Matching Items (38)

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Synthesizing styles: international influence on organ music in Restoration England

Description

Following the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, musical culture gradually began to thrive under the support of royal patronage and the emerging middle class. The newly crowned Charles

Following the Restoration of the English monarchy in 1660, musical culture gradually began to thrive under the support of royal patronage and the emerging middle class. The newly crowned Charles II brought with him a love of French music acquired during his time in exile at the court of his cousin, the young Louis XIV. Organ builders, most notably Bernard Smith and Renatus Harris, brought new life to the instrument, drawing from their experience on the Continent to build larger instruments with colorful solo stops, offering more possibilities for performers and composers. Although relatively few notated organ works survive from the Restoration period, composers generated a niche body of organ repertoire exploring compositional genres inspired by late 17th-century English instruments.

The primary organ composers of the Restoration period are Matthew Locke, John Blow, and Henry Purcell; these three musicians began to take advantage of new possibilities in organ composition, particularly the use of two-manuals with a solo register, and their writing displays the strong influence of French and Italian compositional styles. Each adapts Continental forms and techniques for the English organ, drawing from such forms as the French overture and récit pour le basse et dessus, and the Italian toccata and canzona. English organ composers from the Restoration period borrow form, stylistic techniques, ornamentation, and even direct musical quotations, to create a body of repertoire synthesizing both French and Italian styles.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Light Emerging: A Symphonic Dance Suite for Chamber Orchestra and Electronics

Description

Light Emerging is a symphonic dance suite in five movements. The work’s approximate length is 25 minutes; it is scored for flute, oboe, clarinet in Bb, bassoon, horn in F,

Light Emerging is a symphonic dance suite in five movements. The work’s approximate length is 25 minutes; it is scored for flute, oboe, clarinet in Bb, bassoon, horn in F, trumpet in C with loop pedal, trombone, percussion, electronic percussion, piano, strings, and fixed media. Each movement of the dance suite is written to be performed as a standalone piece or together as one multimovement work. The music showcases open quintal sonorities layered in conflicting substructures, which contract into denser brooding passages and transform into tonal fanfares.

Attempting to capture the essence of how humanity uniquely experiences light and assigns personification to it, the composer presents light and dark as the main characters in a grand ballet of good and evil. Prism (Movement I) is an overture that is constantly shifting and evolving. A rainbow of colors is presented by the various orchestra members, as timbral and pitch evolutions showcase the ever-changing perspectives of a prism held to light. Yin/Yang (Movement II) explores the relationship between light and dark. The solo clarinet represents light breaking through the darkness as its colorful flourishes pierce through the brooding fixed media. Sunrise (Movement III) captures the impressive majesty of light bursting over the dark horizon in the early morning. Lux (Movement IV) is a dance of light, using solo trumpet and a chorus of phantom trumpets. Light Eternal (Movement V) expresses the deep need for humans to worship that which is unknown and eternal, and the power of light to overcome the dark. The “March of Eternal Light” signals our end in this world and the journey to the beyond.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Cognize Normal-Like Pleez: Video Installation

Description

I believe the human mind is not an accurate reproducer of objects and events, but a tool that constructs their qualities. Philosophers Bowman Clarke, James John, and Amy Kind have

I believe the human mind is not an accurate reproducer of objects and events, but a tool that constructs their qualities. Philosophers Bowman Clarke, James John, and Amy Kind have argued for and against similar points, while Daniel Hoffman and Jay Dowling have debated cases from a psychological perspective. My understanding of their discourse surfaces in Cognize Normal-Like Pleez, a video installation designed to capture the enigmatic connection between perceivers and the things they perceive. The composition encapsulates this theme through a series of five videos that disseminate confusing imagery paired with mangled sounds. The miniatures operate in sequence on computer monitors set inside a haphazardously ornamented tower. Though the original sources for each video communicate clear, familiar subjects, the final product deliberately obscures them. Sometimes sounds and images flicker for only brief moments, perhaps too fast for the human mind to fully process. Though some information comes through, important data supplied by the surrounding context is absent.

