Music, 2011
  • Music, 2011



    The Poetry of Hope
    Addison Bare
    Faculty Mentors: Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Deborah Shields, Andrea M. Karkowski, Janette McDonald, Dina Lentsner, Renda Ross

    Hope is the belief that this lived moment is not the last. The purpose of my project is to succinctly illustrate the beauty of the relationship between hope and hopelessness. My project was developed by intertwining my view of hope with those of others to form a poem. The poem reveals the necessity of one emotion to the other, as good cannot exist without evil; hope cannot exist without hopelessness. My profession, law, may have a firm basis in reason and appear to leave no room for the whimsy of hope, but my project reveals that without hope there is no ability to live let alone practice law.



    The Art of Palindromes: A Symmetrical Approach to Music
    Hannah Childs
    Faculty Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    Symmetry in music may be realized structurally in many different, often extremely complex ways. This study considers possible aesthetic purposes of palindromic form as a compositional technique, focusing on two specific pieces; a fourteenth century secular song In My Beginning is My End by Guillame de Machaut and Anton Webern’s Symphony, Op. 21, written in 1928. Examining Machaut's piece, Bonds emphasizes, "The idea that beginnings and endings are one in the same is deeply rooted in Christian theology, which holds that every birth entails a death, which in turn marks the beginning of another birth, into eternal life." Machaut uses several versions of the retrograde technique in all three voices, possibly alluding to the idea of eternity and of never ending life. Conversely, according to Starr, Webern himself admitted that the fourth movement of his symphony was "the midpoint of the whole movement [work], after which everything goes backward.” Webern uses tone row manipulations and palindromes within palindromes with incredible mastery, thus emphasizing the tight, interrelated structure of the whole symphony. This study demonstrates the evolution of musical palindrome from the 14th to the 20th century and inspires a deeper focus when analyzing complex structural forms of music.



    The Power of Music in Good and Evil: Charles Manson and Mother Teresa
    Kristin Coon
    Faculty Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    The ability of music to affect someone emotionally has been discussed by musicians and philosophers for millennia. Following Plato’s belief that music has the ability to alter the mood and affect a person’s soul, I explore whether music one listens to over a lasting period of time has the power to change his/her sense of morality. In my discussion I choose extreme examples on both ends of the moral spectrum: Mother Teresa and Charles Manson. Mother Teresa and Charles Manson came from different backgrounds and used music for immensely different reasons. Manson was able to convince his “family” that four angels were coming to bring the apocalypse. Manson used The Beatles’ song Helter Skelter to motivate his “family” to commit murders by interpreting the lyrics so it would support his claims. Conversely, I argue that as a devout Catholic, Mother Teresa was immersed into music of Catholic liturgy that enhanced her incredible spiritual strength. This comparison shows that both individuals’ moral character was influenced by the music in their lives. Ultimately, Mother Teresa and Charles Manson both were able to use music to their advantage, be it for a selfless life of giving or a life of crime.



    Pythagoras… Featuring T-Pain
    Andy Doherty
    Faculty Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    The role of the musical culture of Ancient Greece in the development of music education, music theory, aesthetics, and philosophy of music is hard to overestimate. The mathematic discoveries of the time created the first system of intonation that led to the development of different tuning systems, ultimately, impacting the music we hear on the radio today. This study explores the correlations between the origins of intonation from Greek mathematics to contemporary software programs including Pro-Tools® and Auto-Tune®. I focus on the effect of the specific tuning systems on the musical culture of the time. Thus, in creating his system of intonation, Pythagoras made incredible mathematic innovations. He was the first to discover the ratios between pitch and sound waves. Conversely, in modern culture, Andy Hildebrand employed research used by oil drillers to create the Auto-Tune® plugin. Through examination of the cultural studies and the development of tuning research, I offer insights into how modern pop music culture developed from the ideals and breakthroughs of Ancient Greece.



    Music and Politics: Who's Telling Who What To Do?
    Mary Eckert
    Faculty Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    Plato was the first to recognize the connection between music and a person’s moods, beliefs and to suggest that the effect of music on humans in most cases, is intentional. This paper explores the surprisingly purposeful and undeniable connection between music and politics throughout history, concentrating on the popular music of different times. In American history alone, popular music has been tied topolitical events as well as political movements that have strongly influenced the way that our society views important issues such as war, slavery and civil rights. In this project, I attempt to discover the source of the connection between music and political events through comparative analysis of popular music and political events of the corresponding time. Specifically, I concentrate on 17th century French opera composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and King's Louis XIV court politics, Bob Dylan and the Civil Rights Movement, and John Mayer’s and Joss Stone’s connection with the “change” President Obama campaigned for. As human beings, people often process political information musically. This study raises crucial awareness of the powerful effect music has on politics and vice versa so that listeners can consciously separate musical enjoyment from political agendas.



