Type of Document Thesis Author Louvier, Robert Grant URN etd-04052006-123918 Title TuvavuT: Suite For Band Based on the Folk Music of Tuva Degree Master of Music Department Music, College of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Ladislav Kubik Committee Chair Jane Clendinning Committee Member Richard Clary Committee Member Keywords
- Wind Ensemble
- Folk Suite
Date of Defense 2006-03-29 Availability unrestricted AbstractTuvavut relies heavily on the folk music of a small region of Siberia called Tuva that has received considerable attention recently by musicologists, hobbyists, and adventurers alike. Musically, the region is most known for its use of harmonic singing, and musicologists have so far focused on the varied techniques of the Tuvans of producing hamonics with the human voice. I was also at first enchanted by these ideas and have since learned several of their techniques. As I listened to Tuvan music more and more, however, I have found that the melodies do not sound Eastern so much as old. Stripped of their surrondings, the melodies had a universal quality that I found I could appreciate in many contexts. Along this line, I decided to write a piece for winds based around several melodies with which I have become familiar through my practice and study of Tuvan music.
Tuvan music is largely based on the harmonic series in both melody and texture. Almost always, an instrumental drone is sustained upon which the writer or performer builds a melody, with sustained or emphasized tones being related to the drone through the harmonic series. Traditional melodies are based upon the anhemitonic pentatonic scale (actually derived from the harmonic series) with pitch centers either an octave or a fifth above the drone. There are commonly two melodic note durations in any given song in addition to sustained notes at the ends of phrases. Tuvan phrase structure is similar to that of western music, with both contrasting and parallel ideas in connected phrases, though they tend to repeat ideas more often than western writers.
In TuvavuT, I present entire traditional melodies surrounded by music of my own voice. Though I occasionally alter note durations, I have always maintained the closest pitches to the original performers. Each Tuvan performer has his own range, and songs and instruments are written and built around each singer's voice; I have maintained original pitch to maintain the performers' voices in my own way. The title is a reflection of my compositional process upon the melodies---I am in part a "process" composer, and have included with the original melodies both reflections and transpositions of the notes in addition to setting up patterns to derive pitch material. I believe however, that I have avoided making the music sound either mathematical or unaffected---in addition to traditional melodies of Tuva, I have included in this work musical textures both of traditional Tuvan origin and of modern western culture, including jazz and rock, among others.
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