I invite the audience to rationalize this complexing conglomerate and reflect on how their established biases inform their opinion of the work. Each person likely draws from his or her experiences, cultural conditioning, knowledge, and other personal factors in order to create an individual conceptualization of the installation. Their subjective conclusions reflect my belief concerning a neurological basis for the origin of qualities. One’s connection to Cognize’s images and sounds, to me, is not derived solely from characteristics inherent to it, but also endowed by one’s mind, which not only constructs the attributes one normally associates with the images and sounds (as opposed to the physics and biology that lead to their construction), but also seamlessly incorporates the aforementioned biases. I realize my ideas by focusing the topics of the videos and their setting around the transmission of information and its obfuscation. Just as one cannot see or hear past the perceptual barriers in Cognize, I believe one cannot escape his or her mind to “sense” qualities in an objective, disembodied manner, because the mind is necessary for perception.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Rhythm For Percussion Ensemble and Narrator

Description

Rhythm is a work for percussion ensemble and narrator. The percussion ensemble includes five percussionists who each play multiple instruments. The narrator recites quotes from the book Meter as Rhythm

Rhythm is a work for percussion ensemble and narrator. The percussion ensemble includes five percussionists who each play multiple instruments. The narrator recites quotes from the book Meter as Rhythm by Dr. Christopher Hasty. The piece is in six parts with a short introduction (mm. 1-5). The structure is delineated by the quotes from Meter as Rhythm. The narrator describes an aspect of rhythm at the beginning of each section and the quote is sonically realized through the percussion ensemble.

This piece experiments with different timbres and rhythmic motives. Timbral variety is achieved through grouping instruments into woods, metals, and membranes and using combinations of those groups to delineate different sections and ideas. The rhythmic motives are based on the numbers 3, 5, and 7, and appear as rhythmic values, phrase lengths, and number of repetitions.

The first section states a definition of rhythm and contains all timbres and motives contained within the composition. The piece then explores the relativity of time and is represented by drums changing the speed of their notes. The third section discusses rhythm as repetition and is illustrated by repetitive rhythmic motives. The text then features rhythm as a subjective human experience and is reflected through polyrhythms played between ensemble members. What follows is a description of meter as a temporal measurement that is unchanged by rhythmic activity. By bringing back previous motives, this section reveals that all of the motives work within the same meter. In the final section, the performers play various subdivisions of the beat to show different aspects of proportion by dividing the beat in several ways.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Stefania Turkevych's Heart of Oksana (1969): A Critical Edition of a Lost Ukrainian Opera

Description

It is no secret that the Soviet Union silenced the voices of many artists, but pieces of this history are still emerging—including the story of Ukraine's first female composer to

It is no secret that the Soviet Union silenced the voices of many artists, but pieces of this history are still emerging—including the story of Ukraine's first female composer to achieve professional renown: Stefania Turkevych (1898-1977). Although the quantity and quality of Turkevych's compositional output should have established her as a major international figure, most of her work remains unpublished. Turkevych is absent from both Grove Music and Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG Online). There is a clear need for English-language biographical materials about Turkevych and for publication of her works.

This document represents the first critical edition of Turkevych’s three-act chamber opera, Серце Оксани (The Heart of Oksana), commissioned in 1969 for the 100th anniversary of the creation of Canada’s Province of Manitoba (and its subsequent settlement by members of the Ukrainian diasporic community). The score is prefaced by brief introductions to both Turkevych and Серце Оксани as well as an explanation of editorial procedure and a critical report.

Lost Soviet-era voices carry particular social and political weight as present-day Ukraine reclaims an identity that moves beyond reductive “Russian vs. European” dichotomies, and solidifying that identity seems even more urgent against the backdrop of the current Donbass War (2013-present). This project represents the first step in a much longer-term effort to unearth and share Turkevych’s story and overlooked contributions as a composer, teacher, and lifelong advocate of Ukraine’s language and culture.

