Matching Items (15)

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Observations and insights into the life and vocal work of Joseph Bologne (Chevalier de Saint-Georges)

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ABSTRACT

Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the brilliant swordsman, unequalled equestrian, athlete, dancer, violin virtuoso, composer and orchestral conductor is, and remains a singularly unique historical figure of the 18th century French Court of Louis XVI. Believed to be the first man of

ABSTRACT

Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the brilliant swordsman, unequalled equestrian, athlete, dancer, violin virtuoso, composer and orchestral conductor is, and remains a singularly unique historical figure of the 18th century French Court of Louis XVI. Believed to be the first man of mixed race to compose classical music, Saint-Georges, who was frequently invited to the court at Versailles to make music with Marie Antoinette not only thrived, but excelled during the height of an appalling slave trade and one of the most explosive periods in European history: the French Revolution. Saint-Georges’ ever evolving talent, and without preamble composed six operas. This research document will introduce to the reader important milestones that influenced the direction of his life, as well as a survey of two arias and duet from the opera L’Amant Anonyme using the paradigm of dance metrics as described in “Rhythmic Gesture in Mozart, Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni,” by Wye Jamison Allanbrook and “Classical Music, Expression, Form and Style” by Leonard Ratner.

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Date Created
2016

A newly commissioned work for cello: a recording and performance practice guide

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The introduction of a new instrumental piece—specifically Taiwanese—into the cello repertoire is as exciting as it is important. Currently, the majority of works for cello and piano include predominantly Western compositions that is repeatedly taught and performed. Reflections,

The introduction of a new instrumental piece—specifically Taiwanese—into the cello repertoire is as exciting as it is important. Currently, the majority of works for cello and piano include predominantly Western compositions that is repeatedly taught and performed. Reflections, by Taiwanese composer Ming-Hsiu Yen (Ms. Yen) is a response to this saturation. It is a piece that is both demanding for the performers and entertaining for the audience. Brilliantly written by a composer who has intimate familiarity with both the cello and piano, it is highly suitable for scholarly study and performance.

This document details ensemble issues, interpretative suggestions for both cellist and pianist, and general concepts about the music. The composer further adds to these concepts and suggestions.

Reflections is a programmatic work comprised of four movements, each with a descriptive title: “Gear,” “Tears of the Angel,” “Spintop,” and “Transformation.” Because the composer’s intentions were driven by pictorial ideas and not by a formal harmonic structure, this paper concentrates on ensemble issues and interpretation less than harmonic analysis.

Secondly, the project includes the premiere recording of Reflections, as performer by Yu-Ting Tseng, cellist, and Dr. Jeremy Peterman, pianist. This audio documentation provides other cellists and pianists the opportunity of hearing the piece as originally conceived by the composer, as an aid to their own future preparation of this work. This recording, combined with the interpretative analysis, will assist in bringing Reflections into the cello repertoire and public eye.

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Date Created
2016

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The evolution of choral sound: in professional choirs from the 1970s to the twenty-first century

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Imitation is the genesis of change. One basic principle of human nature is that people imitate what they see and hear. In the professional choral arena, musicians extend the high art of imitation through fine-tuning, and creative reinterpretation. Stimulated by

