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Alyssa Morris: Forecast : a commissioned work for oboe and percussion

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The purpose of this project was to commission, perform, and discuss a new work for an instrument pairing not often utilized, oboe and percussion. The composer, Alyssa Morris, was selected

The purpose of this project was to commission, perform, and discuss a new work for an instrument pairing not often utilized, oboe and percussion. The composer, Alyssa Morris, was selected in June 2009. Her work, titled Forecast, was completed in October of 2009 and premiered in February of 2010, as part of a program showcasing music for oboe and percussion. Included in this document is a detailed biography of the composer, a description of the four movements of Forecast, performance notes for each movement, a diagram for stage set-up, the full score, the program from the premiere performance with biographies of all the performers involved, and both a live recording and MIDI sound file. The performance notes discuss issues that arose during preparation for the premiere and should help avoid potential pitfalls. TrevCo Music, publisher of the work, graciously allowed inclusion of the full score. This score is solely for use in this document; please visit the publisher's website for purchasing information. The commission and documentation of this composition are intended to add to the repertoire for oboe in an unusual instrument pairing and to encourage further exploration of such combinations.

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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

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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The ensemble étude for violins: an examination with an annotated survey of violin trios and quartets and an original étude for four violins

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ABSTRACT &eacutetudes; written for violin ensemble, which include violin duets, trios, and quartets, are less numerous than solo &eacutetudes.; These works rarely go by the title

ABSTRACT &eacutetudes; written for violin ensemble, which include violin duets, trios, and quartets, are less numerous than solo &eacutetudes.; These works rarely go by the title "&eacutetude;," and have not been the focus of much scholarly research. Ensemble &eacutetudes; have much to offer students, teachers and composers, however, because they add an extra dimension to the learning, teaching, and composing processes. This document establishes the value of ensemble &eacutetudes; in pedagogy and explores applications of the repertoire currently available. Rather than focus on violin duets, the most common form of ensemble &eacutetude;, it mainly considers works for three and four violins without accompaniment. Concentrating on the pedagogical possibilities of studying &eacutetudes; in a group, this document introduces creative ways that works for violin ensemble can be used as both &eacutetudes; and performance pieces. The first two chapters explore the history and philosophy of the violin &eacutetude; and multiple-violin works, the practice of arranging of solo &eacutetudes; for multiple instruments, and the benefits of group learning and cooperative learning that distinguish ensemble &eacutetude; study from solo &eacutetude; study. The third chapter is an annotated survey of works for three and four violins without accompaniment, and serves as a pedagogical guide to some of the available repertoire. Representing a wide variety of styles, techniques and levels, it illuminates an historical association between violin ensemble works and pedagogy. The fourth chapter presents an original composition by the author, titled Variations on a Scottish Folk Song: &eacutetude; for Four Violins, with an explanation of the process and techniques used to create this ensemble &eacutetude.; This work is an example of the musical and technical integration essential to &eacutetude; study, and demonstrates various compositional traits that promote cooperative learning. Ensemble &eacutetudes; are valuable pedagogical tools that deserve wider exposure. It is my hope that the information and ideas about ensemble &eacutetudes; in this paper and the individual descriptions of the works presented will increase interest in and application of violin trios and quartets at the university level.

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  • 2011

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Concerto for two horns in E-flat major attributed to Joseph Haydn: a new arrangement for wind ensemble

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A new arrangement of the Concerto for Two Horns in E-flat Major, Hob. VIId/6, attributed by some to Franz Joseph Haydn, is presented here. The arrangement reduces the orchestral portion

A new arrangement of the Concerto for Two Horns in E-flat Major, Hob. VIId/6, attributed by some to Franz Joseph Haydn, is presented here. The arrangement reduces the orchestral portion to ten wind instruments, specifically a double wind quintet, to facilitate performance of the work. A full score and a complete set of parts are included. In support of this new arrangement, a discussion of the early treatment of horns in pairs and the subsequent development of the double horn concerto in the eighteenth century provides historical context for the Concerto for Two Horns in E-flat major. A summary of the controversy concerning the identity of the composer of this concerto is followed by a description of the content and structure of each of its three movements. Some comments on the procedures of the arrangement complete the background information.

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  • 2011

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Everyday arias: for soprano and orchestra

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Everyday Arias for soprano and orchestra was composed largely in Arizona and completed in February 2011. The text was taken from a small collection of the composer's own poetry referencing

Everyday Arias for soprano and orchestra was composed largely in Arizona and completed in February 2011. The text was taken from a small collection of the composer's own poetry referencing her memories of life in rural Mississippi. Everyday Arias endeavors to elevate these prosaic experiences and settings to art, expressing the everyday as beautiful and worthy of artistic treatment. The primary compositional model for this work was Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, but other influences included Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Benjamin Britten, and Dominick Argento. Barber's and Argento's musical treatment of prose style seemed particularly appropriate to the goals of Everyday Arias. Ives and Copland used hymn tunes both to evoke certain associations of worship and as sources of interesting material. The vocal writing of all five composers was influential, but the orchestration techniques for winds are largely a product of studying Ives and Argento, while many string gestures are more obviously tied to Britten and - more historically - Debussy.The primary motive that weaves through the work features an ascending major second followed by a descending perfect fourth, in a long-short-long rhythmic pattern. As a melodic fragment, the motive is often inverted to a descending-ascending pattern, or distorted slightly by expanding the second interval to a perfect fifth, or used in retrograde. The motive was derived from the first measure of the melody "Toplady" (1830) by Thomas Hastings, better known as the hymn "Rock of Ages." In the first movement, the motive is used most frequently in sequences. The second movement treats the motive as a melodic element and as a unit in ostinati. The final movement humorously transforms it into a syncopated gesture to evoke ragtime.

