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Stanislav Binicki's opera Na uranku: genesis of critical analysis of the first Serbian opera

Description

The focus of this study was the first Serbian opera, Na Uranku (At Dawn). It was written by Stanislav Binièki (1872-1942) and was first performed in 1903 at the National Theatre in Belgrade. There were two objectives of this project:

The focus of this study was the first Serbian opera, Na Uranku (At Dawn). It was written by Stanislav Binièki (1872-1942) and was first performed in 1903 at the National Theatre in Belgrade. There were two objectives of this project: (1) a live concert performance of the opera, which produced an audio recording that can be found as an appendix; and, (2) an accompanying document containing a history and an analysis of the work. While Binièki's opera is recognized as an extraordinary artistic achievement, and a new genre of musical enrichment for Serbian music, little had been previously written either about the composer or the work. At Dawn is a romantic opera in the verismo tradition with national elements. The significance of this opera is not only in its artistic expression but also in how it helped the music of Serbia evolve. Early opera settings in Serbia in the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century did not have the same wealth of history upon which to draw as had existed in the rich operatic oeuvre in Western Europe and Russia. Similarly, conditions for performance were not satisfactory, as were no professional orchestras or singers. Furthermore, audiences were not accustomed to this type of art form. The opera served as an educational instrument for the audience, not only training them to a different type of music but also evolving its national consciousness. Binièki's opera was a foundation on which later generations of composers built. The artistic value of this opera is emphasized. The musical language includes an assimilation of various influences from Western Europe and Russia, properly incorporated into the Serbian musical core. Audience reaction is discussed, a positive affirmation that Binièki was moving in the right direction in establishing a path for the further development of the artistic field of Serbian musical culture. A synopsis of the work as well as the requisite performing forces is also included.

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2011

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The solo piano music of selected contemporary Canadian women composers: database, audio samples, and annotated bibliography

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Women's contributions to the history of Canadian music can be traced back to the late nineteenth century. However, women's achievements then, and still somewhat now, are often overlooked and as a result, piano solo works by Canadian women composers are

Women's contributions to the history of Canadian music can be traced back to the late nineteenth century. However, women's achievements then, and still somewhat now, are often overlooked and as a result, piano solo works by Canadian women composers are largely unknown. The purpose of this study is to promote the wealth of solo piano repertoire composed by Canadian women, and to report the results in an accessible and comprehensible format for students, teachers, and performers at all levels. The research focuses on the most recent piano music by female composers born in or after 1950 whose compositions are available through the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) library. Brief biographies of included composers note their accomplishments, compositional output, and style characteristics. Annotations for the 103 works studied, written by twenty-six composers, include information about harmonic schemes, meters, tempos, durations, dates of the composition, CMC call number, level of difficulty, commissions, musical excerpts, premieres, and style characteristics. The style characteristics section includes composer's notes, technical challenges, musical characteristics, pedagogical values, and other pertinent information about a given piece. Since the goal of this project is to stimulate the awareness of music composed by Canadian women in a truly global sense, the research paper is supplemented by a website--www.canadianwomencomposers.com--that contains all the information found in the written portion of the annotations. This website also offers short audio samples of the compositions. The writer wishes to encourage all students, performers, and teachers to explore this resource, which reveals the richness of solo piano repertoire written by Canadian women composers.

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2011

Delirium

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Delirium is a piece for large wind ensemble that synthesizes compositional techniques to generate unique juxtapositions of contrasting musical elements. The piece is about 8:30 long and uses the full complement of winds, brass, and percussion. Although the composition begins

Delirium is a piece for large wind ensemble that synthesizes compositional techniques to generate unique juxtapositions of contrasting musical elements. The piece is about 8:30 long and uses the full complement of winds, brass, and percussion. Although the composition begins tonally, chromatic alterations gradually shift the melodic content outside of the tonal center. In addition to changes in the melody, octatonic, chromatic, and synthetic scales and quartal and quintal harmonies are progressively introduced throughout the piece to add color and create dissonance. Delirium contains four primary sections that are all related by chromatic mediant. The subdivisions of the first part create abrupt transitions between contrasting material, evocative of the symptoms of delirium. As each sub-section progresses, the A minor tonality of the opening gradually gives way to increased chromaticism and dissonance. The next area transitions to C minor and begins to feature octatonic scales, secundal harmonies, and chromatic flourishes more prominently. The full sound of the ensemble then drops to solo instruments in the third section, now in G# minor, where the elements of the previous section are built upon with the addition of synthetic scales and quartal harmonies. The last division, before the recapitulation of the opening material, provides a drastic change in atmosphere as the chromatic elements from before are removed and the tense sound of the quartal harmonies are replaced with quintal sonorities and a more tonal melody. The tonality of this final section is used to return to the opening material. After an incomplete recapitulation, the descending motive that is used throughout the piece, which can be found in measure 61 in the flutes, is inverted and layered by minor 3rds. This inverted figure builds to the same sonority found in measure138, before ending on an F# chord, a minor third away from the A minor tonal center of the opening and where the piece seems like it should end.

