Theses/Dissertations - Composition

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    Arkhē : for mezzo-soprano, tenor, double bass, percussion, and electronics.
    (May 2023) Winningham, Max, 1997-; McAllister, Scott.
    In this composition for two voices, double bass, percussion, and electronics, two individuals regard the night sky and experience disparate internal reactions to its expanse. Unlike many other pieces for more than one voice, these two characters never interact directly. Instead, their words and worldviews are juxtaposed to create a composite meaning from their feelings of fear and wonder towards the cosmos.
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    Quit anytime : when you think you're in control.
    (May 2023) Gilly, Mitchell T., 1999-; McAllister, Scott.
    Quit Anytime is a new American Musical written by Mitchell T. Gilly, Emily Arden Seggerman, and Emilia Getzinger. The musical centers around the topic of addiction as it focuses on three individuals who suffer from different forms of it. Each character is in a different stage of life from one another to emphasize the point of ‘anyone can suffer from anything at any time.’ The first of the three characters is a seventeen-year-old boy, Jack Darrell, who is currently a senior in high school. He and his best friend, Keegan, drink excessively during the show, but Jack takes the situation too far when he steals liquor from Keegan’s parents. The second character to be focused on is seventy-two-year-old Eliana Zlatic. She is the representation of what modern day video gaming addicts will likely grow up into if they don’t moderate their own gaming. Eliana accidentally pushes her own daughter out of her life because she spends so much time playing video games. The final addict to be featured is twenty-five-year-old Lily Morrison. Lily struggles with a severe porn addiction but refuses to acknowledge it despite it having drastic consequences with her current romantic partner. The entire musical focuses on the relationships between each addict and their friends and family by showing how addiction can impact them.
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    Danube to the stars : a study in the application of compositional techniques to vernacular media.
    (2021-05-04) Townsend, Nicholas Wayne, 1997-; McAllister, Scott.
    This project is a full-length album of my own composition. Every instrumental track and every vocal track was performed by me, with the exception of the spoken vocals. The texts were composed by two of my old high school friends. My goal in creating this album was to reconcile all of the separate musical worlds in which I work, applying the compositional techniques I have learned from studying concert music. The following paper consists of brief analyses of each of the tracks with embedded notation examples. The full orchestral score to “Space Diamond Deluxe” is provided as a supplement. Audio files for each of the tracks are provided as well.
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    Prophecy.
    (2021-04-22) Carroll, Charles Lee, 1992-; McAllister, Scott.
    Throughout this paper I will provide analytical insight into the various compositional elements that constitute my capstone master’s project for orchestra, Prophecy. Utilizing examples from the score as well as those of composers greater than myself, I will focus on five major elements of the work: namely, its conceptual origins, thematic/harmonic content, formal structure, orchestration, and significant compositional influences. In doing so it is my hope that the reader might gain a more comprehensive understanding of the work, the creative processes behind its production, its musical makeup and architecture, and its place in the modern orchestral repertoire.
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    Remergence.
    (2020-04-29) Ayala, Alexis Victor, 1994-; McAllister, Scott.
    Remergence is a piece for orchestra, about nine-and-a-half minutes in length, that I wrote in the first two semesters of composition lessons with Dr. McAllister at Baylor University and finished editing in the third semester. It is a non-programmatic piece of music whose subject matter is made up solely of musical ideas. This piece, like all of my music, holds its greatest meaning as a manifestation of my musical beliefs: that a piece of music is at its most significant when there is a clear structure which produces dramatic moments and a logical sequence of ideas, that these ideas stem from as few sources as possible to unify the work and presented in different contexts to add greater meaning to them, and to achieve all this with a good deal of polyphony and craft. Remergence is perhaps the clearest and most successful manifestation thus far.
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    The Glimmer on the Scorched Earth.
    (2018-04-26) Deng, Chao, 1992-; McAllister, Scott.
    Throughout my childhood, I’ve always found myself gravitating towards war time movies. I revel in them not only because of the extremely breathtaking and dramatic storyline and the costly hi-tech visual and sound effects, but also because of the introspection of war that is behind the scenes. The Glimmer on The Scorched Earth is inspired by a Chinese movie called The City of Life and Death which depicts the Nanjing Massacre, the darkest page during World War II, even the whole history of human civilization: After the Japanese army occupied Nanjing which was then known as the capital of China, they murdered at least 300,000 people including the Nanjing civilians and the disarmed or injured Chinese soldiers. Having watched this movie, I told myself that I had to write something as a composer to express my understanding about war.
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    "Fantasy of the Desert" for full orchestra.
    (2018-04-16) Duan, Xiaotong, 1992-; McAllister, Scott.
    "Fantasy of the Desert", is a full orchestral piece inspired by travelling in the desert near my hometown. Generally speaking, I intend to depict the different scenes when it is sunny, windy, and stormy. For this goal, I utilized the different timbre of each instruments to produce unique sound effects. For better describing the appearance of the desert under different conditions, I designed three main themes for this piece, which can be regarded as a quasi-ternary form. In this paper, I will analyze the "Fantasy of the Desert" from the aspects of inspiration, formal structure, motivic material, orchestration, and the contrasts of dynamics and temples.
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    Sunshower : a symphonic poem for wind ensemble.
    (2017-03-16) Tucker, Jordan Robert, 1992-; McAllister, Scott.
