NEWS & EVENTS
Music, 2010
  • Music, 2010

     

     

    Active Music Participation and Technology for Dementia Patients
    Nicholas Arner
    Mentor: Mark Lochstampfor

    Music has been shown to have remedial effects on dementia patients in both formal and informal settings. Because of music’s similarity to language and multiple layers of processing, music is capable of actively engaging the brain even after an individual has lost awareness. Advances in computing and interface design have also allowed for greater expression and communication with individuals with disabilities. Music therapists are rapidly expanding their implementation of these technologies in order to better serve their patients. Several scientific articles were reviewed and industry professionals were interviewed. Interaction with music has a remedial effect on patients with dementia. Music therapists are rapidly expanding their implementation of technology in order to better serve patients. A brief exploration of these developments is discussed.

     

     

    The Phenomenon of Vocal Vibrato
    Samantha Dearborn
    Mentor: Sharon Bennet

    The issue of vocal vibrato has been a target of great controversy among musical pedagogues and musicians – all questioning what properties should and should not exist in a singer’s vibrato. Should it be full, quick, slow, wide, narrow, or virtually absent, creating a straight tone? In this presentation I discuss the issues of the vocal vibrato through an overview of the theories that have encompassed the history of vocal pedagogy. In addition, I explain the idea of vibrato as a natural phenomenon. Vibrato, an Italian word from the Latin vibrare, meaning to shake, describes the slight fluctuation in pitch that occurs naturally as air passes through the vocal tract. The vocal vibrato is every singer’s vocal fingerprint; like an actual fingerprint, no two are identical. Every vocalist’s vibrato has a unique quality and speed. The vibrancy of vocal tone creates warmth and a variety of colors, which add artistic and aesthetic value to vocal music. Noting vibrato as ornamentation that happens naturally, it gains vibrancy, fullness, and consistency through training. Only speculation exists, however, to what extent the natural vibrato can be consciously controlled by the singer.

     

     

    A Study of Vocal Techniques: Then and Now
    Frances Litterski
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    There have been drastic changes in the genres, forms, structures, and functions of vocal music through the centuries. What are the commonalities in the approaches to vocal writing in the past and in today’s music? This study links different vocal techniques of our generation to specific developments in the vocal art of the 17th and 20th century. In this presentation I focus on music of 17th century German composer Heinrich Schutz, vocal compositions by the distinguished Italian composer Luciano Berio from the 1960's, and music of the young Russian-American contemporary singer-songwriter Regina Spektor. Thorough in-depth analysis of the scores as well as primary and secondary sources, show that there are a number of similarities in the vocal writings of each composer, including the use of word painting, voice articulation, and textual content. Even though current vocal music has a different sound in many ways, the techniques being used date back to the 17th century. This study may lead to the further exploration of the origin and evolution of other vocal music techniques.

     

     

    The Application of the Kodaly Philosophy on General Education of School-aged Children
    Michaela Maynard
    Mentor: Tracy Herrmann, Dina Lentsner

    The Kodaly Concept is a philosophy of music education. Studies of this developmental approach to teaching children music have shown it to be successful in improving intonation, rhythm skills, and music literacy. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate that it can successfully be applied to general education of school-aged children through an understanding of how the philosophy works. Last semester, I studied abroad in Hungary and experienced this approach. Information about the method has also been obtained through research articles and methodology books. Through the use of a natural and sequential educational approach as outlined by the Kodaly method, school-aged children progress faster and retain information better. The specific elements of the Kodaly Concept that I believe are applicable to general education are sequential learning, going from the known to the unknown, and relating unfamiliar concepts with familiar experiences. This presentation focuses on the main aspects of the Kodaly Concept, how they create results, and how these fundamentals can be applied to general education of school-aged children.

     

     

    The History and Development of the Marimba
    David Nauman
    Mentor: Bob Breithaupt

    This study is about the development and history of the marimba as a percussion instrument. The topics include subject matter from stone-age marimbas, bronze-age bells and The Marimbas of Guatemala. Also, it includes a brief history of the Deagan Company, Clair Omar Musser and the Till Family Rock Band. Another topic that is discussed is the marimba history of Japan and the important figures of both the Asian and American cultures toward the development of the instrument. This includes various commissioned works, styles of playing associated with various grips, famous performers and companies associated with the development of the instrument. This project is designed to access development of the marimba and examine how it has become such an important and widely publicized instrument of today’s percussive and musical realm as well as key component of percussion programs and percussion pedagogy.

