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    Be still in haste.
    (Wheaton College (MA), 2019) Merseal, Hannah M.
    The composition of this piece primarily took place in spare hours, squeezed in during a period of great personal change and reflection. It was inspired heavily by Wendell Berry's poem , which evokes the sign of the moment, settling into one's environment, observing the world rush by, then continuing on. The poem's quiet way of stretching and compressing time appealed to me greatly as a researcher studying time in music and how our brains track beat and meter. In composing this piece, I took a minimalist approach to manipulating time by featuring irregular phrase lengths and literal sighs layered over a slow, steady cello ostinato. This segues into a faster middle section comprised of human sounds such as clapping, stomping, and shouts, which create a variety of composite rhythms. Finally, the end of the piece falls into a slow, stilted dance. The overlying clarinet and flute duet took shape later on in the compositional process- this piece was intended to be written for voice duet and orchestra but evolved over time as I explored different timbral combinations.
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    #Flawless : black female musicians as agents of social change.
    (Wheaton College ; Norton, Mass., 2016) Corwin, Emma.
    Black American female musicians have been at the crossroads between sexism and racism now and in the past. This binary illustrates the constraints of an ideological system of both gender and race roles. My thesis will place into juxtaposition the Black female musicians of the early 20th century and today, and how they have and continue to reshape the prescribed image of female Black Americans in the entertainment industry. I first consider female Black musicians in Jazz Age America. Artists like Josephine Baker and Ada “Bricktop” Smith were highly influential as self-governing icons during the early 20th century. They asserted their agency by departing the US for Europe when faced with racial prejudice in the music scene, and flourished with considerable success; in doing so, they propagated a new perception of female Black musicians. Fast-forward to contemporary times, musicians such as Beyoncé and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot act as influential pop-culture icons to women today, analogous to Black female musicians of the Jazz Age. Through both a historical and contemporary approach, I investigate sexuality, iconography, and public reception as major components in the identity of these musicians. For artists from both time periods, I will consider these components through the use of images and media resources, such as advertisements, newspapers, magazines, interviews, and film to gain a sense of public perception and self-representation. These research methods will enable me to compare similar trends for Black female musicians in pop-culture from one century ago to now. In doing so, I seek to illuminate the major influence and impact of Black female musicians as agents of social change in the liberation from limitations created through oppression, prejudice, and stereotypes.
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    Handel's notoriety as a borrower : plagiarism and English national identity
    (Wheaton College ; Norton, Mass., 2009) Murray, Nina M; MacPherson, William
    This thesis explores George Frideric Handel’s practice of musical borrowing, and the reasons for which Handel and his compositional approach have received such negative attention over the last three centuries. In considering the gradual association of imitation with plagiarism in eighteenth-century England, and Handel’s contentious position as an unprecedentedly popular, yet non-native figure of English national identity, it is found that the confluence of these two circumstances is responsible for the vast body of literature concerning Handel’s borrowing.