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2011

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Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra

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Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra was conceived in February of 2013, and conceptually it is my attempt to fuse personal expressions of jazz and classical music into one fully realized statement. It is a three movement work (fast, slow,

Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra was conceived in February of 2013, and conceptually it is my attempt to fuse personal expressions of jazz and classical music into one fully realized statement. It is a three movement work (fast, slow, fast) for 2 fl., 2 ob., 2 cl., bsn., 2 hrn., 2 tpt., tbn., pno., perc., str. (6,4,2,2,1). The work is approximately 27 minutes in duration. The first movement of the Concerto is written in a fluid sonata form. A fugato begins where the second theme would normally appear, and the second theme does not fully appear until near the end of the solo piano section. The result is that the second theme when finally revealed is so reminiscent of the history of jazz and classical synthesis that it does not sound completely new, and in fact is a return of something that was heard before, but only hinted at in this piece. The second movement is a kind of deconstructive set of variations, with a specific theme and harmonic pattern implied throughout the movement. However, the full theme is not disclosed until the final variation. The variations are interrupted by moments of pure rhythmic music, containing harmony made up of major chords with an added fourth, defying resolution, and dissolving each time back into a new variation. The third movement is in rondo form, using rhythmic and harmonic influences from jazz. The percussion plays a substantial role in this movement, acting as a counterpoint to the piano part throughout. This movement and the piece concludes with an extended coda, inspired indirectly by the simple complexities of an improvisational piano solo, building in complexity as the concerto draws to a close.

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Date Created
2013

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Adaptive learning and unsupervised clustering of immune responses using microarray random sequence peptides

Description

Immunosignaturing is a medical test for assessing the health status of a patient by applying microarrays of random sequence peptides to determine the patient's immune fingerprint by associating antibodies from a biological sample to immune responses. The immunosignature measurements can

Immunosignaturing is a medical test for assessing the health status of a patient by applying microarrays of random sequence peptides to determine the patient's immune fingerprint by associating antibodies from a biological sample to immune responses. The immunosignature measurements can potentially provide pre-symptomatic diagnosis for infectious diseases or detection of biological threats. Currently, traditional bioinformatics tools, such as data mining classification algorithms, are used to process the large amount of peptide microarray data. However, these methods generally require training data and do not adapt to changing immune conditions or additional patient information. This work proposes advanced processing techniques to improve the classification and identification of single and multiple underlying immune response states embedded in immunosignatures, making it possible to detect both known and previously unknown diseases or biothreat agents. Novel adaptive learning methodologies for un- supervised and semi-supervised clustering integrated with immunosignature feature extraction approaches are proposed. The techniques are based on extracting novel stochastic features from microarray binding intensities and use Dirichlet process Gaussian mixture models to adaptively cluster the immunosignatures in the feature space. This learning-while-clustering approach allows continuous discovery of antibody activity by adaptively detecting new disease states, with limited a priori disease or patient information. A beta process factor analysis model to determine underlying patient immune responses is also proposed to further improve the adaptive clustering performance by formatting new relationships between patients and antibody activity. In order to extend the clustering methods for diagnosing multiple states in a patient, the adaptive hierarchical Dirichlet process is integrated with modified beta process factor analysis latent feature modeling to identify relationships between patients and infectious agents. The use of Bayesian nonparametric adaptive learning techniques allows for further clustering if additional patient data is received. Significant improvements in feature identification and immune response clustering are demonstrated using samples from patients with different diseases.

