Matching Items (17)

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Music as a Language: Schumann's Novelette Op. 21, No. 8

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This creative project explores the concept of how music is like a language and how, as a teacher, I plan to enforce this concept through my teaching. The aim of this project is to highlight the importance of completing research

This creative project explores the concept of how music is like a language and how, as a teacher, I plan to enforce this concept through my teaching. The aim of this project is to highlight the importance of completing research and acquiring knowledge of aspects, such as the composer's life, historical background and literary references, when learning a piece of music. Through this project, I address connections between the brain and music pertaining to memorization, the components of language, the similarities between language and music, the role of the teacher and the development of a "toolbox" of knowledge for studying a piece of music. I present my own research on Schumann's Novelette Op. 21, No. 8 in f-sharp minor as well as my own experiences of learning the piece to demonstrate an example of the process and discoveries I hope my students will make in their own studies of repertoire.

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2017-12

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Beyond Debussy and Ravel: impressionism in the early advanced short piano works of selected European and American composers

Description

Musical Impressionism has been most significantly reflected through the works of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). These two key figures exhibit the essence of this art and their piano music remains substantial, influential, and frequently assigned and played

Musical Impressionism has been most significantly reflected through the works of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). These two key figures exhibit the essence of this art and their piano music remains substantial, influential, and frequently assigned and played today. Nevertheless, from a pedagogical perspective, important factors required in achieving a successful performance of Debussy and Ravel's piano music--delicate tone production, independent voicing, complicated rhythm, sensitive pedaling, and a knowledgeable view of Impressionism--are musically and technically beyond the limit of early advanced students. This study provides a collection of short piano pieces by nine lesser-known European and American composers--Edward MacDowell (1861-1908), Charles Griffes (1884-1920), Marion Bauer (1887-1955), Cyril Scott (1879-1970), Arnold Bax (1883-1953), Selim Palmgren (1878-1951), Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936), Jacques Ibert (1890-1962) and Federico Mompou (1893-1987). They were influenced by impressionistic aesthetics or composed at one time in an impressionistic manner over a span of their lifetimes and their music provides a bridge to the more advanced impressionistic pieces of Debussy and Ravel for early advanced students. These composers' selected short piano pieces display richly colored sonority through the use of impressionistic techniques such as non-functional harmony (parallel chords and free modulation), exotic setting (e.g. modality, pentatonic and whole-tone scales), ostinato figures, bell-sound imitation, and extended texture. Moreover, personal interpretive elements, such as poetic and folklore references, were incorporated in some piano works of MacDowell, Griffes, Bauer, Scott, and Bax; among them MacDowell and Bax were particularly inspired by Celtic and Nordic materials. Mompou infused Spanish folklores in his individual naïve style. Most importantly, these selected short piano pieces are approachable and attractive to early advanced pianists. These works, as well as other largely undiscovered impressionistic piano character pieces, ought to be a great source of preliminary repertoire as preparation for the music of Debussy and Ravel.

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2011

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Ernest M. Skinner and the American symphonic organ

Description

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

Six Chinese piano pieces of the twentieth century: a recording project

Description

This paper describes six representative works by twentieth-century Chinese composers: Jian-Zhong Wang, Er-Yao Lin, Yi-Qiang Sun, Pei-Xun Chen, Ying-Hai Li, and Yi Chen, which are recorded by the author on the CD. The six pieces selected for the CD all

This paper describes six representative works by twentieth-century Chinese composers: Jian-Zhong Wang, Er-Yao Lin, Yi-Qiang Sun, Pei-Xun Chen, Ying-Hai Li, and Yi Chen, which are recorded by the author on the CD. The six pieces selected for the CD all exemplify traits of Nationalism, with or without Western influences. Of the six works on the CD, two are transcriptions of the Han Chinese folk-like songs, one is a composition in the style of the Uyghur folk music, two are transcriptions of traditional Chinese instrumental music dating back to the eighteenth century, and one is an original composition in a contemporary style using folk materials. Two of the composers, who studied in the United States, were strongly influenced by Western compositional style. The other four, who did not study abroad, retained traditional Chinese style in their compositions. The pianistic level of difficulty in these six pieces varies from intermediate to advanced level. This paper includes biographical information for the six composers, background information on the compositions, and a brief analysis of each work. The author was exposed to these six pieces growing up, always believing that they are beautiful and deserve to be appreciated. When the author came to the United States for her studies, she realized that Chinese compositions, including these six pieces, were not sufficiently known to her peers. This recording and paper are offered in the hopes of promoting a wider familiarity with Chinese music and culture.

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2012

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Artistic fusion in the piano concert: the piano recital and concepts of artistic synergy : includes two multimedia projects : Picturing Rachmaninoff & Picturing Ravel

Description

This paper investigates the origins of the piano recital as invented by Franz Liszt, presents varying strategies for program design, and compares Liszt's application of the format with current trends. In addition it examines the concepts of program music, musical

This paper investigates the origins of the piano recital as invented by Franz Liszt, presents varying strategies for program design, and compares Liszt's application of the format with current trends. In addition it examines the concepts of program music, musical ekphrasis, and Gesamtkunstwerk and proposes a new multimedia piano concert format in which music combines with the mediums of literature and the visual arts; Picturing Rachmaninoff, and Picturing Ravel provide two recent examples of this format.

