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Final Thesis

Final Thesis

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Published by Steph Niewohner
Analysis of Frank Ticheli's Amazing Grace
Analysis of Frank Ticheli's Amazing Grace

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Published by: Steph Niewohner on Feb 09, 2013
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02/09/2013

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How Precious Did That Grace Appear
:
An Analysis of 
 Amazing Grace
by Frank TicheliStephanie M. NiewohnerThesis Presented in Partial Fulfillment of a Bachelor of Music EducationDrake University2013
 
2
Acknowledgments
I would like to thank all of my professors and colleagues for their help and guidance inthe writing of this thesis. I am especially appreciative of Dr. William Dougherty for advising meduring the complete process of this document and I am grateful for all of his expertise he haspassed on to me. He helped me discover the many facets of analyzing a body of music and hismentorship has aided in my love for music theory.I want to also thank my ensemble directors Dr. A Graydon McGrannahan and ProfessorRobert Meuiner for sharing their love and expertise of the art form and introducing me to manygreat works and composers such as Frank Ticheli.Lastly I want to thank my friends and family who have supported me throughout theresearch and writing process. They were there to lend an ear to my thoughts, complaints,philosophies and struggles. They also were a great source of encouragement.
 
3
Among contemporary band composers, there are few who rival the musical depth thatFrank Ticheli plumbs.
Frank Ticheli’s compositions for band in
clude works that range fromliterature for younger students (e.g.,
Portrait of a Clown
) to professional-level compositions(e.g.,
 Angels in the Architectur 
e). Several analyses of his compositions are included in the
Teaching Music Through Performance
 
in Band 
series, and his compositions have been featuredin The
Instrumentalist 
magazine
1
and listed in the books
Band 
 
Directors
 
Guide
and
Best Music for High School Band 
.
2
 
Ticheli’
s music has been praised by the Los Angeles Times
3
and the NewYork Times,
4
and several of his works have been placed on over 20 state lists by band directorassociations. Tic
heli’s works are more than
great music, they are highly educational and allowstudents to develop both artistry and technicality.
 Amazing Grace
is an example of one such work.
Ticheli’s setting of 
 Amazing
 
Grace
waswritten in 1994. It was commissioned by John Whitwell, the conductor of Bands at MichiganState University, in memory of his father. Although the composition was written
“simplistically
,
as Ticheli admits,
5
the
rich textures, authentic harmonies (rather than novelharmonies and clever tricks),
6
and mature orchestration used in the composition require asense of inherent musical interpretation which can challenge any ensemble, regardless of itslevel of playing ability.
Ticheli states that he wanted his composition to reflect the “powerful
1
 
Baumer Thopmson, “
Exploring Vesuvius with Frank Ticheli
,”
The Instrumentalist 
, (June 2001): 22-26. 
2
 
John Darling, “
A Study of Wind
 –
Band Music of Frank Ticheli with an Analysis of Fortress, Postcard and Vesuvius.
 http://etd.ohiolink.edu/send-pdf.cgi/Darling%20John%20A.pdf?osu1224192963, 2. (accessed Sep 4,2012).
3
Los Angeles archives of Ticheli articles, http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/frank-ticheli
4
Bernard Holland, Reviews/Music; Re-enacting the Conflict Of Brahms vs. Wagnerhttp://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/13/arts/reviews-music-re-enacting-the-conflict-of-brahms-vs-wagner.html (accessed Dec 7, 2012).
5
Frank Ticheli, Program Notes to
 Amazing Grace
(NY, Manhatten Beach Company, 1994).
6
Ticheli, Program Notes.

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