Year of Publication

2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Fine Arts

Department

Music

First Advisor

Dr. Jefferson Johnson

Abstract

After the strict processes of mid-twentieth-century minimalism, a new musical style has emerged which retains extensive use of repetition, but is generally more aurally accessible, based in non-functional triadic harmony, and flexible in its compositional structure. Frequent use of non-minimalist resources, musical resources from multiple styles in a single composition, and quotation from previous historical periods define this flexibility.

American choral music has many popular compositions that exhibit characteristics of this new musical style, in part because of its accessibility relative to earlier minimalist styles, and in part because it adapts easily to the choral setting. At the same time, teaching this music to choirs requires resources that are not in standard-practice choral pedagogy textbooks or peer-reviewed choral journals.

This monograph utilizes newer research in musical analysis and several recent writings attempting to generalize the postminimalist style to develop a definition of choral postminimalism. Then, this monograph also suggests analytical approaches and resources for choral warm-ups, score preparation, and other pedagogical tools for three pieces: Arvo Pärt’s The Beatitudes, Nico Muhly’s Bright Mass with Canons, and Tarik O’Regan’s The Ecstasies Above.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2019.101

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