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The collegiate vocal jazz ensemble: an historical and current perspective on the development, current state, and future direction of the genre

Description

The Vocal Jazz ensemble, a uniquely American choral form, has grown and flourished in the past half century largely through the efforts of professionals and educators throughout the collegiate music community. This document provides historical data as presented through live

The Vocal Jazz ensemble, a uniquely American choral form, has grown and flourished in the past half century largely through the efforts of professionals and educators throughout the collegiate music community. This document provides historical data as presented through live and published interviews with key individuals involved in the early development of collegiate Vocal Jazz, as well as those who continue this effort currently. It also offers a study of the most influential creative forces that provided the spark for everyone else's fire. A frank discussion on the obstacles encountered and overcome is central to the overall theme of this research into a genre that has moved from a marginalized afterthought to a legitimate, more widely accepted art form. In addition to the perspective provided to future generations of educators in this field, this document also discusses the role of collegiate music academia in preserving and promoting the Vocal Jazz ensemble. The discussion relies on recent data showing the benefits of Vocal Jazz training and the need for authenticity towards its universal integration into college and university vocal performance and music education training.

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2013

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Community-based chamber ensembles: how to build a career that infuses performance with public service

Description

In order to cope with the decreasing availability of symphony jobs and collegiate faculty positions, many musicians are starting to pursue less traditional career paths. Also, to combat declining audiences, musicians are exploring ways to cultivate new and enthusiastic listeners

In order to cope with the decreasing availability of symphony jobs and collegiate faculty positions, many musicians are starting to pursue less traditional career paths. Also, to combat declining audiences, musicians are exploring ways to cultivate new and enthusiastic listeners through relevant and engaging performances. Due to these challenges, many community-based chamber music ensembles have been formed throughout the United States. These groups not only focus on performing classical music, but serve the needs of their communities as well. The problem, however, is that many musicians have not learned the business skills necessary to create these career opportunities. In this document I discuss the steps ensembles must take to develop sustainable careers. I first analyze how groups build a strong foundation through getting to know their communities and creating core values. I then discuss branding and marketing so ensembles can develop a public image and learn how to publicize themselves. This is followed by an investigation of how ensembles make and organize their money. I then examine the ways groups ensure long-lasting relationships with their communities and within the ensemble. I end by presenting three case studies of professional ensembles to show how groups create and maintain successful careers. Ensembles must develop entrepreneurship skills in addition to cultivating their artistry. These business concepts are crucial to the longevity of chamber groups. Through interviews of successful ensemble members and my own personal experiences in the Tetra String Quartet, I provide a guide for musicians to use when creating a community-based ensemble.

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2013

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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2016

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Organ Improvisation in Context: Historical and Practical Influences on the Craft of Improvisation at the Organ

Description

The craft of improvisation at the organ has survived a long period of dormancy and is experiencing a strong resurgence in the twenty-first century. This project seeks to establish a precedence for the value of notated music as a resource

The craft of improvisation at the organ has survived a long period of dormancy and is experiencing a strong resurgence in the twenty-first century. This project seeks to establish a precedence for the value of notated music as a resource in learning improvisation, and then, through music analysis, provide examples of how that process can develop. The result of the ideas presented here is a pathway whereby any disciplined organist can learn to imitate composed music, assimilate the musical ideas, and innovate through the act of spontaneous improvisation.

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2012

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The collaborative pianist and body mapping: a guide to healthy body use for pianists and their musical partners

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ABSTRACT Musicians endure injuries at an alarming rate, largely due to the misuse of their bodies. Musicians move their bodies for a living and therefore should understand how to move them in a healthy way. This paper presents Body Mapping

