Title

Northsong

Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Name

Master of Music

Department

Music

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Adams

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa Coons

Third Advisor

Dr. Scott Boerma

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Northsong is a 20 minute tone poem for Wind Ensemble based on the landscapes of northern Michigan and my own personal and musical background. The piece takes its name from a melody that I composed during my undergrad while recovering from back surgery in Traverse City. Unable to actually play any of my instruments, I started composing for the first Mme. In addition to a number of jazz and saxophone quartet arrangements, I wrote a short melody that reflected my mood while I was stuck inside during a snowstorm. I titled the melody Northsong, but didn’t know what to do with it at the Mme. In deciding what to compose for my thesis, I settled on a piece of an autobiographic nature, and Northsong seemed like a natural melody to use as a basis for the piece.

The piece uses a standard Wind Ensemble instrumentation that is expanded through the addition of Alto Flute, Contrabass Clarinet, Contrabassoon, Soprano Saxophone, and Piano and is divided into four main sections. The first three sections represent landscapes: a forest, Sleeping Bear Dunes, and the many rivers and lakes of the region. The final section is the unadorned Northsong melody.

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