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2013

Innovation: Chinese folk music influence in contemporary clarinet repertoire

Description

Several contemporary clarinet works use Chinese folk music elements from different regions in new compositions to entice listener's and performer's appreciation of Chinese culture. However, to date, limited academic research on this topic exists. This research paper introduces six contemporary

Several contemporary clarinet works use Chinese folk music elements from different regions in new compositions to entice listener's and performer's appreciation of Chinese culture. However, to date, limited academic research on this topic exists. This research paper introduces six contemporary clarinet works by six Chinese composers: Qigang Chen's Morning Song, Yan Wang's Mu ma zhi ge (The Song of Grazing Horses), An-lun Huang's Capriccio for Clarinet and Strings Op. 41, Bijing Hu's The Sound of Pamir Clarinet Concerto, Mei-Mi Lan's Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra with Harp and Percussion, and Yu-Hui Chang's Three Fantasias for Solo Clarinet in B-flat. They are examined from different perspectives, including general structure, style, and rejuvenated folk music use. The focus of this research paper is to investigate the use of Chinese folk music in several works in collaboration with the composers. The author found that although contemporary composers use Chinese folk music differently in their works (i.e., some use melodies, others use harmony, while others use modes), each work celebrates the music and culture of the folk music on which the pieces are based. It is the author's hope to stimulate people's interest in music using Chinese folk music elements, and bring these lesser known works into the common clarinet repertoire.

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2013

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Energy and quality-aware multimedia signal processing

Description

Today's mobile devices have to support computation-intensive multimedia applications with a limited energy budget. In this dissertation, we present architecture level and algorithm-level techniques that reduce energy consumption of these devices with minimal impact on system quality. First, we present

Today's mobile devices have to support computation-intensive multimedia applications with a limited energy budget. In this dissertation, we present architecture level and algorithm-level techniques that reduce energy consumption of these devices with minimal impact on system quality. First, we present novel techniques to mitigate the effects of SRAM memory failures in JPEG2000 implementations operating in scaled voltages. We investigate error control coding schemes and propose an unequal error protection scheme tailored for JPEG2000 that reduces overhead without affecting the performance. Furthermore, we propose algorithm-specific techniques for error compensation that exploit the fact that in JPEG2000 the discrete wavelet transform outputs have larger values for low frequency subband coefficients and smaller values for high frequency subband coefficients. Next, we present use of voltage overscaling to reduce the data-path power consumption of JPEG codecs. We propose an algorithm-specific technique which exploits the characteristics of the quantized coefficients after zig-zag scan to mitigate errors introduced by aggressive voltage scaling. Third, we investigate the effect of reducing dynamic range for datapath energy reduction. We analyze the effect of truncation error and propose a scheme that estimates the mean value of the truncation error during the pre-computation stage and compensates for this error. Such a scheme is very effective for reducing the noise power in applications that are dominated by additions and multiplications such as FIR filter and transform computation. We also present a novel sum of absolute difference (SAD) scheme that is based on most significant bit truncation. The proposed scheme exploits the fact that most of the absolute difference (AD) calculations result in small values, and most of the large AD values do not contribute to the SAD values of the blocks that are selected. Such a scheme is highly effective in reducing the energy consumption of motion estimation and intra-prediction kernels in video codecs. Finally, we present several hybrid energy-saving techniques based on combination of voltage scaling, computation reduction and dynamic range reduction that further reduce the energy consumption while keeping the performance degradation very low. For instance, a combination of computation reduction and dynamic range reduction for Discrete Cosine Transform shows on average, 33% to 46% reduction in energy consumption while incurring only 0.5dB to 1.5dB loss in PSNR.

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2012

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Improving the reliability of NAND Flash, phase-change RAM and spin-torque transfer RAM

Description

Non-volatile memories (NVM) are widely used in modern electronic devices due to their non-volatility, low static power consumption and high storage density. While Flash memories are the dominant NVM technology, resistive memories such as phase change access memory (PRAM) and

