Music, 2013
  • Borrowing Music across Performance Mediums: A Common Practice in the Renaissance Era
    Dustin Baer
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner

    Derived from sacred and secular traditions, Renaissance a Capella music expressed the true aesthetics of the era through its text settings. A Capella choral works allowed for transparent tone and independent lines grouped according to the structure of the text. As the evolution of instruments had progressed significantly by this time, there was a lack of specific instrumental music to perform, as none had yet been written. Consequently, many of the instrumentalists would play direct intabulations (transcriptions) of vocal pieces. The works that were transcribed tended to fit well with instrumental families such as brass and recorders. This research explores the use of working transcriptions to discover if any of the musical elements are lost as text is withdrawn from the music. Instrumental families, ranging from soprano to bass voices, found remarkable success in transcribing vocal works due to the similar ranges, homogenous texture and ability to execute advanced polyphony. In addition, composers often used a great deal of word painting to link the text with musical elements. This supports the argument that instrumental intabulations allowed for new opportunities to communicate artistic ideas without the use of text.

    Cultivating the Seeds of Hope
    Rachel Breuning
    Mentor: Renda Ross, Sharon Stout-Shaffer, Michaele Barsnack, Dina Lentsner, Janette McDonald, Amy Oehlschlaeger, Deborah Shields, Andrea Thomas


    Hope manifests itself in innately personal, individual expressions with unique capacities for sustaining the human spirit (Bauman, 2004; Duggleby, 2010; Webb, 2007; Snyder, 2002). Focusing awareness on the highly contextual images, practices, and situations embodying hope for an individual can preserve and cultivate even greater hope (Yohani, 2008). This project’s purpose is to explore and synthesize personal symbols into a sculpture whose visual dynamics articulate my understanding of hope’s diverse elements identified in class literature. In creating the piece I discovered specific characteristics of hope I had not previously realized. This piece may catalyze internal dialogue for observers, illuminating their own reflections. Articulating what uniquely speaks of hope in their own lives may cultivate broadened awareness of hope’s multifaceted manifestations.

    Classical Music and Cartoons: A Study of the Aesthetic and Psychological Value of Walt Disney’s Fantasia
    Amber Bruns
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner


    When Walt Disney Studios released the animated film, Fantasia, in 1940, it created an enormous controversy in the world of classical music. The film consisted of nine major classical works set to animations that were carefully tailored to fit the music. Critics were outraged, accusing Disney studio of cheapening the art form and suppressing the musical experience of the audience. This reaction raises a fundamental question: Does the film inhibit musical imagination in the average person by providing images for the brain to connect? Or does the film accomplish the opposite by kick starting the musical imagination in the minds of non-musicians, especially children, by the same process? In this presentation I examine critics’ arguments against Fantasia’s musical value as well as rebuttals from musical experts affirming Disney’s efforts to connect music and film. I discuss the use of cartoon animation, liberties taken with the works performed, and the psychological concept of audio-visual synesthesia. I conclude that Fantasia, far from narrowing the musical imagination, instead catalyzes the imagination, establishing a visual tag for previously unvisualized sound by helping its viewers associate images with music.

    Architectural Acoustics and Capital University’s Mezzanine
    Cameron Girard
    Mentor: Patrick Shields, Mark Lochstampfor, Dina Lentsner


    The Mezzanine, located on the third floor of Capital University’s Campus Center, hosts assorted musical and non-musical acts. Unfortunately, the space is plagued by a number of acoustic problems. The poor sound propagation threatens speech intelligibility and musical clarity. I propose a number of acoustic treatment options so the Mezzanine may better serve the variety of shows and events that are held there. Using what I have learned from my research, I ran acoustic tests and using modeling software to accurately quantify the issues. I also researched non-acoustic factors, like pricing and aesthetics, for a variety of treatment options. All of this is culminating into a number of comprehensive treatment propositions akin to what an acoustic consultant would present to a client. The “package” will be presented to organizations that could potentially carry out the project. Treatments that would work based on my findings include a system of curtains, diffusers and absorbers. These will reduce unnecessary reverberation, giving the space a more cohesive frequency distribution. The improvement of an acoustically critical space is not only a great fusion of my courses of study (music technology and physics), but has great potential to impact the events held at the Mezzanine.

    The History of the Vibraphone: Technology and Design
    Patrick Overturf
    Mentor: Robert Breithaupt


    The vibraphone is approaching its 100th year of existence, and is one of the few indigenous instruments created in the United States. The vibraphone is most often associated with jazz (Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson, Gary Burton, etc.), but also has a significant place in the development of percussion in the 20th Century, including the more recent applications in interpreting classical repertoire. Pedagogical study has begun to match the advancements of the instrument in terms of technique and an analysis of players. However, most of the historical resources on the development of the vibraphone are limited, focusing primarily on a single manufacturer. With the assistance of the Boyd Fund for Undergraduate Scholarship I interviewed key figures involved with the development and design of the instrument. By using these interviews combined with an in-depth analysis of historical developments I have created a comprehensive guide to the history of the vibraphone. This project is vital to understanding the vibraphone’s history; there is not currently a resource that covers the vibraphone in a holistic sense like this.

