo sonatas to the guitar. The project concludes with the arrangement, complemented with the original violin and continuo parts for comparison.

Although instrumentations may force an arranger to impose speculative harmonies and countermelodies on a thin texture or sacrifice inner voices in a denser texture, the solo sonata's instrumentation of melody and continuo provides an effective balance. This style allows an arranger three important details: a clear and paramount melody, a flexible bass line, and harmonies with unspecified voicings. Similarly, the compositional freedom that Baroque composers allowed to performers also facilitates the arranging process and enables a variety of creative solutions.

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2014

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A performer's guide to John Harbison's 'Four songs of solitude'

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John Harbison is one of the most prominent composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He has made major contributions in all areas of classical music, including operas, symphonies, chamber music, choral works, and vocal pieces.Among his vast output is

John Harbison is one of the most prominent composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He has made major contributions in all areas of classical music, including operas, symphonies, chamber music, choral works, and vocal pieces.Among his vast output is 'Four Songs of Solitude,' his only composition (to date) for solo violin. Though the piece is beautiful and reflective in nature, its inherent technical and musical difficulties present challenges to violinists preparing the piece. There is no published edition of 'Four Songs of Solitude' that includes bowings and fingerings, and violinists used to practicing and performing the études and repertoire of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries may have difficulty determining how to successfully navigate the music. This paper examines the piece in detail, providing an analytic description of the music and suggestions for practice. An interview with the composer yielded many insights into the structural and harmonic events of the songs, and the composer's interpretive suggestions are given alongside technical suggestions by the author. The solo violin has a centuries-long legacy, and some of the most performed repertoire exists in the medium. 'Four Songs of Solitude' is a demanding set of pieces that stands out in late twentieth-century violin music. Providing information about the piece directly from the composer and suggestions for practice and performance increases the accessibility of the work for violinists seeking to bring it to the concert stage.

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2012

Five keyboard sonatas: R. 48, 50, 60, 106 and 114 by Antonio Soler, arranged for two guitars

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Arrangements of music from other instruments have always played a key role in expanding the guitar repertoire. This project investigates the life and work of eighteenth-century composer Antonio Soler (1729-1783), specifically his sonatas for solo keyboard. This study carries out

Arrangements of music from other instruments have always played a key role in expanding the guitar repertoire. This project investigates the life and work of eighteenth-century composer Antonio Soler (1729-1783), specifically his sonatas for solo keyboard. This study carries out a formal inquiry on Soler's influences, including a background of Soler's life and training, his connection with Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), and an overview of the eighteenth-century sonata in Spain. Timbres, articulations, tessitura, and other aspects of Spanish folk music are discussed as related to Soler's composition style. Five sonatas are analyzed in connection to Spanish folk music, and part of this study's focus was arranging the sonatas for two guitars: R. 48, 50, 60, 106 and 114. An overview of the current arrangements of Soler's sonatas for guitar is included in Appendix A.

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2014

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A transcription of Charles Stanford's Cello sonata no. 2, op. 39 for viola and piano

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Provided here is a new transcription for viola and piano of Charles V. Stanford's Sonata for Cello and Piano, No. 2, Op. 39. This transcription preserves the original music, but provides new tone color and register possibilities using the viola.

Provided here is a new transcription for viola and piano of Charles V. Stanford's Sonata for Cello and Piano, No. 2, Op. 39. This transcription preserves the original music, but provides new tone color and register possibilities using the viola. In general, there is a lack of solo viola repertoire in the early nineteenth century. Stanford, a romantic composer, writes music using structural forms and harmonic techniques derived from the classical period. In order to introduce violists to the music of Charles Stanford and increase the amount of nineteenth century repertoire for the viola, this transcription of Stanford's Cello Sonata No. 2, Op. 39 is done by making artistic and educated decisions regarding fingerings and bowings, while discussing the choices for register changes. The transcription here can be employed by viola students as an example of repertoire from the early romantic period.

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2016

An Integration of Ancient Chinese Musical Traditions and Western Musical Styles: Secluded Orchid and Spirit of Chimes for Violin, Cello and Piano by Zhou Long

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Contemporary Chinese composers have a rich palette from which to draw inspirations of the distinctive timbres of ancient instruments, the diverse musical types, and the development of musical instruments. Zhou Long, an internationally recognized Chinese-American composer, has created a compositional

Contemporary Chinese composers have a rich palette from which to draw inspirations of the distinctive timbres of ancient instruments, the diverse musical types, and the development of musical instruments. Zhou Long, an internationally recognized Chinese-American composer, has created a compositional style that transfers the sounds and techniques of ancient Chinese musical traditions to modern Western instruments. An examination of Zhou Long’s compositions Secluded Orchid and Spirit of Chimes demonstrates his synthesis of Chinese and Western techniques as well as cross-cultural integration. To gain a better understanding of the compositional process of these two piano trios, the author conducted a personal interview with Zhou Long on October 21, 2016, during which he provided unique insight into the influences and inspirations of these pieces. This document describes how the history of ancient Chinese music, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, as well as Zhou Long’s life and education, influenced Seclude Orchid and Spirit of Chimes. The inspirations, formal structures, harmonic language, and compositional techniques that are presented in these works are also discussed. Finally, other repertoires of Zhou Long that share similar ideas or inspirations are explored.

