Alumni Dissertations

 

Alumni Dissertations

Filter Dissertations By:

 
 
  • MUSIC AND NATIONAL IDENTITY: A STUDY OF CELLO WORKS BY TAIWANESE COMPOSERS

    Author:
    YU-TING WU
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Music
    Advisor:
    Philip Rupprecht
    Abstract:

    The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of folkloric elements in music by Taiwanese composers and to uncover the methods they treat regional materials under the influences of Western compositional techniques, hereby creating a new fusion within classical music. This study centers in the ethnic impact on modern Taiwanese music, and also provides an opportunity to probe the significance of the subject "nation" in the field of musical creativity. In this dissertation, the discussion includes the development of traditional and Western music in Taiwan including the historical and cultural background, how music serves as an emblem of national identity; the ties that have developed in the twentieth century between concert music and traditional Taiwanese music, and the progress in Western contemporary music. Musical forms and textures of five cello-related works of Taiwanese composers are analyzed and compared. These Taiwanese composers are representative of the last three generations; all have had traditional Western-style training in composition in Japan, Europe, or America. The works discussed are Trio: Nostalgia, Three Melodies by Tsang-Houei Hsu, Cello Concerto by Tyzen Hsiao, Idea and Image by Shui-Long Ma, Monologue of Sin by Gordon Chin, and Trio by Kwang-I Ying. By focusing on the relationship between national materials and new music compositions, and how composers understand and interpret these elements in their own works, such a study may stimulate more research in Taiwanese art music and bring it to a broader stage and serve to draw attention to further possible directions for Taiwanese educators, performers, and composers allowing them to introduce their works to an international audience.

  • Voice Leading in the Music of George Perle

    Author:
    John Wykoff
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Music
    Advisor:
    Joseph Straus
    Abstract:

    Most studies of George Perle's music have an essentially harmonic orientation. They typically involve referring harmonies back to Perle's precompositional arrays. This study seeks to shift the conversation in a new direction by giving voice leading priority. Twelve-tone tonality is construed as a voice leading system in which two streams of voice leading flow simultaneously, generating a higher level counterpoint of counterpoints. Each stream of voice leading consists of trichords or dyads that wedge symmetrically. A novel three-tier analysis is introduced which enables the analyst to peer through the score to the voice leading. Motion within and between arrays is considered from the perspective of voice leading. Examples of Perle's music are given, including a voice leading analysis of two full movemements. The study ends with a discussion of implications for hearing wedge voice leading.

  • FREE FROM JAZZ: The Jazz and Improvised Music Scene in Vienna after Ossiach (1971-2011)

    Author:
    Thomas Zlabinger
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Music
    Advisor:
    Peter Manuel
    Abstract:

    Focusing on a diverse and eclectic scene that is under-documented, this dissertation investigates the historical, social, and cultural aspects of jazz and improvised music in Vienna over the last four decades. Through fieldwork, I have observed various characteristics and trends regarding the jazz and improvised music scene in Vienna and have subsequently organized the musicians and their recordings into seven fluid "fields": Traditional-U.S. Performance, Post-Tradition, DJ/Hip-Hop, Volk/Ethnic, Cabaret, Unclassified, and Abroad. One of the most striking aspects of the entire scene is the near-absence of a racialized discourse among musicians and critics and of stereotypical markers of "blackness" in performance. Moreover, the absence of an African-descendent population in Austria, due to the country's near-lack of a colonial history, distinguishes it from the U.S.'s jazz context. Even without a colonial history, one of the common threads throughout Austria's history is cultural mixture (Brook-Shepherd 1996) due to its geographic location and its propensity to merge with its neighbors through marriage rather than might. Additionally, Austria's jazz scene had no need to resist a U.S.-model of jazz performance practice, while other jazz scenes in Europe and around the world struggled to "be free of America" (Atkins 2001). Therefore, the construction of jazz and improvised music in Vienna is better seen as a process of cultural layering, rather than the more familiar process of signifying (Gates 1988) in the United States. Finally, most jazz and improvised music is performed without a driving rhythm. I highlight these and other aspects of Vienna's scene by examining recordings by Mathias Rüegg, Franz Koglmann, Wolfgang Mitterer, Clemens Salesny, Franz Hautzinger, and ctrl.