ABSTRACT Musicians endure injuries at an alarming rate, largely due to the misuse of their bodies. Musicians move their bodies for a living and therefore should understand how to move them in a healthy way. This paper presents Body Mapping as an injury prevention technique specifically directed toward collaborative pianists. A body map is the self-representation in one's brain that includes information on the structure, function, and size of one's body; Body Mapping is the process of refining one's body map to produce coordinated movement. In addition to preventing injury, Body Mapping provides a means to achieve greater musical artistry through the training of movement, attention, and the senses. With the main function of collaborating with one or more musical partners, a collaborative pianist will have the opportunity to share the knowledge of Body Mapping with many fellow musicians. This study demonstrates the author's credentials as a Body Mapping instructor, the current status of the field of collaborative piano, and the recommendation for increased body awareness. Information on the nature and abundance of injuries and Body Mapping concepts are also analyzed. The study culminates in a course syllabus entitled An Introduction to Collaborative Piano and Body Mapping with the objective of imparting fundamental collaborative piano skills integrated with proper body use. The author hopes to inform educators of the benefits of prioritizing health among their students and to provide a Body Mapping foundation upon which their students can build technique.

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2013

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An examination on the influences and establishment of Chopin's personal style through the comparative analysis of his concertos and Hummel's A and B minor concertos

Description

This study compares the Hummel Concertos in A Minor, Op. 85 and B Minor, Op. 89 and the Chopin Concertos in E Minor, Op. 11 and F Minor, Op. 21. On initial hearing of Hummel's rarely played concertos, one immediately

This study compares the Hummel Concertos in A Minor, Op. 85 and B Minor, Op. 89 and the Chopin Concertos in E Minor, Op. 11 and F Minor, Op. 21. On initial hearing of Hummel's rarely played concertos, one immediately detects similarities with Chopin's concerto style. Upon closer examination, one discovers a substantial number of interesting and significant parallels with Chopin's concertos, many of which are highlighted in this research project. Hummel belongs to a generation of composers who made a shift away from the Classical style, and Chopin, as an early Romantic, absorbed much from his immediate predecessors in establishing his highly unique style. I have chosen to focus on Chopin's concertos to demonstrate this association. The essay begins with a discussion of the historical background of Chopin's formative years as it pertains to the formation of his compositional style, Hummel's role and influence in the contemporary musical arena, as well as interactions between the two composers. It then provides the historical background of the aforementioned concertos leading to a comparative analysis, which includes structural, melodic, harmonic, and motivic parallels. With a better understanding of his stylistic influences, and of how Chopin assimilated them in the creation of his masterful works, the performer can adopt a more informed approach to the interpretation of these two concertos, which are among the most beloved masterpieces in piano literature.

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2013

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Writing a piano reduction for Henry Brant's Concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra

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The purpose of the paper is to outline the process that was used to write a reduction for Henry Brant's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, to describe the improvements in saxophone playing since the premiere of the piece, and

The purpose of the paper is to outline the process that was used to write a reduction for Henry Brant's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, to describe the improvements in saxophone playing since the premiere of the piece, and to demonstrate the necessity of having a reduction in the process of learning a concerto. The Concerto was inspired by internationally known saxophonist, Sigurd Rascher, who demonstrated for Brant the extent of his abilities on the saxophone. These abilities included use of four-octave range and two types of extended techniques: slap-tonguing and flutter-tonguing. Brant incorporated all three elements in his Concerto, and believed that only Rascher had the command over the saxophone needed to perform the piece. To prevent the possibility of an unsuccessful performance, Brant chose to make the piece unavailable to saxophonists by leaving the Concerto without a reduction. Subsequently, there were no performances of this piece between 1953 and 2001. In 2011, the two directors of Brant's Estate decided to allow for a reduction to be written for the piece so that it would become more widely available to saxophonists.

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2013

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Organ culture in post-war Poland, 1945-2012

Description

Throughout the history of Western art music, political and religious institutions have exerted powerful influence through their patronage and censorship. This is especially relevant to the organ, an elaborate and expensive instrument which has always depended on institutional support. The

Throughout the history of Western art music, political and religious institutions have exerted powerful influence through their patronage and censorship. This is especially relevant to the organ, an elaborate and expensive instrument which has always depended on institutional support. The fascinating story of Polish organ culture, which has existed since the Middle Ages, reflects the dramatic changes in Polish politics throughout the centuries. An understanding of this country's history helps to construct a comprehensive view of how politics influenced the developments in organ building and organ playing. This paper describes the dynamics of the Church, government and art institutions in Poland during the years 1945-2012. A brief summary of the history of Polish organ culture sets the stage for the changes occurring after WWII. The constant struggle between the Church and the communist regime affected music making and organ culture in Poland from 1945-1989. The political détente that occurred after 1989 led to a flowering of new instruments, restorations and performance opportunities for organists. By exploring the relationship between Polish organ culture and prevailing agendas in the 20th century, the author demonstrates how a centuries-old tradition adapted to survive political and economic hardships.