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  • 2011

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The sarabandes of J.S. Bach: freedom of ornamentation and melodic manipulation

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This document is intended to show the various kinds of stylistically appropriate melodic and rhythmic ornamentation that can be used in the improvisation of the Sarabandes by J.S. Bach. Traditional

This document is intended to show the various kinds of stylistically appropriate melodic and rhythmic ornamentation that can be used in the improvisation of the Sarabandes by J.S. Bach. Traditional editions of Bach's and other Baroque-era keyboard works have reflected evolving historical trends. The historical performance movement and other attempts to "clean up" pre-1950s romanticized performances have greatly limited the freedom and experimentation that was the original intention of these dances. Prior to this study, few ornamented editions of these works have been published. Although traditional practices do not necessarily encourage classical improvisation in performance I argue that manipulation of the melodic and rhythmic layers over the established harmonic progressions will not only provide diversity within the individual dance movements, but also further engage the ears of the performer and listener which encourages further creative exploration. I will focus this study on the ornamentation of all six Sarabandes from J.S. Bach's French Suites and show how various types of melodic and rhythmic variation can provide aurally pleasing alternatives to the composed score without disrupting the harmonic fluency. The author intends this document to be used as a pedagogical tool and the fully ornamented Sarabandes from J.S. Bach's French Suites are included with this document.

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  • 2013

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Extended techniques for saxophone: an approach through musical examples

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The repertoire of the saxophone has advanced significantly since its invention circa 1840. Performers are required to adapt to the demands of composers - many of whom are exploring new

The repertoire of the saxophone has advanced significantly since its invention circa 1840. Performers are required to adapt to the demands of composers - many of whom are exploring new and unconventional sounds and techniques. Numerous texts exist to identify and explain these so-called "extended" techniques, but there are very few resources for the initial stages of performance. In order to offer performers a resource, the author of this text composed forty original etudes (or studies) that incorporate extended techniques in a variety of ways. After identifying common extended techniques that a performer might face, the author focused on four different ways each individual technique might appear in actual repertoire. The resulting work is entitled Pushing Boundaries: Forty Etudes on Extended Techniques. Each etude offers a practical approach to what is generally a single extended technique. Although this text is not pedagogical in the sense of identifying the mechanics and anatomical requirements of each technique, it does contain a performance analysis of each etude. This analysis identifies areas where performers might struggle and offers helpful suggestions. To this end, the etudes accompanied by performance analysis provide a paced, systematic approach to the mastery of each technique.

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  • 2013

Illuminating silent voices: an African-American contribution to the percussion literature in the Western art music tradition

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Illuminating Silent Voices: An African-American Contribution to the Percussion Literature in the Western Art Music Tradition will discuss how Raymond Ridley's original composition, FyrStar (2009), is comparable to other pre-existing

Illuminating Silent Voices: An African-American Contribution to the Percussion Literature in the Western Art Music Tradition will discuss how Raymond Ridley's original composition, FyrStar (2009), is comparable to other pre-existing percussion works in the literature. Selected compositions for comparison included Darius Milhaud's Concerto for Marimba, Vibraphone and Orchestra, Op. 278 (1949); David Friedman's and Dave Samuels's Carousel (1985); Raymond Helble's Duo Concertante for Vibraphone and Marimba, Op. 54 (2009); Tera de Marez Oyens's Octopus: for Bass Clarinet and one Percussionist (marimba/vibraphone) (1982). In the course of this document, the author will discuss the uniqueness of FyrStar's instrumentation of nine single reed instruments--E-flat clarinet, B-flat clarinet, alto clarinet, bass clarinet, B-flat contrabass clarinet, B-flat soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and B-flat baritone saxophone, juxtaposing this unique instrumentation to the symbolic relationship between the ensemble, marimba, and vibraphone.

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  • 2012

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Biographical sketch and selected works of Armando Guevara Ochoa

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Due to the recent inclusion of a semi-regular "News from Latin America" column since 2007 in The Clarinet magazine and an increased emphasis on world music genre performances at the

Due to the recent inclusion of a semi-regular "News from Latin America" column since 2007 in The Clarinet magazine and an increased emphasis on world music genre performances at the International Clarinet Association's annual ClarinetFest, Latin American clarinet compositions have become increasingly popular. Consequently, Latin American performers and composers are receiving more attention and recognition than ever before. The contemporary repertoire for clarinet increasingly includes works highlighted at the ClarinetFest international festivals, and many clarinetists express interest in finding new Latin American compositions. In order to supplement this growing Latin American repertoire and to introduce the life and works of Peruvian composer Armando Guevara Ochoa (1926-2013), this project presents a brief biography of the composer, a discussion of his musical style, and new editions of his popular works transcribed for clarinet. A recording of these works is included in an appendix to this document. Prior to this research, much of the scholarship written about Guevara Ochoa was in Spanish. While most sources and scholars relate that Guevara Ochoa composed over 400 works, the whereabouts of fewer than 200 are currently known. This project will supplement Guevara Ochoa's clarinet literature and raise awareness of his compositions in English-speaking countries.

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  • 2013

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Three meditations on the philosophy of Boethius: performance instructions

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Three Meditations on the Philosophy of Boethius is a musical piece for guitar, piano interior, and computer. Each of the three movements, or meditations, reflects one level of music according

Three Meditations on the Philosophy of Boethius is a musical piece for guitar, piano interior, and computer. Each of the three movements, or meditations, reflects one level of music according to the medieval philosopher Boethius: Musica Mundana, Musica Humana, and Musica Instrumentalis. From spatial aspects, through the human element, to letting sound evolve freely, different movements revolve around different sounds and sound producing techniques.

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  • 2013