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The purpose of this project was to examine the lives and solo piano works of four members of the early generation of female composers in Taiwan. These four women were born between 1950 and 1960, began to appear on the Taiwanese musical scene after 1980, and were still active as composers at the time of this study. They include Fan-Ling Su (b. 1955), Hwei-Lee Chang (b. 1956), Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew (b. 1957), and Kwang-I Ying (b. 1960). Detailed biographical information on the four composers is presented and discussed. In addition, the musical form and features of all solo piano works at all levels by the four composers are analyzed, and the musical characteristics of each composer's work are discussed. The biography of a fifth composer, Wei-Ho Dai (b. 1950), is also discussed but is placed in the Appendices because her piano music could not be located. This research paper is presented in six chapters: (1) Prologue; the life and music of (2) Fan-Ling Su, (3) Hwei-Lee Chang, (4) Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew, and (5) Kwang-I Ying; and (6) Conclusion. The Prologue provides an overview of the development of Western classical music in Taiwan, a review of extant literature on the selected composers and their music, and the development of piano music in Taiwan. The Conclusion is comprised of comparisons of the four composers' music, including their personal interests and preferences as exhibited in their music. For example, all of the composers have used atonality in their music. Two of the composers, Fan-Ling Su and Kwang-I Ying, openly apply Chinese elements in their piano works, while Hwei-Lee Chang tries to avoid direct use of the Chinese pentatonic scale. The piano works of Hwei-Lee Chang and Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew are chromatic and atonal, and show an economical usage of material. Biographical information on Wei-Ho Dai and an overview of Taiwanese history are presented in the Appendices.
Bohuslav Martinù (1890-1959) was a prolific composer who wrote nearly 100 works for piano. His highly imaginative and eclectic style blends elements of the Baroque, Impressionism, Twentieth-century idioms and Czech folk music. His music is fresh and appealing to the listener, yet it remains intriguing as to how all the elements are combined in a cohesive manner. Martinù himself provides clues to his compositional process. He believed in pure musical expression and the intensity of the musical idea, without the need for extra-musical or programmatic connotations. He espoused holistic and organic views toward musical perception and composition, at times referring to a work as an "organism." This study examines Martinù's piano style in light of his many diverse influences and personal philosophy. The first portion of this paper discusses Martinù's overall style through several piano miniatures written throughout his career. It takes into consideration the composer's personal background, musical influences and aesthetic convictions. The second portion focuses specifically on Martinù's first large-scale work for piano, the Fantasie et Toccata, H. 281. Written during a time in which Martinù was black-listed by the Nazis and forced to flee Europe, this piece bears witness to the chaotic events of WWII through its complexity and intensity of character. The discussion and analysis of the Fantasie et Toccata intends to serve as a guide to interpretation for the performer or listener and also seeks to promote the piano music of Bohuslav Martinù to a wider audience.
Works for clarinet in the twentieth century exist in abundance; furthermore, the number of extant works from the Classical period is substantial. However, works for solo clarinet in the late-Romantic style are lacking; most of the significant literature for clarinet is contained in orchestral works. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to add to the solo clarinet repertoire of the late Romantic-style through the transcription of works written originally for viola. The four works transcribed for this project are by York Bowen. Bowen was a British composer and pianist who taught at the Royal Academy of Music in England. Although his career flourished in the twentieth century, his music reflects the music of the late-Romantic style. The project includes a transcription of Bowen's Sonata No. 1 in C minor, Op. 18 for viola and piano, Sonata No. 2 in F major, Op. 22 for viola and piano, Romance in D-flat for viola and piano, and Phantasy in F, Op. 54 for viola and piano. Additionally, a brief examination of Bowen's life, an overview of each piece, details regarding transcription parts, a list of changes made to the original part, and a recording of each transcription is included in the document.
This paper investigates the origins of the piano recital as invented by Franz Liszt, presents varying strategies for program design, and compares Liszt's application of the format with current trends. In addition it examines the concepts of program music, musical ekphrasis, and Gesamtkunstwerk and proposes a new multimedia piano concert format in which music combines with the mediums of literature and the visual arts; Picturing Rachmaninoff, and Picturing Ravel provide two recent examples of this format.
From fall 2010 to spring 2011, the author was the pianist in twenty public performances of Wilderness, a site-adaptable dance and audio installation by choreographer Yanira Castro and composer Stephan Moore. Wilderness's music was generated as the result of an algorithmic treatment of data collected from the movements of both dancers and audience members within the performance space. The immediacy of using movement to instantaneously generate sounds resulted in the need for a real-time notational environment inhabited by a sight-reading musician. Wilderness provided the author the opportunity to extensively explore an extreme sight-reading environment, as well as the experience of playing guided improvisations over existing materials while incorporating lateral thinking strategies, resulting from a real-time collaboration between composer and performer during the course of a live performance. This paper describes Wilderness in detail with particular attention focused on aspects of the work that most directly affect the pianist: the work's real-time notational system, live interaction between composer and performer, and the freedoms and limitations of guided improvisation. There is a significant amount of multi-media documentation of Wilderness available online, and the reader is directed toward this online content in the paper's appendix.