Imitation is the genesis of change. One basic principle of human nature is that people imitate what they see and hear. In the professional choral arena, musicians extend the high art of imitation through fine-tuning, and creative reinterpretation. Stimulated by this cycle, the color of the twenty-first-century professional choir shifted compared to that of professional choirs from the 1950s through 1970s, causing an evolution in choral sound. In a series of interviews with iconic composers and conductors of professional choirs, the subjects involved in the study conveyed comprehensive and personal accounts outlining how professional choirs have refined the standard of choral sound. The paper is organized into three sections: (1) where have we been, (2) where are we now and (3) where are we going? It explores various conductors' perceptions of how and why choirs are unique when compared to earlier generations and what they believe caused the shift in choral tone. Paired with this perspective is the role of modern composers, whose progressive compositional techniques helped shape the modern choral sound. The subjects involved in the study further theorize how current inclinations may potentially shape the future of professional choral music. Although the subjects expressed differing opinions about the quality of the twenty-first-century choral tone, many agree that there have been specific transformations since the 1970s. The shift in choral tone occurred due to developments in vocal technique, exploration of contemporary compositional extended techniques, an adherence to historically informed performance practice, imitation of vocal colors from numerous cultures, incorporation of technology and emulation of sound perceived on recordings. Additionally, choral music subtly became prominent in film scores, and innovative conductors created progressive concert programming, and developed novel approaches to entertain audiences. Samplings of contributors involved in this study include: John Rutter, Harry Christophers, Charles Bruffy, Nigel Short, Craig Hella Johnson, Alice Parker, Michael McGlynn, Phillip Brunelle, Craig Jessop, Libby Larsen, Ola Gjeilo, Cecilia McDowall, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi and Stephen Paulus.

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Date Created
2013

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Composing for marimba: tools and techniques for composers

Description

This document offers composers a contextual reference and pragmatic overview

of the modern marimba. This guide is not designed as an orchestration text, suggesting ways to write for the instrument, rather, it illustrates through examination of well-known solo and chamber works

This document offers composers a contextual reference and pragmatic overview

of the modern marimba. This guide is not designed as an orchestration text, suggesting ways to write for the instrument, rather, it illustrates through examination of well-known solo and chamber works how selected composers have effectively written for the instrument.

A guide for basic notation and examples of successful notation are included, as well as the basics of performer techniques. Samples of problematic, sometimes impossible passages are included to show the instruments and its performers' current limitations. The construction of the marimba and how it is tuned, a guide to mallets, and all of the current established extended techniques is also included. The majority of the information comes from the citation of established research on the marimba, composers and performers, and the author’s own experiences.

The intention of this document is two fold: to give composers who are unfamiliar with marimba a resource to begin composing for the instrument effectively, and for those composers who are familiar with the marimba it is designed to spark their creativity in an efficient and effective manner. The ultimate goal of this document is to create compositional momentum for marimba solo and chamber works and grow the repertoire, which is still in its infancy.

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Date Created
2015

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Paul Schoenfeld and h\s Four souvenirs for violin and piano (1990)

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Four Souvenirs for Violin and Piano was composed by Paul Schoenfeld (b.1947) in 1990 as a showpiece, spotlighting the virtuosity of both the violin and piano in equal measure. Each movement is a modern interpretation of a folk or popular

Four Souvenirs for Violin and Piano was composed by Paul Schoenfeld (b.1947) in 1990 as a showpiece, spotlighting the virtuosity of both the violin and piano in equal measure. Each movement is a modern interpretation of a folk or popular genre, re- envisioned over intricate jazz harmonies and rhythms. The work was commissioned by violinist Lev Polyakin, who specifically requested some short pieces that could be performed in a local jazz establishment named Night Town in Cleveland, Ohio. The result is a work that is approximately fifteen minutes in length. Schoenfeld is a respected composer in the contemporary classical music community, whose Café Music (1986) for piano trio has recently become a staple of the standard chamber music repertoire. Many of his other works, however, remain in relative obscurity. It is the focus of this document to shed light on at least one other notable composition; Four Souvenirs for Violin and Piano. Among the topics to be discussed regarding this piece are a brief history behind the genesis of this composition, a structural summary of the entire work and each of its movements, and an appended practice guide based on interview and coaching sessions with the composer himself. With this project, I hope to provide a better understanding and appreciation of this work.

