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According to the United States Department of Labor, the predicted percentage growth of jobs in music performance for 2012-22 is less than half the predicted percentage growth in overall national employment for the same period. While university music performance core curricula prepares students to attain their goals, which can include positions in orchestral, chamber, or solo settings, only a small number of such positions are predicted in the future job market. One possible solution to help students succeed as modern-day musicians is the implementation of curricula that emphasizes innovation and entrepreneurship in music performance. This paper comprises three parts: (1) a study intended to identify core curricula requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Violin Performance in the United States; (2) a sample Career Plan; and (3) a Syllabus for an Innovative Music Performance Course.
The first section of this document contains a summary of the requirements for DMA violin performance courses, based on a large survey of university programs in the U.S., both public and private. Using Petersons’ catalogue of “Graduate Programs in the Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences,” thirty-five U.S. institutions (public and private) that offer DMA in violin performance degrees and publicize their core requirements online have been analyzed. This study reveals that distribution of hours required in music performance curricula have changed little in the last forty years. A career plan is provided as a practical tool to help students navigate their own careers in the twentieth century. This document culminates with a Syllabus for an Innovative Music Performance course designed to remedy the deficits in the current core curriculum.
This research project was written simultaneously with a composition for double
bass and piano that centers around improvisational concepts. The composition is intended for intermediate to advanced musicians to have an opportunity to practice improvisational performance and, hopefully, further their understanding and improve their ability to make convincing and creative musical decisions.
Improvisation, an aspect of music that has a deep tradition in Western Classical music, is often feared by classical musicians. The lack of improvisation in classical music, the idea that it is a specialized skill, and the lack of encouragement from studio teachers contributes greatly to this fear. In addition, teachers themselves often fear teaching and utilizing improvisation in performance for these same reasons. The introduction of improvisation into both the student’s and the teacher’s studies and daily practice can be beneficial in the development of meaningful performance and understanding music theory concepts.
This paper will introduce improvisation into daily practice that will educate both the student and the teacher and cement the understanding of theoretical concepts and standard repertoire. Various improvisation games (creating new material and improvising from traditional classical music) will be introduced. This study will begin with a brief survey of the tradition of improvisation in Western classical music from the Middle Ages to the present.
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.
Fingerboard study is an essential component of the college guitar curriculum. A Course on Guitar Fingerboard Melody and Harmony is a method to acquire and integrate fundamental music vocabulary for the guitar performer, interpreter, improvisor, and composer, the end goal being mastery of musical vocabulary to enable artistic freedom and creative depth. This class design facilitates a solid foundation of fundamental components and provides a framework for further study and integration. It offers a concise yet intense course that consolidates, codifies, explores, and applies scale, interval, and chord vocabulary through interpretive, compositional, and improvisational engagement. This project aspires to contribute to the discipline of guitar, its canon, and its pedagogy. This programmed curriculum offers a comprehensive one-year, two-semester, college-level course on fundamental music vocabulary on the guitar fretboard. Its design facilitates a solid foundation for fundamental musical components, equips the student with a working scale and chord vocabulary, reveals how vocabulary is generated on any fretted instrument, and provides a framework for further study and integration. Semester one facilitates in-depth scale and interval study, while semester two investigates triads and seventh chords, reflecting one, two, three, and four voices textures. Each unit contains lessons, assignments, and integration activities. This document provides both teacher edition, units one through four, and student workbook, units five through eight.
Students of A Course on Guitar Fingerboard Melody and Harmony can expect dramatic strides in their understanding of musical vocabulary, its applications, and their abilities to associate and engage in real-time interpretative, compositional, and improvisational contexts. Fingerboard knowledge greatly enhances sight reading skills and enables the interpreter to find fingerings that express the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic character of any particular musical gesture, and consequently, an entire composition. Guitar composers will be most effective when they know the possibilities and parameters of musical vocabulary on the instrument. Often, the study of vocabulary can inform and expand a composer's sonic palette and conception. For improvisers, fingerboard comprehension allows access to any interval, scale, arpeggio, or voicing the ear desires, regardless of where they happen to find themselves on the instrument in that unique moment.
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.