New music is often created as a product of commissions resulting in a collaborative effort between the performer and the composer. This performer-composer relationship represents an important component of the role of the artist in expanding the repertoire of the instrument. Belgian composer, Norbert Goddaer (b. 1933), has written numerous works for clarinet that are the result of such collaborations. Mr. Goddaer's works for clarinet are well-crafted and audience-friendly, and are thus good programming choices for students and professionals alike. His clarinet works have been performed worldwide in artist recitals, conferences for organizations such as the International Clarinet Association, The Midwest Clinic, and the Texas Music Educators Association, and have been commercially recorded and released by some of the foremost contemporary clarinet artists. These works have a great education value given the fact that they are appropriate choices for such a wide range of clarinetists. In an effort to contribute to this body of performance history, the author has produced a recording of five of Goddaer's previously unrecorded works, accompanied by a performance guide to each work. This document provides detailed performance notes with corresponding musical examples, basic formal analyses, and musical suggestions for Las Mañas, Conversations, Ballad, Duets, and Restless by Norbert Goddaer. The author has included a full transcript of an interview with Norbert Goddaer, which includes a first-person discussion of each work, and additionally includes biographical information supported by concert programs and an annotated list of all of Goddaer's works for clarinet, and a discography of his works for clarinet.
Illuminating Silent Voices: An African-American Contribution to the Percussion Literature in the Western Art Music Tradition will discuss how Raymond Ridley's original composition, FyrStar (2009), is comparable to other pre-existing percussion works in the literature. Selected compositions for comparison included Darius Milhaud's Concerto for Marimba, Vibraphone and Orchestra, Op. 278 (1949); David Friedman's and Dave Samuels's Carousel (1985); Raymond Helble's Duo Concertante for Vibraphone and Marimba, Op. 54 (2009); Tera de Marez Oyens's Octopus: for Bass Clarinet and one Percussionist (marimba/vibraphone) (1982). In the course of this document, the author will discuss the uniqueness of FyrStar's instrumentation of nine single reed instruments--E-flat clarinet, B-flat clarinet, alto clarinet, bass clarinet, B-flat contrabass clarinet, B-flat soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and B-flat baritone saxophone, juxtaposing this unique instrumentation to the symbolic relationship between the ensemble, marimba, and vibraphone.
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.
The focus of this in-depth study is to look at the gestation, performance history, and reception of Giacomo Puccini's evening of three one-act operas called Il Trittico and differentiate the particular components, Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi to analyze them for their individual stylistic elements of Italian Opera. These were the styles of verismo, pathos and sentimentality, and opera buffa. As substantiated by written criticism, the audience and the critics did not fully comprehend the hidden meaning behind the individual works of Il Trittico. Puccini, enigmatically, had chosen to present one last glimpse of outmoded Italian operatic traditions. In order to evaluate Il Trittico's importance in the history of Italian opera, this study will first review the musically changing landscape in Italy during the early to mid-nineteenth century, then the second part of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth-century when German, French, and eventually Russian music were starting to influence audience taste. Puccini who, over the course of his compositional life, absorbed and incorporated these different styles realized that long held Italian operatic tradition had reached a fork in the road. One path would ensure Italian composers a place in this new order and the other a stagnant dead end.
Even though Puccini's triptych garnered primarily negative reviews, the basis for this negativity was the perception that Il Trittico had broken with the historically traditional Italian musical styles. Though the present study acknowledges that break to a degree, it will also present a historically based rationale for the deviation, one left largely unnoticed by Puccini's critics. In the end, this author plans to realize their symbolic importance as a farewell to three uniquely Italian styles and a departure point for a new operatic tradition. Looking forward to the centenary of the work, this author seeks to illuminate how Puccini reached the pinnacle of firmly rooted genres of Italian opera. Ultimately this might help to unravel the enigma of Il Trittico while it continues to secure its rightful place as one of the masterpieces of the Puccini canon.
"Play less and listen more" is the prevailing wisdom whenever two musical
partners are having ensemble issues that interfere with their music-making. Accompanists, coaches, and collaborative pianists across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries devote many pages to these situations and explain what to listen and look for. An overview of this literature establishes a standard canon of ensemble issues for collaborative pianists working with a single partner, whether vocal or instrumental. The overview also discusses the various solutions these authors recommend for these problems.
However, in exceptional moments of rehearsal or performance, the foregoing advice fails. After comparing several passing observations in these standard works with the author's own experience, a paradoxical situation becomes evident: at times, what works instead of listening more is listening less. As the author describes through multiple musical examples and commentaries, ignoring one's partner for a brief moment can benefit the duo's ensemble and artistry.
The application of this principle is both narrow and wide-ranging and is meant to serve as a secondary course of action. It is decidedly not a replacement for the standard advice on coaching and collaborating, for such advice is successful far more often than not. However, it can be utilized when the collaborative pianist deems it the most successful and prudent solution to an ensemble situation that has remained problematic.