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Date Created
  • 2020

REVEREND STORMFIELD GOES TO HEAVEN: AN OPERETTA FOR SEVEN VOCALISTS AND INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE

Description

Reverend Stormfield Goes to Heaven is an operetta in six scenes for seven vocalists and

flute, clarinet, horn, percussion, piano, violin, cello, and double bass. The work’s approximate length is 40

Reverend Stormfield Goes to Heaven is an operetta in six scenes for seven vocalists and

flute, clarinet, horn, percussion, piano, violin, cello, and double bass. The work’s approximate length is 40 minutes. The libretto is written by the composer and based on the short story by Mark Twain titled “Captain Stormfield Goes to Heaven.” The short story features the typical biting sarcasm of Mark Twain. The libretto combines part of the original text with alterations to satirize modern day Christianity and religious values in general. The story follows Reverend Stormfield as she arrives in Heaven and quickly learns that the locations and people she expected to see and meet are shockingly different. The journey takes her through comical scenarios and deeper philosophical dilemmas, and in the end she is left to confront her own disturbing past.

The musical elements of the operetta include traditional and octatonic scales, twelve- tone rows and set theory based on the overriding intervallic relationship of the perfect fourth. The sets implemented as motivic ideas: 0-1-4-5, 0-1-6-7, and 0-2-5-7 are based on the perfect fourth and serve as the framework for many of the melodic ideas. The instruments provide an accompanimental role often incorporating melodic fragmentation and contrapuntal textures and techniques. Instrumental solos are featured prominently in arias and the instrumental interludes between scenes.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Para Mi Alma for Chamber Wind Ensemble

Description

Para Mi Alma is a composition for chamber wind ensemble comprised of an Introduction, two dance movements, and a concluding movement featuring the full ensemble in a chorale-like finale. This

Para Mi Alma is a composition for chamber wind ensemble comprised of an Introduction, two dance movements, and a concluding movement featuring the full ensemble in a chorale-like finale. This piece follows the narrative of an abusive relationship, and the emotional rollercoaster that one experiences during the self extrication and consequential rebirth of identity. Para Mi Alma (For My Soul) is scored for chamber wind ensemble with the following instrumentation: piccolo/flute, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon; soprano, tenor, and baritone saxophone; trumpet, trumpet/flugelhorn, horn in F, tenor and bass trombone; double bass, and three percussionists - marimba/congas, auxiliary percussion (wind chimes, suspended cymbal, triangle, bass drum, snare drum, double cowbell, tam-tam), and timpani/timbales. The duration of this work is approximately 11’00”.

Each movement portrays a stage in the relationship, and the mental state of the person experiencing abuse. The Introduction begins with a piccolo solo and marimba accompaniment, and gradually builds to the full ensemble; this section of music illustrates the moment that relational ties to the transgressor are cut — a split second of clarity and space before the spiral of anxiety and overwhelming thoughts of self deprecation invade. Movement I is a salsa, representing the dance of two people entering into a relationship. The meter changes and hemiolas serve to upset the underlying groove and create rhythmic tension, while the surface of the music appears unscathed. Finally the dance is interrupted by an aggressive bass solo, which initiates the transition to Movement II. This transition serves to remind the listener of the Introduction, and the dissolution of the relationship; it is characterized by chaos and confused clusters of melodic lines and dissonant harmonies. Movement II is a tango, representative of the emotional extremes of heartbreak, anger, confusion, and shame. The conclusion of the Tango directly segues into Movement III, which features a short brass chorale before building to include the full ensemble. Movement III portrays the support system of family and friends, and personifies the collective effort that takes place in healing and growth.