     

     

    Spirituality in Music
    Ryan Patten
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    Many aspects of music throughout different eras have remained the same. Some of these aspects include the use of silence as well as intelligibility of the text in vocal music. In this study, 20th century works by composers Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) and Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) are compared with the Council of Trent’s decisions made in 1564 regarding what sacred music should sound like. Aural and score analysis, in consultation with primary and secondary sources, shows how 16th century composers worked with the Council’s rules to create suitable music for the church and how sacred music of the modern era followed, to some extent, some of the rules set forth by the Council. When these two aesthetically different musics are compared this way, one sees several differences, including various aesthetic principals. There are also many similarities, such as the use of silence to create a sacred moment and music that creates a sacred atmosphere around the listener. While aesthetically music changes over time, the purpose of music rarely changes.

     

     

    Nonprofit Organizations for the Arts, and their Equal Impact on Society
    Ronald Perks
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    Within the United States, there are numerous nonprofit organizations that help individuals, families, and communities by providing them with materials, facilities, and support that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. Nonprofit organizations exist in all forms from community-based organizations to organizations based on the arts. In the philanthropic community there is an observable trend to award grants to the organizations that more obviously benefit communities, rather than the arts organizations whose humanitarian services to the community are less blatant, but no less profound. Current funding practices put these organizations at an automatic disadvantage. Organizations that specialize in the arts are just as important as any other service-providing nonprofit organization. Nonprofit organizations provide numerous opportunities that would not otherwise be available. This is evident with underprivileged individuals in terms of providing food, education, and other important services. By comparing arts-oriented nonprofit organizations with non-art oriented organizations, it can be shown that arts-oriented organizations are just as prominent as non-art organizations through mission statements, grant proposal techniques, and fundamental structures of the organizations. Nonprofit organizations aimed toward the arts are just as important as any other nonprofit organization in regards to the services and community benefits that are provided.

     

     

    The Role and Evolution of Baroque Music in 20th Century Film
    Andrew Slingerland
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    Throughout the 20th Century, the rise and development of cinema included the corresponding development of the soundtracks that accompany the movie and aid in the narrative. Over time, moviemakers began to borrow music from composers of the past, including those of the Baroque era. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the dichotomy of aesthetic ideas between selected pieces written in the Baroque era, and the employment of these compositions in movies. Using Fantasia (1940), Runaway Train (1985), and Milk (2008) as examples of films using music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), I compared the cinematic dramaturgy, incorporating pre-existing musical material, with the compositions in their own stylistic context to see if there was an alteration to the original Baroque aesthetics. After comparing these movies, I found that as films became more recent, the drama portrayed was truer to the original compositional aesthetics.

     

     

    Jim Morrison and the Florentine Camerata: Parallels with Ancient Greek Musical and Dramatic Aesthetics
    Kristen Todd
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    The aesthetic pursuits of Florentine Camerata, a union of musicians and thinkers of the late 16th century, were critical to the development of Seconda Prattica (Second Practice). Jim Morrison’s emphasis on the importance of poetry and theatrical behavior changed the whole experience of the rock concert and influenced many rock performers after him. Both of these used elements of ancient Greek aesthetics of music and drama. This paper explores the connections between Morrison and the Florentine Camerata’s musical goals of conveying their moral, political, or other statements and stories with ancient Greek aesthetics. Common musical and dramatic elements such as the importance of text/poetry, singing style/freedom in performance, and reference to ancient Greek plays are evident through the close comparative analysis of the song The End performed by The Doors and the monody Sfogava con le stele by one of the most important members of the Florentine Camerata, Guilio Caccini. All similarities in the use of ancient Greek dramatic elements and values tie Morrison and the Florentine Camerata together in the continuum that spans over centuries.

     

     

    Orchestral Timpani: 300 Years of Musical Evolution
    William Trachsel
    Mentor: Robert Breithaupt

    The timpanist first became an important member of the orchestra during the 18th century. Composers such as Bach and Handel made a major contribution to western music by establishing timpani as a serious musical instrument. Initially, the primary role of the timpanist was to outline harmonies, and establish major sections of an orchestral work. As orchestral music has evolved throughout the past three centuries, the role of the timpanist has expanded. In more recent chamber and orchestral works, the timpanist plays a more complex role, at times becoming an independent musical voice. Orchestras across the United States commonly perform a varied repertoire composed throughout the past three centuries. Timpanists and conductors must therefore understand how the timpani have evolved, in order to create authentic interpretations. This study attempts to clarify the ever-growing role that the timpanist plays in an orchestral performance. I discuss the evolution of the timpani since the baroque era, examining a number of musical examples to illustrate key concepts. I provide timpanists and conductors with a deeper understanding of the timpanist’s responsibilities. I also provide musicians and music lovers with a greater appreciation for the contributions that timpani add to a musical performance.