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The incorporation of Greek folk melodies in the piano works of Yannis Constantinidis: with special consideration of the 22 songs and dances from the Dodecanese

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Yannis Constantinidis was the last of the handful of composers referred to collectively as the Greek National School. The members of this group strove to create a distinctive national style for Greece, founded upon a synthesis of Western compositional idioms

Yannis Constantinidis was the last of the handful of composers referred to collectively as the Greek National School. The members of this group strove to create a distinctive national style for Greece, founded upon a synthesis of Western compositional idioms with melodic, rhyhmic, and modal features of their local folk traditions. Constantinidis particularly looked to the folk melodies of his native Asia Minor and the nearby Dodecanese Islands. His musical output includes operettas, musical comedies, orchestral works, chamber and vocal music, and much piano music, all of which draws upon folk repertories for thematic material. The present essay examines how he incorporates this thematic material in his piano compositions, written between 1943 and 1971, with a special focus on the 22 Songs and Dances from the Dodecanese. In general, Constantinidis's pianistic style is expressed through miniature pieces in which the folk tunes are presented mostly intact, but embedded in accompaniment based in early twentieth-century modal harmony. Following the dictates of the founding members of the Greek National School, Manolis Kalomiris and Georgios Lambelet, the modal basis of his harmonic vocabulary is firmly rooted in the characteristics of the most common modes of Greek folk music. A close study of his 22 Songs and Dances from the Dodecanese not only offers a valuable insight into his harmonic imagination, but also demonstrates how he subtly adapts his source melodies. This work also reveals his care in creating a musical expression of the words of the original folk songs, even in purely instrumental compositon.

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2011

Six Chinese piano pieces of the twentieth century: a recording project

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This paper describes six representative works by twentieth-century Chinese composers: Jian-Zhong Wang, Er-Yao Lin, Yi-Qiang Sun, Pei-Xun Chen, Ying-Hai Li, and Yi Chen, which are recorded by the author on the CD. The six pieces selected for the CD all

This paper describes six representative works by twentieth-century Chinese composers: Jian-Zhong Wang, Er-Yao Lin, Yi-Qiang Sun, Pei-Xun Chen, Ying-Hai Li, and Yi Chen, which are recorded by the author on the CD. The six pieces selected for the CD all exemplify traits of Nationalism, with or without Western influences. Of the six works on the CD, two are transcriptions of the Han Chinese folk-like songs, one is a composition in the style of the Uyghur folk music, two are transcriptions of traditional Chinese instrumental music dating back to the eighteenth century, and one is an original composition in a contemporary style using folk materials. Two of the composers, who studied in the United States, were strongly influenced by Western compositional style. The other four, who did not study abroad, retained traditional Chinese style in their compositions. The pianistic level of difficulty in these six pieces varies from intermediate to advanced level. This paper includes biographical information for the six composers, background information on the compositions, and a brief analysis of each work. The author was exposed to these six pieces growing up, always believing that they are beautiful and deserve to be appreciated. When the author came to the United States for her studies, she realized that Chinese compositions, including these six pieces, were not sufficiently known to her peers. This recording and paper are offered in the hopes of promoting a wider familiarity with Chinese music and culture.

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2012

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Using literature to help 4th and 5th grade students with disabilities living In poverty develop the problem-solving skills they need to be successful in their world

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The critical-thinking skill of problem solving needs to be part of the curriculum for all students, including those with learning disabilities living in poverty; yet, too often this is not the case. Too often students in poverty and students with

The critical-thinking skill of problem solving needs to be part of the curriculum for all students, including those with learning disabilities living in poverty; yet, too often this is not the case. Too often students in poverty and students with learning disabilities are provided a curriculum that is watered down, focused on the basics, and aimed at managing their behaviors instead of helping them learn to think critically about their world. Despite their challenges, these students can learn to problem solve. Educators need to help students make connections between the critical-thinking skills learned in school and the problem-solving skills needed for life. One solution might be to use literature with characters facing similar problems, hold grand conversations, and teach them a problem solving method. Together, these three parts have the potential to motivate and lead students to better thinking. This action research study explored whether literature with characters facing similar problems to the study's participants, grand conversations, and the I SOLVE problem solving method would help students with disabilities living in poverty in the Southwestern United States develop the problem-solving skills they need to understand and successfully navigate their world. Data were collected using a mixed methods approach. The Motivation to Read Profile, I SOLVE problem-solving survey, thought bubbles, student journals, transcripts from grand conversations, and researcher's journal were tools used. To understand fully how and to what extent literature and grand conversations helped students gain the critical thinking skill of problem solving, data were mixed in a convergence model. Results show the I SOLVE problem-solving method was an effective way to teach problem-solving steps. Scores on the problem-solving survey rose pre- to post-test. Grand conversations focused on literature with character's facing problems led to an increase in students' motivation to read, and this population of students were able to make aesthetic connections and interpretations to the texts read. From these findings implications for teachers are provided.