    Composed in the programmatic spirit of standard wind ensemble works such as H. Owen Reed’s La Fiesta Mexicana, Winds of Nagual by Michael Colgrass, and Alfred Reed’s Armenian Dances, Sunshower is an exploration in sonoristic composition and a tribute to the classic wind ensemble. Utilizing a large ensemble, this four-movement symphonic poem was begun in June of 2016 and was completed in February of 2017. With the intention of creating the aural and sensational atmosphere of a sun-shower, my ultimate goal was to share a work that is both programmatic in its connection to the listeners, and depicts a unique, modern, and human experience. By establishing an aural connection between the wind ensemble and this fascinating weather pattern, the music is able to unify audience members in an acoustic environment, allow them to embrace new sensations of expression, and demonstrate the textural possibilities within the world of wind ensemble composition.
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    "Cycles" for full orchestra and electronics.
    (2016-11-14) Steely, Adrienne, 1991-; McAllister, Scott.
    The piece “Cycles” for full orchestra and electronics takes inspiration from the cycles of the earth. Specifically, the piece describes elastic rebound theory in the first movement, cycles of water in the second movement, and the life cycle of birth to birth in the third. The movements are titled “Elastic Rebound,” “Whilst waves marked time,” and “Star Matter,” respectively. “Cycles” incorporates several different compositional styles. The first movement, “Elastic Rebound,” was written using serialist techniques, with earthquake data driving the pitch content. The other two movements, however, are post-minimalist in style with repetitive melodic content against a steady pulse. The electronics included in this piece are audio tracks that are to be played along with the performance. These tracks include sounds representative of earthquake data, as well as sound clips from oceans and animals.
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    The Crack in The Wall
    (2016-11-28) Houston, Aaron Albert Lee, 1991-; McAllister, Scott.
    The Crack in The Wall is a composition constructed to serve as a “concept” work and a response to the recent increase of violent rhetoric in the political and social climate of the United States of America. In an effort to respond to these words that have validated, encouraged, and often incited violence, the work utilizes an electronic element of previously recorded speeches from public figures, readings of news headlines detailing the tragic, violent deaths of citizens, and scriptures from the Bible that encourage us towards love. As the music progresses, listeners are confronted with the juxtaposition of the violence and hatred that have stemmed from the harmful rhetoric that has become common for our society against the call for peace and love found in the scriptures of Christianity. The hopeful goal is to move the listeners towards a place of peace and unity with each other.
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    Voices of the soul.
    (2013-09-16) Herryman, Ivette.; McAllister, Scott.; Music.; Baylor University. School of Music.
    Voices of the Soul is a composition for orchestra and mezzo-soprano that comprises two movements. It uses texts by the Argentinian writer and poet Alfonsina Storni. Two contrasting ideas are illustrated in the piece, derived from the imagery of the poem. The first movement is about longings, which although different for every person, are part of us as human beings. It is a song for those who suffer through longings as they wait. The second movement is about the desire to grow, to evolve into a more complete person. It is a song of hope, a calling to move forward.
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    Spark for wind ensemble.
    (2010-06-23T12:16:24Z) Barrett, Jonathan Winter.; McAllister, Scott.; Music.; Baylor University. School of Music.
    Spark for Wind Ensemble is an attempt to compose an accessible and exciting piece of concert music for the wind ensemble that possesses a depth and richness rarely achieved within the medium’s repertoire. The idea of a spark is expressed in various ways throughout the music, such as: electrical sparks and the starting of an engine, information travelling around the world at the speed of light, the energy within living things and the Universe, and a realization of personal truth and the nature of human existence. The piece carries many messages pertaining to the wonders and dangers associated with technology and the power it grants Humanity.
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    !MPACT.
    (2008-06-10T21:27:49Z) Johansen, Ben.; McAllister, Scott.; Music.; Baylor University. School of Music.
    !MPACT is an eighteen-minute percussion concerto for solo percussion, saxophone quartet, brass quartet, and string quartet. The original composition, written by Ben Johansen, was commissioned by Todd Meehan, Director of Percussion Studies at the Baylor University School of Music. The work is a collage, and at times a barrage, of inspired ideas that demand constant attention from the listener. In order to make the piece approachable and understandable, it has been structured and organized by the arch form (ABCBA). The premiere of !MPACT was performed by Baylor University musicians and conducted by Colin McKenzie, Assistant Director of Bands at Baylor University.
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    Scenes From the City
    (2006-12-05T22:36:36Z) Allen, Seth; McAllister, Scott.; Music.; Baylor University. School of Music.
    Scenes From The City is a one-movement orchestral work approximately ten and a half minutes in duration. The work was inspired by a weekend trip to New York City in January of 2005. It is a programmatic piece, with obvious attempts to paint an aural picture of different Scenes, experiences, locations, moods, and sounds from one weekend in New York City. The piece is written as an overture and employs rounded binary form (ABA). The order of Scenes represented in the piece is: riding a train into Penn Station, seeing the size of the buildings, Ground Zero, leaving Ground Zero, and finally, leaving the city.
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    Of fire and rain.
    (2006-09-28T21:34:35Z) Murphy, Joanna.; McAllister, Scott.; Music.; Baylor University. School of Music.
    Of Fire and Rain is an eleven-minute work for full orchestra. Through its musical materials it explores the idea of two contrasting elements, fire and water, as symbols. Conflict, balance, suffering, and healing are among the themes underlying this pairing, and the piece addresses these ideas both structurally and in the materials themselves. The piece is composed of five major sections. The first is a slow introduction which provides much of the motivic and harmonic material for the rest of the piece. The second section contains material expressing the idea of fire. This music is fast, accented, rhythmic, and dissonant, building to a large climax. Following is a section representing water, or rain. Its material is slow, sustained, consonant, and harmonically static. More fire material comes next and it builds to the largest climax of the piece. The work ends with a condensed statement of the water music, fading into the trio of swelling ocean drums which conclude the piece.