Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tools for storytelling: Exploring the compositional techniques Crumb employs in "Vox Balaenae"
by Geels, Jessica L., M.M., California State University, Long Beach, 2015, 51; 1587280
Abstract (Summary)

George Crumb's Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale) is one of his most well-known works for flute. In this project report, I analyze George Crumb's extra-musical indications, use of quotation, and extensive use of extended techniques and timbre to reveal how they help to tell the story of the piece. Crumb's work is organized in three large sections, the opening "Vocalise (...for the beginning of time)," the "Variations on Sea-Time," and the "Sea-Nocturne (...for the end of time)," and will be examined in order. For each section, I will explain the extended techniques indicated in the score. This will include an explanation of how to perform the technique, a description of the type of timbre it produces, and a summary of how that timbre affects the mood and forward momentum of the piece. I will also explore how the three instrumental lines interact with each other and demonstrate how Crumb layers the lines to bring the piece to its climax. In conclusion, it is only after an in-depth study of Vox Balaenae, such as this, that an informed and exhilarating performance can take place. This work ought to be included in every advanced flutist's list of standard repertoire.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shockley, Alan
Commitee: Doyle, Alicia M., Urso-Trapani, Rena
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Bob Cole Conservatory of Music
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Cello, Crumb, George, Flute, Piano, Vox Balaenae
Publication Number: 1587280
ISBN: 978-1-321-70968-1
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