    The Educational Methods of Émile Jaques-Dalcroze: Modern or Ancient?
    Rachel Fox
    Faculty Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    The ideals of the ancient Greeks have made their way into societies and schools of thought throughout history. In the world of music education, modern-day theorists and teachers such as Kodály, Dalcroze, and Orff have developed methods for teaching children that reflect the importance of music as a core subject, much as the ancient Greeks did many centuries ago. This study explores the parallel between the ancient Greek approach to the physical nature of music, as expressed in the writings of Plato, and the method of eurhythmics developed by Émile Jaques-Dalcroze in the early part of the 20th century. In the same way that the ancient Greeks used music and dancing to train physical coordination and accuracy, Émile Jaques-Dalcroze incorporated movement in a form of rhythmic training. He labeled this method of studying music through movement “eurhythmics,” which comes from the Greek meaning “good movement.” Today, Dalcroze techniques are used at almost every level of education – public or private, primary or secondary. Modern-day educators can follow the example of Dalcroze in applying proven ancient wisdom in the classroom, which will lead to better teaching and more enriched learning for their students.



    Experiencing Hope through the Expression of Dance
    Amber Gibson
    Faculty Mentors: Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Deborah Shields, Dina Lentsner, Andrea M. Karkowski, Janette McDonald, Renda Ross

    Hope can be achieved in many ways. This project provides an understanding of how hope can be gained through the art of dance. The purpose of this research was to describe how the experience of dancing influences the expression of hope. The investigator choreographed a developmentally appropriate dance targeted to help adolescent students express emotions about a situation that occurs frequently in junior high school, specifically bullying. The dancers were taught the choreography and asked to dance. Immediately following the dancing, students were interviewed and asked to describe what they learned about hope from the movement. The results showed that adolescents were able to express feelings and gain a better understanding of hope through dancing. This research suggests that dance could help children express hope in difficult situations.



    Profitability amidst Piracy in the Music Industry
    Michelle Klein
    Faculty Mentors: Andrea Thomas, Saurav Roychoudhury, Kit Nienkirchen

    If the market for stealing music has changed its profitability strategy, how is the current industry surviving? A music company faces the daunting fact that 95% of all music downloaded online is illegal; the music is taken without rights from the holders of the property. New markets are taken into consideration because people disregard the impact of stealing music. The market for selling music has shifted from record stores to online to reaching the customer in video games like Rock Band. I conducted this project by interviewing faculty and professionals. I compared facts and figures from information on changes and improvements within annual reports and within recent legislative actions that have made an impression upon profitability. From a legal standpoint, until stricter codes of conduct impact the industry and new markets emerge, piracy will continue to exist, yet the music industry must continue to find new ways to make a profit. The focus of this study was to understand how a music company like Warner Music Group manages to find new markets for profit amidst a climate and culture that accepts piracy.



    A Link to the Past: An Examination of J.S. Bach's and György Kurtág's Music Using the Fibonacci Series and Golden Ratio
    Jeff Laser
    Faculty Mentor: Dina Lentsner, Jeff Laser

    Music, by nature, contains many connections with mathematics. In this presentation, using mathematical correlations, I draw parallels between composers as disparate as Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and contemporary Hungarian composer György Kurtág (b. 1926). Through examination of the selected pieces from Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier and Kurtág Jatekok, I was able to apply both the Fibonacci Series and the Golden Ratio in various ways. The Golden Ratio appears in two of Bach's preludes from Well Tempered Clavier, No. 1 in C major and No. 3 in C Sharp major, and serves to dictate the form of the pieces on a macro-level. By comparison, Kurtág laconic musical language requires a more specific micro-level examination. The Fibonacci Series can be applied to various miniatures in Jatekok through intervallic content, rhythm, and structure. As with Bach’s music, in Kurtág’s Jatekok the Golden Ratio is also present and is correspondent with the organization of notes and apex of the compositions. Using these mathematical connections in music led to a deeper understanding of the structure and content of a piece and also served as a bridge between otherwise dissimilar composers.



    The Italian Castrati: Who and Why?
    Hannah Richardson
    Faculty Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    In a time that is often referred to as Generation M(ulti-tasking), it is difficult to imagine devoting one’s life solely to their craft. The Golden Age of the Italian castrati during the operatic bel canto era (17th-18th centuries) reflected an intense period of musical scholarship and craftsmanship in a fashion that is unparalleled to this day. This presentation examines daily routines and personal struggles of the castrati, including psychological effects brought about by their permanent physical alterations. Primary sources including journals, practice records, and method books of the teachers of the castrati gave a powerful description of their lives and provided the foundation for this presentation. Clips from the film Farinelli will be used to exemplify the angelic voice of the castrati as no recordings exist from the time. The lifestyle of the castrati gave way to today’s workaholics in a somewhat reverse fashion. Whereas the castrati worked endless hours to achieve one certain goal, the same hours are now applied to divided interests as encouraged by most contemporary education systems in America. One can only imagine what could be achieved with castrati-like focus.