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Date Created
2012

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Survey of selected contemporary Taiwanese female composers of music for solo piano

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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

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.

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Date Created
2011

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Latina/o language minorities with learning disabilities: examining the interplay between in- and out-of-school literacies

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There are many educational issues connected to the exponential growth of the Latina/o population in the U.S. One such issue is Latina/os’ educational outcomes in the area of literacy. Despite the increased attention to subpopulations of students (e.g.,

There are many educational issues connected to the exponential growth of the Latina/o population in the U.S. One such issue is Latina/os’ educational outcomes in the area of literacy. Despite the increased attention to subpopulations of students (e.g., English language learners, students with disabilities) there is little attention given to students that do not fit neatly into one subcategory, which positions Latina/o language minorities (LMs) with learning disabilities (LDs) in a liminal space where their educational services are fragmented into either being a student with LD or a LM student. Unfortunately, labels that are meant to afford students resources often result in fragmenting students’ educational experiences. This becomes evident when attempting to locate research on students who have ethnic, linguistic, and ability differences. Rarely are their educational needs as Latina/o LMs with LD met fluidly. Understanding the intersections of ethnicity, language, and ability differences in situated literacy practice is imperative to creating the deep, nuanced understanding of how Latina/o LMs with LD might become proficient in the use of critical twenty-first century tools such as new literacies. In this study I used cultural historical activity theory in combination with New Literacy Studies (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009; Gee, 1996) and intersectionality (McCall, 2014) to examine how Latina/o LMs with LD’s participated in literacies across in- and out-of-school contexts with the following research questions: In what ways does participation in literacy change for Latina/o LMs with LD as they move between in- and out-of-school? What situated identities do LMs with LD enact and resist while participating in literacy across in- and out-of-school contexts?

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Date Created
2015

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Learning Disabilities or Language Proficiency? Mapping a School’s Understanding of English Learners’ (In)competence

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Special education identification processes related to English language learners (ELs) in the United States have puzzled the field for decades. The phenomenon of referrals, the first step toward identification, is complex since it requires deciphering the root cause of students’

Special education identification processes related to English language learners (ELs) in the United States have puzzled the field for decades. The phenomenon of referrals, the first step toward identification, is complex since it requires deciphering the root cause of students’ learning struggles—e.g., second language (L2) factors, the possibility of a learning disability (LD), or the combination of multiple other influences. To investigate the various influences contributing to learning difficulties, I centered this study on three potential sources, individual, institutional, and interpersonal. I aimed to answer, how did sociocultural influences mediate a teacher’s understanding of ELs’ competence? How did sociocultural influences mediate whether a teacher referred ELs to special education services? Using a cultural-historical theoretical approach, I sought deeper theoretical and empirical understandings into how institutional factors (e.g., tiered intervention contexts, policies), combined with other influences, mediated ELs’ referral decisions. I used a multiple parallel case study design following two fifth-grade ELs who faced the possibility of a referral. Interested in the interpersonal domain (e.g., interactions and communication among people), I zoomed in to a local process, student-teacher conferences to examine how classroom processes shaped teachers’ thoughts of students’ competence, and ultimately, referral decisions. I video-recorded teacher-student conference sessions over 14 weeks, and audio-recorded viewing sessions of the recorded conferences to understand teacher and student interpretations of learning competence. To understand how other dimensions (individual and institutional) contributed to teachers’ overall views about the student competence, I interviewed parents and school personnel, wrote observational field notes, and examined archival documents related to student learning over the entire fifth-grade year. I used inductive and iterative qualitative analytical approaches to craft the findings. My findings reaffirmed the complexity involved in finalizing ELs’ referral decisions. I found cultural factors intertwined with structural forces, driving students’ special education candidacies in divergent directions: one evaluated (LD); the other, retained. I also found the referral decisions were based on narrow understandings of learning and behaviors, lack of attention to students’ L2 needs, and faulty and overpowering structural forces which undermined teacher’s professional opinions about the referrals. These findings have implications for research, practice, and policy.

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2020