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2017

Giuseppe Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill” Sonata: An Arrangement and Recording for Solo Violin

Description

This document is comprised of an arrangement and recording of Giuseppe Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill” Sonata for solo violin, and includes historical background, an exploration of Italian ornamentation, and a structural analysis. The original work was written for violin and basso

This document is comprised of an arrangement and recording of Giuseppe Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill” Sonata for solo violin, and includes historical background, an exploration of Italian ornamentation, and a structural analysis. The original work was written for violin and basso continuo. The author was inspired to create this arrangement for solo violin based on accounts that Tartini liked to perform this work unaccompanied.

The first three chapters focus on events from Tartini’s early life that influenced his compositional style. Chapters four and five provide an overview of Italian ornamentation, and explore five documents that were used to support decisions in creating the arrangement: Giovanni Luca Conforto’s The Joy of Ornamentation; Giuseppe Tartini’s Traité des Agréments de la Musique; Letter to Signora Maddalena Lombardini; Regole; and L’Arte dell Arco. Chapter six provides a structural analysis of the Sonata. The appendices illustrate the process of creating the arrangement.

The arrangement takes into consideration the composite of the original solo and basso continuo parts. In addition, a set of realized ornaments is provided on an ossia staff. The recording includes both the primary arrangement, presented in each initial section, as well as the realized ornaments, presented in each repeated section.

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2019

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The Violin Sonatas of Johann Georg Pisendel (1687-1755): A History, Analysis, and Arrangement for Solo Guitar

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The current project is a study of five violin sonatas by the German Baroque composer Johann Georg Pisendel (1687-1755), arranged for guitar. The first part of the document is comprised of an overview of Pisendel's life and career as a

The current project is a study of five violin sonatas by the German Baroque composer Johann Georg Pisendel (1687-1755), arranged for guitar. The first part of the document is comprised of an overview of Pisendel's life and career as a virtuoso violinist, primarily focusing on his time of employment with the Dresden Hofkapelle during the Saxon-Polish Union. This section also examines the history and issues surrounding the Royal Court of Dresden's Schrank II (Cabinet II) music collection, which holds all of Pisendel's manuscripts. Although many of his works were previously lost or attributed wrongly to other composers, new research from the 2008 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) funded project: The Instrumental Music of the Dresden Hofkapelle at the Time of the Saxon-Polish Union aids in providing a comprehensive list and description of each of Pisendel's violin sonatas, either ascertained or conjectural. The second part contains arrangements of five selected violin sonatas for solo guitar. Together with the rationale pertaining to interpretive choices that were made in adapting each sonata for solo guitar, each work includes explanatory notes regarding its history and provenance. The analysis and arrangement of each sonata was conducted from facsimiles of the Schrank II manuscripts, which are currently available to the public through the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB) online database.

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2017

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Selections from Hermann Ritter’s Viola Alta Repertoire: A 21st Century Rendition of 19th Century Repertoire

Description

This research paper provides a revised version of viola alta compositions by

Hermann Ritter. These original compositions, written for viola alta, were published between 1878 and 1900. Without further reprint, these works are largely unknown by this generation of violists.

This research paper provides a revised version of viola alta compositions by

Hermann Ritter. These original compositions, written for viola alta, were published between 1878 and 1900. Without further reprint, these works are largely unknown by this generation of violists. Yet, these works are precious examples of viola alta repertoire from the late nineteenth century.

The viola alta was designed by Hermann Ritter with an instrumental length between 17 and 19 inches. Another version of this instrument was constructed with five strings, adding a high E-string. Higher pitches could then be played with relative ease in lower positions. Compositions for the viola alta often feature brilliant passages in the treble register and rarely showcase the sonority of the lower strings. Many of Ritter’s scores for the instrument are notated in the alto clef and contain numerous ledger lines. Due to the difficulty of reading the music and handling such a large instrument, the viola alta had a relatively short existence and its repertoire was soon forgotten.

Hermann Ritter actively promoted the viola alta during the late nineteenth century. His compositions featured the range of the instrument and captured the emotion and character of the late Romantic era. Ritter contributed a wealth of repertoire for the viola alta to increase its significance and importance. For today’s violist, it represents a body of work from the nineteenth century, and adds to the repertoire many wonderful, short, character pieces.

This document consists of a brief discussion of Hermann Ritter’s career and his contributions to the viola alta. Six of Ritter’s viola alta works are presented in order of difficulty with bowings and fingerings, along with a performer’s analysis and performance instructions. To aid ensemble issues, the revised version includes simplified piano parts. It is the author’s hope that this volume increases repertoire options for violists and becomes a valuable pedagogical resource.

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2018