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Date Created
  • 2019

Exercises for Excerpts: A Prescriptive Approach for the Developing Orchestral Tubist

Description

This document details the conception and creative process of fundamental exercises intended for the refinement of orchestral repertoire for the tuba. Performance practices and study materials that relate to the

This document details the conception and creative process of fundamental exercises intended for the refinement of orchestral repertoire for the tuba. Performance practices and study materials that relate to the orchestral tubist have evolved significantly over the instrument’s history. Although much of its current methodology is derived from the pedagogical insights of the brass family, resources intended to specifically address the unique musical and technical challenges of the tuba have become more prevalent in the past decade. This study aims to detail the conception of exercises that target the skills necessary for the realization of eight excerpts. It also begs the question: what might a new resource encompass that would differentiate its quality and intent from existing materials?

To create a resource that is reflective of current trends and standards in tuba performance, a dialogue was established with several professional tubists through the creation of an online survey. Respondents’ interpretations of each included excerpt were assessed by generalized, specific, and quantifiable feedback. This data was then utilized to directly inform the creative process of supplementary exercises for the included repertoire. The project fulfills its intent to serve as an educational resource, and has strong potential to expand its coverage to additional excerpts with further professional insights.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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J. S. Bach's WTC Book I Prelude and Fugue in B-flat Minor BWV 867: An Analysis and Study of Related Works

Description

The core element of this research paper is an analysis of the B-flat minor prelude and fugue BWV 867. The author’s analysis is then compared with the main contributors to

The core element of this research paper is an analysis of the B-flat minor prelude and fugue BWV 867. The author’s analysis is then compared with the main contributors to Bach’s analytical studies. An understanding of the work’s structure, together with its motivic and harmonic details, help the performer develop an interpretive approach to the work.

Significant Bach scholars, including David Ledbetter and Peter Williams, are used as the source for the additional works to be studied. These scholars also mention close associates of Bach who offer additional insight into his music: Kirnberger and Weiss. The paper includes a brief discussion of the opening chorus fugue BWV 64, instrumental prelude to the cantata BWV 106, chorale prelude BWV 721, and Tombeau sur la Mort de Mr Comte de Logy by Weiss, as they relate to the B-flat minor prelude and fugue. In addition, the analysis provides materials on how the elements of the work relate to the Doctrine of Affections. From the B-flat minor prelude and fugue, the harmonic progressions and figuration are examined from the point of view of the Doctrine. The research also examines the fugue subject, with its unusual leap of a minor 9th, to its structural connection to the opening chorus fugue of BWV 64, and its ties to the Doctrine.

Through the analysis of the B-flat minor prelude and fugue and a comparison to works by Bach that are stylistically connected to this work, the author offers insights into the music and its relationship to works that have a sacred text association.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Electroacoustic Etudes for Clarinet and Pure Data: A Set of Etudes for Clarinet and Electronics for the Advancing Musician

Description

Electronic music, including the subgenre of interactive electronic music, has a century-old history and has established itself as a vital and important element of modern music cultures throughout the world.

Electronic music, including the subgenre of interactive electronic music, has a century-old history and has established itself as a vital and important element of modern music cultures throughout the world. Acoustic musicians in the twenty-first century will be expected to perform and interact with electronic music. Currently, however, few resources are available to either the student or teacher to help advancing young musicians develop their skills working with electronic musical components. A considerable amount of electronic music is prohibitive due to cost, access to equipment, and degree of difficulty. Therefore, a set of works designed to specifically reduce these prohibitive costs seems necessary. As a performer/composer that plays clarinet and as an electronic musician that regularly utilizes the open-source programming software Pure Data (Pd), I feel my composing, performing, and technical experience uniquely positions me to create educational materials. For this project, I will compose/program a collection of electronic etudes for clarinet and electronics that: (1) utilizes Pd to provide electronic accompaniment, (2) is composed for clarinetists of varying experience levels, (3) and will be commercially available as electronic PDF and Pd files.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020