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Date Created
2015

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Steven Lutvak: the journey of a gentleman : the history of "A gentleman's guide to love and murder

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ABSTRACT

The path to producing a Broadway Musical is not easily trod, and in the case of A Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder, the journey was filled with rewrites (the title of the show went from Kind Hearts And

ABSTRACT

The path to producing a Broadway Musical is not easily trod, and in the case of A Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder, the journey was filled with rewrites (the title of the show went from Kind Hearts And Coronets to The Truth About Monty and finally became A Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder), cast changes (only one member of the show that is currently running on Broadway was with the show in its original form), multiple producers, and a lawsuit. Through it all, the musical's creator, Steven Lutvak, a well-known songwriter and cabaret artist who is one of the most sought after vocal coaches in NY, navigated these hurdles by throwing himself at the process whole-heartedly. In creating A Gentlemen's Guide To Love and Murder, Lutvak labored ardently through the process: making the necessary musical and textual changes, creating opportunities to showcase his work, enticing producers and, when he wasn't putting up his own money, locating the financing to fund the production, including taking on the enormous cost of a lawsuit. In this paper, I will present the musical and personal development of Lutvak in his journey to and in creating and composing the successful Broadway musical A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder. I will focus specifically the legal and administrative difficulties associated with obtaining the rights for the production, in order to support the argument that these struggles shaped and transformed the production into the artistic and commercial success seen on Broadway, and across the country on its 2015 national tour. Methodologically, this paper is part assisted memoir, part textual analysis, and part insider observations, substantiated with court documentation and published reviews of Lutvak's work.

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Date Created
2015

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Bruegel (a composition in four movements)

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Bruegel is a four movement composition inspired by the paintings and engravings of Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569). It is scored for Bass Clarinet in Bb, Electric Guitar, One Percussionist (Glockenspiel, Woodblock, Snare, Kick Drum, and Brake Drums),

Bruegel is a four movement composition inspired by the paintings and engravings of Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569). It is scored for Bass Clarinet in Bb, Electric Guitar, One Percussionist (Glockenspiel, Woodblock, Snare, Kick Drum, and Brake Drums), Piano and String Quartet. Each movement explores a painting or engraving from Bruegel’s catalog of works and attempts to embody each piece of art through the use of certain compositional techniques.

The Cripples (Movement I) explores layered rhythms and disjunct melodic fragments which play on the idea of Bruegel’s painting of crippled men trampling over each other and stumbling. Small moments of balance are found throughout only to be lost. Patience (Movement II) is based on an early engraving of Bruegel, which depicts a lone woman who represents a virtue, in this case patience, surrounded by sin and vices. Juxtaposed textures are presented with patience eventually finding itself victorious to temptation. Children’s Games (Movement III) explores a painting which depicts a large number of children playing a plethora of different games. The movement uses graphic notation and plays with the idea of games to create a compositional “game” for the ensemble. Big Fish Eat Little Fish (Movement IV) depicts a large fish eating several smaller fish. A process is introduced which plays on the idea of increasing density and lasts for the bulk of the movement.

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Date Created
2016

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The life and music of the Mexican composer Samuel Maynez Prince (1886-1966): study and edition of the complete works for violin and piano

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Samuel Máynez Prince (1886-1966), was a prolific and important Mexican musician. Prince’s musical style followed the trends of the nineteenth-century salon music genre. His compositions include lullabies, songs, dances, marches, mazurkas, waltzes, and revolutionary anthems. Prince’s social status and performances

Samuel Máynez Prince (1886-1966), was a prolific and important Mexican musician. Prince’s musical style followed the trends of the nineteenth-century salon music genre. His compositions include lullabies, songs, dances, marches, mazurkas, waltzes, and revolutionary anthems. Prince’s social status and performances in the famed Café Colón in Mexico City increased his popularity among high-ranking political figures during the time of the Mexican Revolution as well as his status in the Mexican music scene.