Non-volatile memories (NVM) are widely used in modern electronic devices due to their non-volatility, low static power consumption and high storage density. While Flash memories are the dominant NVM technology, resistive memories such as phase change access memory (PRAM) and spin torque transfer random access memory (STT-MRAM) are gaining ground. All these technologies suffer from reliability degradation due to process variations, structural limits and material property shift. To address the reliability concerns of these NVM technologies, multi-level low cost solutions are proposed for each of them. My approach consists of first building a comprehensive error model. Next the error characteristics are exploited to develop low cost multi-level strategies to compensate for the errors. For instance, for NAND Flash memory, I first characterize errors due to threshold voltage variations as a function of the number of program/erase cycles. Next a flexible product code is designed to migrate to a stronger ECC scheme as program/erase cycles increases. An adaptive data refresh scheme is also proposed to improve memory reliability with low energy cost for applications with different data update frequencies. For PRAM, soft errors and hard errors models are built based on shifts in the resistance distributions. Next I developed a multi-level error control approach involving bit interleaving and subblock flipping at the architecture level, threshold resistance tuning at the circuit level and programming current profile tuning at the device level. This approach helped reduce the error rate significantly so that it was now sufficient to use a low cost ECC scheme to satisfy the memory reliability constraint. I also studied the reliability of a PRAM+DRAM hybrid memory system and analyzed the tradeoffs between memory performance, programming energy and lifetime. For STT-MRAM, I first developed an error model based on process variations. I developed a multi-level approach to reduce the error rates that consisted of increasing the W/L ratio of the access transistor, increasing the voltage difference across the memory cell and adjusting the current profile during write operation. This approach enabled use of a low cost BCH based ECC scheme to achieve very low block failure rates.

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2014

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Music education for social justice: a case study of the North Park Middle School Band

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The North Park Middle School Band, in Pico Rivera, California, is an exemplary model of a band program grounded in the principles of social justice. Three facets guide the program: Social Outreach, Cultural Outreach, and Kids Helping Kids. This qualitative

The North Park Middle School Band, in Pico Rivera, California, is an exemplary model of a band program grounded in the principles of social justice. Three facets guide the program: Social Outreach, Cultural Outreach, and Kids Helping Kids. This qualitative study explores what led the director to create this program, its current structure as well as its historical development, and the impact the program is having on the students involved and the community to which they reach. Between the months of September and December 2012, I spent a total of three weeks with the students, parents, and the director of the North Park Band, Ron Wakefield. In that time, the students were observed during band rehearsals on typical school days. Additionally, I traveled with the band to three separate outreach concerts at the Los Angeles Veterans Healthcare Facility, nursing homes and assisted living centers, as well as the Isaiah House, a homeless shelter for women and children. I observed the students and their interactions with the residents of those facilities, and took detailed observation notes. In addition, a survey was distributed to students in the top two bands, interviews were conducted with current students and a former student, a parent and a former parent, and the director. The North Park Band program structure leads students to develop an unusually high level of responsibility. Students gain an understanding of current issues in society and demonstrate compassion towards other human beings. In many cases, the students discover a sense of life purpose through the program and feel that they have a responsibility to help their community. While a central focus of the program is on humanistic values, it is evident that the students also receive a quality music education.

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Date Created
2013

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Adaptive methods within a sequential Bayesian approach for structural health monitoring

Description

Structural integrity is an important characteristic of performance for critical components used in applications such as aeronautics, materials, construction and transportation. When appraising the structural integrity of these components, evaluation methods must be accurate. In addition to possessing capability to

Structural integrity is an important characteristic of performance for critical components used in applications such as aeronautics, materials, construction and transportation. When appraising the structural integrity of these components, evaluation methods must be accurate. In addition to possessing capability to perform damage detection, the ability to monitor the level of damage over time can provide extremely useful information in assessing the operational worthiness of a structure and in determining whether the structure should be repaired or removed from service. In this work, a sequential Bayesian approach with active sensing is employed for monitoring crack growth within fatigue-loaded materials. The monitoring approach is based on predicting crack damage state dynamics and modeling crack length observations. Since fatigue loading of a structural component can change while in service, an interacting multiple model technique is employed to estimate probabilities of different loading modes and incorporate this information in the crack length estimation problem. For the observation model, features are obtained from regions of high signal energy in the time-frequency plane and modeled for each crack length damage condition. Although this observation model approach exhibits high classification accuracy, the resolution characteristics can change depending upon the extent of the damage. Therefore, several different transmission waveforms and receiver sensors are considered to create multiple modes for making observations of crack damage. Resolution characteristics of the different observation modes are assessed using a predicted mean squared error criterion and observations are obtained using the predicted, optimal observation modes based on these characteristics. Calculation of the predicted mean square error metric can be computationally intensive, especially if performed in real time, and an approximation method is proposed. With this approach, the real time computational burden is decreased significantly and the number of possible observation modes can be increased. Using sensor measurements from real experiments, the overall sequential Bayesian estimation approach, with the adaptive capability of varying the state dynamics and observation modes, is demonstrated for tracking crack damage.

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Date Created
2013