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2012

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A new piano reduction of the Sibelius violin concerto with commentary

Description

Playing an orchestral reduction is not always the most joyous of times for pianists. As pianists, we have to express a reduced idea of all the instruments and orchestral textures that are in the full score. However, in many cases,

Playing an orchestral reduction is not always the most joyous of times for pianists. As pianists, we have to express a reduced idea of all the instruments and orchestral textures that are in the full score. However, in many cases, there are often omissions, errors or discrepancies in the existing published reductions. These reductions are made by a variety of people: editors, conductors, pianists, but rarely by the composer, and often do not reflect the composer's true intentions. While many reductions are technically playable, including the reduction of the Sibelius Violin Concerto that will form the basis of this paper, the arrangement of the orchestration can be obscured or inaccurate to the point where the violin soloist may not be receiving the best representation of the actual orchestration. A piano reduction should as closely as possible represent the original intention of the composer, both for the sake of the audience and the performers. The pianist should be able to provide the proper support and orchestration of any reduction for the instrumentalist or vocalist so that the same performance style and technique can be used while performing with either a piano reduction or a full orchestra. This research document contains a detailed examination of the various orchestral reductions of the Sibelius Violin Concerto, culminating in a new version by the author. In this discussion, the author will present a basic understanding of how to orchestrate at the piano through an in-depth explanation of piano skill and technique, practice techniques such as listening to a recorded version of the full orchestration while playing the piano, and ways to study and revise an existing piano reduction. The current published reductions of the Sibelius Violin Concerto contain many errors and discrepancies and will be contrasted with the author's own reduction, available for comparison and study in the appendix. This new revised reduction will clearly show the orchestral instruments represented throughout the score, demonstrate new techniques for various orchestral textures, and will yield a playable product that more closely represents the composer's original intentions.

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2011

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Ernest M. Skinner and the American symphonic organ

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The organ is in a continued state of evolution, tonally and mechanically, designed by the builder to meet certain expectations related to the musical aesthetics of the time. Organ building in the United States has been influenced by both European

The organ is in a continued state of evolution, tonally and mechanically, designed by the builder to meet certain expectations related to the musical aesthetics of the time. Organ building in the United States has been influenced by both European organ building traditions and American innovations. During the early twentieth century, Ernest M. Skinner emerged as one of the greatest organ builders in America. Throughout his life, Skinner's quest was to create an "ideal organ," capable of playing a variety of music. Skinner's vision was rooted in the Romantic Movement and influenced by the dynamic gradations and rich, colorful sonorities of orchestral and operatic music of the era. A number of technological developments were applied to the design of the organ which made the romantic organ possible. The prominent European organ builders of the nineteenth century created organs that defined the romantic-style instrument in their respective countries. By the end of the century, American organ builders were creating their own versions. Skinner traveled to Europe to learn what he could from the foreign builders. Skinner built organs that synthesized European and American elements, along with his own innovations, as continuation of nineteenth-century trends that brought the romantic-symphonic organ to its fullest realization. Additionally, Skinner developed many new organ timbres, including a number of stops that imitate various orchestral instruments. The result of Skinner's creative work is the the American symphonic organ. This paper attempts to illustrate how the tonal designs of organs built by Walcker, Cavaillé-Coll, and Willis influenced the work of Skinner and the American symphonic organ. The work of each builder is discussed with descriptions of their designs. The designs and innovations of Skinner are examined as related to these European builders. A number of organ specifications are provided to supplement the information presented here. Today, American symphonic organs, particularly those built by Skinner, are revered for their warmth and charm and are inspiring the work of present day organ builders who are incorporating elements of this style into their own designs.

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2012