Unfortunately there is virtually no existing scholarship on Prince and even basic information regarding his life and works is not readily available. The lack of organization of the manuscript scores and the absence of dates of his works has further pushed the composer into obscurity. An investigation therefore was necessary in order to explore the neglected aspects of the life and works of Prince as a violinist and composer. This document is the result of such an investigation by including extensive new biographical information, as well as the first musical analysis and edition of the complete recovered works for violin and piano.

In order to fill the gaps present in the limited biographical information regarding Prince’s life, investigative research was conducted in Mexico City. Information was drawn from archives of the composer’s grandchildren, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Conservatorio Nacional de Música de México, and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional. The surviving relatives provided first-hand details on events in the composer’s life; one also offered the researcher access to their personal archive including, important life documents, photographs, programs from concert performances, and manuscript scores of the compositions. Establishing connections with the relatives also led the researcher to examining the violins owned and used by the late violinist/composer.

This oral history approach led to new and updated information, including the revival of previously unpublished music for violin and piano. These works are here compiled in an edition that will give students, teachers, and music-lovers access to this unknown repertoire. Finally, this research seeks to promote the beauty and nuances of Mexican salon music, and the complete works for violin and piano of Samuel Máynez Prince in particular.

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Date Created
2016

A recording project featuring four newly commissioned pieces for clarinet

Description

The primary objective of this research project is to expand the clarinet repertoire with the addition of four new pieces. Each of these new pieces use contemporary clarinet techniques, including electronics, prerecorded sounds, multiphonics, circular breathing, multiple articulation, demi-clarinet, and

The primary objective of this research project is to expand the clarinet repertoire with the addition of four new pieces. Each of these new pieces use contemporary clarinet techniques, including electronics, prerecorded sounds, multiphonics, circular breathing, multiple articulation, demi-clarinet, and the clari-flute. The repertoire composed includes Grant Jahn’s Duo for Two Clarinets, Reggie Berg’s Funkalicious for Clarinet and Piano, Rusty Banks’ Star Juice for Clarinet and Fixed Media, and Chris Malloy’s A Celestial Breath for Clarinet and Electronics. In addition to the musical commissions, this project also includes interviews with the composers indicating how they wrote these works and what their influences were, along with any information pertinent to the performer, professional recordings of each piece, as well as performance notes and suggestions.

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Date Created
2016

Frank Martin’s Huit préludes pour le piano: A Representation of His Compositional Sound and Style

Description

This research paper aims to understand Frank Martin’s Huit préludes pour le piano (1948) as a summary of his compositional styles, by demonstrating common elements between the preludes and Martin’s compositions of other genres.

Swiss musician Frank Martin (1890-1974) composed

This research paper aims to understand Frank Martin’s Huit préludes pour le piano (1948) as a summary of his compositional styles, by demonstrating common elements between the preludes and Martin’s compositions of other genres.

Swiss musician Frank Martin (1890-1974) composed in many genres, from theatrical and symphonic works to vocal, chamber, and solo works. Huit préludes pour le piano, his best-known piece for solo piano, merits more recognition in the modern repertoire than it currently receives, as it encompasses a wide range of pianistic techniques, colors, and atmospheres to challenge the mature pianist. This set of preludes represents Martin’s unique compositional sound and style, in which Martin retains a sense of tonal functions despite the intense chromaticism in his music. Featured elements in the Huit préludes include the use of the B-A-C-H motive and its alterations, chromatic yet triadic writing, gliding tonality, baroque elements, dodecaphony, stratification, extreme range and registral shifts, octave doublings and displacements, percussive rhythmic drive, large-scale crescendi, and hidden cyclicism. Martin also uses the 12-tone row as a chromatic tool, but rejects atonality and applies the concept without strict enforcement. Influences of music from past eras are evident in the Huit préludes through various compositional techniques and practices such as contrapuntal lines, chant-like declamatory melodies, imitation, toccata, and pedal-points. This research project explores these various techniques within and between the preludes and his works of other genres, and thus identifies the Huit préludes as a consolidation of Martin’s mature sound and style.

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Date Created
2017