News, Thoughts, Soapboxes, and/or Essays

I’m glad my Tonal Development final wasn’t this:

I can't find the original author of this, but I can say I found it on the Doublereed-L list some eight or nine years ago.

Doctoral Music Exam – you have 1 hour.

1. Explain the difference between sforza, sforzando, sforzata, and La Forza Del Destino. Be specific.

2. What is the diameter of the hole in the water key on your instrument? If your instrument does not have a water key, what is the diameter of the third moon of Jupiter?

3. List Johann Sebastian Bach's children (include middle names) and give:

a. Date of birth

b. Date of death (if deceased)

c. Last known address

d. Social Security number

4. Name the composers who wrote a First Symphony.

5. Give the opening theme of each symphony in #4 (above).

6. What is the relationship and musical significance of the 10th and 11th bars of the aria “Soldaten, Soldaten” to the aria's final bars (1048-1063) in the Alban Berg opera “Wozzeck”?

7. Who conducted “Tannhauser” at the 1847 Bayreuth Festival? Was he right or left-handed?

8. Trace the development of the “Family Unity” theme in Richard Strauss' “Sinfonia Domestica”. In which key(s) is it presented?

9. Describe in detail the formula for the varnish on violins made by Stradivari during the first third of his career. Explain how this varnish differs from varnish used on his violas. What modern substances could be effectively substituted in duplicating this formula today?

10. What is the optimum acidity/alkalinity (expressed in pH) for soil in which cane for bassoon reeds are to be grown? For bass clarinet reeds?

11. Name the bones and muscles involved in forming a brass player's embouchure.

12. What is the advantage of using xylophone mallet heads made of:

a. Ebony

b. Teak

c. Philippine Mahogany

d. Compressed moose chips

13. Argue both sides of the following statement: “The most important element in music is rhythm.”

* Critique both arguments and decide which is correct, or more nearly correct.

* Compose a three-movement symphonic metamorphosis (not to exceed 1 hour in length) on a theme by Ned Rorem to support your decision.

14. Defend Mozart's use of the glass harmonica and explain why this instrument has lapsed into disfavor, especially among punk rock groups.

15. Give the “Slap-Back” time in seconds (to three decimal places) of each hall used by all major American and European orchestras. Defend your selection of each orchestra as a major orchestra, and name each orchestra's past and present conductors.

16. In which of his symphonies did Franz Joseph Haydn use:

a. Clarinets

b. Horns

c. Tympani

d. Bassoons

17. Write the first 25 bars of Stravinsky's “Circus Polka” (from memory), and analyze.

18. What is the Koechel number of Mozart's 4th Horn Concerto?

19. Develop a simple set of rules that explain the harmonic and melodic progressions, voice leadings, and rhythmic notation of the music of Bartok.

20. Give the ratio between the bore and overall length of a Couesnon Contra-Bass trombone, Model G-571a, when the slide is in flat 4th position. If the position is used in conjunction with both thumb valves (F and D) to play the 7th note of the overtone series, what note will be sounded? Will it be sharp, flat, or in tune? If sharp or flat, by how many hundredths of a semitone?

21. Who invented the Ocarina? In what year? Why?

22. Explain the musical inconsistencies as to key, notation, accidentals, etc, found in the original score of Robert Schumann's Symphony #3.

23. Write a seven-voice motet in the style of Orlando di Lassus in invertible counterpoint. Extra credit if the motet can also be performed backwards.

24. Using materials commonly found in the kitchen, construct a 15 rank, 3-manual positiv organ (with pedals) and use it to perform two pieces by Oliver Messiaen.

25. Reconstruct the missing movements of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony.

26. Give the Russian, German, and Serbo-Croatian equivalents of the following Italian terms: Tuffato, Con Amore, Cadenza, Fugato, Garbonzo, Mafioso, and Ferrari.

27. Explain why Benny Goodman could use parallel octaves, but you can't.

But seriously, I'm finished with my summer class! And now I'll have to actually get back to work and write music!

You can tell when I’m actually working

…Because I don't update the blog that often. And my lack of blog-updating-goodness this time is due almost entirely to a new piece! The piano sonata that I desperately tried to write in April and May finally turned into something completely different in June. Something that I'm fairly happy with. It needs a lot of editing and care, but it is coming along, and I'll forward along the audio as soon as I finish the edits.

I received a letter last week from Florida State University saying that they are considering programming Realms of Endless Day as part of their biennial New Music Festival. While it is standard procedure for a festival to acknowledge receipt of a score, this is usually done over email, so it's just kind of nice to have a real letter with my name on it and everything. Makes me feel like a real composer…

I've also just submitted (“just” as in five minutes ago) Foi dans and Pipe Dreams to the Denison University New Music Festival.

Due to the unpronounceable and unspellable nature of my publishing company (Vandemalioa Publishing) and the unavailability of my distribution company as a publishing company name (Vandermusik), I've decided to try to start fresh and register a new publishing company, and then register THAT as a business in Missouri. I don't have details yet, but I will post things here as soon as anything official gets decided. I will say that it will probably not be named “Caffeinated Semiquaver” because that is only marginally easier to spell than “Vandemalioa.”

And finally, website updates. Because it is a major part of the Vanderburg Design Philosophy to do everything in-house, I'm trying to move everything to where it is self-hosted, or stored on my server in my dining room. Between that, and the fact that the Vanderburg Domain Name portfolio now includes eight different .coms, .nets, and etc, I'm having to build something to join all of them together. Something that's more personal than my KyleVanderburg.Net, something that doesn't sell things like, just…one site to rule them all. (Sorry. Had to.) Something like a “Kyle Vanderburg Network,” if you will. Thus, I started work on KyleV.Net. This domain will cover all the technical areas (such as the modular code for the Kyle Vanderburg, Composer menu; the Bug Tracking system; the Content Delivery Network, etc).

And that's how June was like.