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2012

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Rapsodia camaleónica: a concerto for piano, trumpet and chamber orchestra

Description

This DMA project (in piano performance) consists of a concerto composed for trumpet and piano duo with orchestra and an analytical document that accompanies it. The text portion of this paper discusses the different compositional aspects of Rapsodia Camaleónica, including

This DMA project (in piano performance) consists of a concerto composed for trumpet and piano duo with orchestra and an analytical document that accompanies it. The text portion of this paper discusses the different compositional aspects of Rapsodia Camaleónica, including instrumentation, form, influences and the performers' perspective. The work is scored for a medium-sized orchestra: 2 flutes (flute 2 double piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, horn, trombone, bass trombone, 4 percussionists (timpani, snare drum, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, castanets, güiro or carrasca, shekere, whip, xylophone, triangle, pandeiro, tam-tam, wood blocks, 2 congas, glockenspiel, 3 tom-toms, bass drum) and strings. It is written in one multi-sectional movement with a duration of approximately twenty-three minutes. The full score is attached as an appendix. The influences in Rapsodia Camaleónica range from the western classical tradition to world music to urban dance music, all of which fuse together in a work that blends this eclectic mix into a unified whole. This composition is intended as an addition to the piano concerto repertoire from Latin America, which includes compositions by Carlos Chávez, Manuel María Ponce (both Mexican), Alberto Ginastera (Argentinian), Camargo Guarnieri and Heitor Villa-Lobos (both Brazilian). It is the composer's desire to add a Colombian piece of universal appeal to this list.

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2012

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Convergences: op. 28a for woodwinds, brass, percussion and piano by Marlos Nobre : a new performance edition and analysis

Description

Convergences, one of the best known orchestral pieces by Marlos Nobre, was originally written in 1968 and scored for winds, percussion and piano; however, that version was neither performed nor published. Upon contacting the composer, the author learned that there

Convergences, one of the best known orchestral pieces by Marlos Nobre, was originally written in 1968 and scored for winds, percussion and piano; however, that version was neither performed nor published. Upon contacting the composer, the author learned that there was no performance-ready edition available. The purpose of this project, therefore, was to create a performance edition of Convergences Op. 28a by Marlos Nobre; to lead the premiere performance of the original version of the work; and to provide potential future performers with a descriptive analysis of the work, along with biographical information about the composer. After receiving revisions from the composer, the author created a new score, using a music notation program; the score appears at the end of this document. Additionally, performance parts were extracted from the new score. The analytical portion of this paper discusses the structure of the three movements (Vivo, Adagio, Vivo), their interrelationships, and the organic use of motivic transformation that binds the movements together. The work is approximately twenty-one minutes long and is scored for a small wind ensemble comprising: flute/piccolo, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, six percussionists, and piano.

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2012

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Survey of selected contemporary Taiwanese female composers of music for solo piano

Description

The purpose of this project was to examine the lives and solo piano works of four members of the early generation of female composers in Taiwan. These four women were born between 1950 and 1960, began to appear on the

The purpose of this project was to examine the lives and solo piano works of four members of the early generation of female composers in Taiwan. These four women were born between 1950 and 1960, began to appear on the Taiwanese musical scene after 1980, and were still active as composers at the time of this study. They include Fan-Ling Su (b. 1955), Hwei-Lee Chang (b. 1956), Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew (b. 1957), and Kwang-I Ying (b. 1960). Detailed biographical information on the four composers is presented and discussed. In addition, the musical form and features of all solo piano works at all levels by the four composers are analyzed, and the musical characteristics of each composer's work are discussed. The biography of a fifth composer, Wei-Ho Dai (b. 1950), is also discussed but is placed in the Appendices because her piano music could not be located. This research paper is presented in six chapters: (1) Prologue; the life and music of (2) Fan-Ling Su, (3) Hwei-Lee Chang, (4) Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew, and (5) Kwang-I Ying; and (6) Conclusion. The Prologue provides an overview of the development of Western classical music in Taiwan, a review of extant literature on the selected composers and their music, and the development of piano music in Taiwan. The Conclusion is comprised of comparisons of the four composers' music, including their personal interests and preferences as exhibited in their music. For example, all of the composers have used atonality in their music. Two of the composers, Fan-Ling Su and Kwang-I Ying, openly apply Chinese elements in their piano works, while Hwei-Lee Chang tries to avoid direct use of the Chinese pentatonic scale. The piano works of Hwei-Lee Chang and Shyh-Ji Pan-Chew are chromatic and atonal, and show an economical usage of material. Biographical information on Wei-Ho Dai and an overview of Taiwanese history are presented in the Appendices.

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2011

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Keys to the future: a study of undergraduate piano education

Description

Classical pianists have struggled to reconcile personal artistic growth with the economic and cultural realities of a career as a musician. This paper explores the existing structure of North American undergraduate piano education and its development alongside sociological and cultural

Classical pianists have struggled to reconcile personal artistic growth with the economic and cultural realities of a career as a musician. This paper explores the existing structure of North American undergraduate piano education and its development alongside sociological and cultural changes in the twentieth century. Through document study and interviews, I look at three different models of undergraduate piano curricula. Chapters One and Two explore the issues and history surrounding the traditional piano curriculum. Chapters Three and Four draw on interviews to study two different North American undergraduate curricula: a piano curriculum within a liberal arts environment of an American Conservatory-College, and a piano curriculum within a Canadian University Faculty of Music. Chapter Five concludes with a summary of these findings and potential recommendations for implementation. In this study, I suggest that changes to piano curricula were made because of a differing approach, one in which music is seen as an entrepreneurial vocation. These changes point to a discrepancy between what is being provided in the curriculum, and the actual skills that are needed in order to thrive in today's economy. Awareness of the constant flux of the current professional climate is necessary in order for pianists to channel their skills into the world. I theorize that changes in curricula were made in order to provide a better bridge for students to meet realistic demands in their career and increase their ability to impact the community.

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2013

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

Description

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

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