    The Sarabande in the Night Club: The Evolution of Erotic Dance into the 21st Century
    Alycia Pompey
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner


    As an art form, dance has evolved for over six centuries. Secular dance (a dance that does not relate to any religious or ritualistic movement) today has been molded from the early dance forms shaped by society and has evolved in means of form, reason, and tradition. In this presentation, I examine parallels between secular dance in the 21st century and the earliest forms of dance in the 15th -16th centuries. I focus on the sarabande from 16th century England as the beginning of erotic partner dancing, which is much like today’s provocative night-club life. Profane dance is used to ignite passion between the dancer and the opposite sex. The sarabande was passionate and erotic in nature. It was danced to the music of triple meter, which was considered sinful during this time period much like the movements that went along with it. It was danced with intriguing footwork, flexible torsos, and movement in the hips. The 21st century has been overwhelmed by the category of profane dancing. Twerking, contemporary erotic dance, utilizes physical groping and sexual hip movements much like that of the sarabande. These erotic moves carry the same affect that the movements of the sarabande did centuries before.

    Musical Development and Sexuality: What Influences a Child’s Choice of Instrument?
    Kaitlyn Riffle
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner


    Every year, middle school students in United States and other countries test musical instruments to play in band or orchestra, usually consisting of the better-known instruments: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion, and strings. In this presentation, I examine whether there are gender roles associated with musical instruments that influence a student’s decision to play one or another instrument. Research in the fields of music education and psychology shows that through the process of maturity, children form stereotypes regarding which instruments are supposed to be played by girls and which by boys. Strings, percussion, and winds have accumulated adjectives to describe the personalities and sexes of the people who play them. Brass and percussion players are seen as extroverted and masculine while string and woodwind players are quiet and feminine. Psychologists conclude that boys are more likely to choose masculine instruments, leaning towards brass and percussion instruments while girls’ choices are very spread out. Scholars suggest that boys can differentiate masculinity and femininity early on in life, while young girls’ sense of femininity has not fully developed yet. Through natural growth and parental decisions, children develop their own sense of sexuality and identity which aides in their instrument choice.

    Schisms and Clashes: Evolution of the Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams Preceding and Following World War I
    Will Roesch
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner


    Ralph Vaughan Williams’ musical contributions placed him among the most important English composers of the twentieth century. Because of the predominance of Germanic forms, England was regarded as a nation without music of its own, but through the efforts of Vaughan Williams, music that was distinctly “English” was developed. In this presentation I examine the personal and creative life of Vaughan Williams as it reveals a number of clashes that accompanied, and I suggest, influenced the evolution of his music from the pastoral and delicate The Lark Ascending to the frightening and bombastic Ninth Symphony. Vaughan Williams, who later defined himself as agnostic, was the son of a vicar and a great nephew of Charles Darwin. Deeply unsettling psychological traumas, including his marriage to a crippled wife and his service in the World War I shaped Vaughan Williams’ musical language. Contradictory musical influences included the composer’s admiration of the Tudor musicians and, despite his opposition to the Germanic forms, the inspiration he took from the music of Wagner. The concerns and anxieties of the composer’s life can be heard in his stylistic approach: the juxtaposition of noble and tender, sarcastic and cheerful, and to his death, proudly defiant.

    Want to Achieve Academic Success? Get Involved!
    Abbey Zacharias, Emma Littmann, Abigail Neininger, Amanda Rowe
    Mentor: Dina Lentsner, Andrea M. Karkowski


    Research indicates that students who are more involved with campus activities benefit socially and academically. Capital University’s Honors Program struggles with student participation and retention.
    This research examined Honors students’ and non-Honors students’ experiences, opinions, knowledge, and expectations of Capital University’s Honors Program, as well as to identify ways to improve member involvement and increase retention within the program. We surveyed Honors students and non-Honors students using an anonymous online questionnaire. Students answered questions about campus involvement adapted from Elkins et al. (2011), the Sense of Campus Community Scale (SCCS, Elkins et al., 2011), and their experiences with the Honors Program. Honors students also responded to questions about the Honors courses that they have taken. We expected that Honors students would be more involved on campus than non-Honors students and that residency status is more important than Honors Program participation for students’ scores on the SCCS. However, we also expected that Honors students only weakly identified with being members of the Honors Program. The results of this research can be used to help students build stronger connections with the Honors Program and Capital University, inform future directions of the Honors Program, and elevate the reputation of the program.