Theses and Dissertations - Department of Music (Applied & Theory)

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    A Thematic Study of the Villa-Lobos String Quartet No. 3
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Baker, Olivia; Grégoire, Jenny; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) is known largely as a Brazilian nationalistic composer and as a pedagogue who played a huge role in establishing Brazil’s musical national identity. However, little has been written about his chamber works, particularly his seventeen string quartets. This DMA document seeks to begin to fill this gap in the literature by focusing on Villa-Lobos’s third quartet. Written in 1916, this quartet is a snapshot of a time when he was still developing his musical voice. Because the Brazilian elements of his music became significantly more prominent in the latter two-thirds of his life, many scholars dismiss the earlier works as derivative of his European contemporaries. This document will demonstrate the reverse, through a thematic study of one of Villa-Lobos’s early quartets, Quartet No. 3. Additionally, this paper will provide biographical information to contextualize the piece and discuss influences of Brazilian popular music on Villa-Lobos’s chamber music, particularly Quartet No.3. It will also lay out a thematic study of each of the movements by identifying the themes, their influences, as well as some contrapuntal observations, and will address some of the performance practice issues relating to Villa-Lobos’s use of texture, instrument roles, and string techniques.
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    Harald Genzmer: Unexplored Works for Clarinet
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Coleman, Jarom; Molina, Osiris J.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Harald Genzmer’s oeuvre includes many compositions involving the clarinet that are of high quality but have received little exposure. While all of his works for clarinet are published, dishearteningly few have been recorded. This manuscript and accompanying recording project were inspired by this deficiency, in the hope that with further exposure Genzmer’s clarinet works will become a core part of the repertoire. To that end, this manuscript explores the life of Harald Genzmer, discusses his experiences studying with Paul Hindemith (whose influence informed much of Genzmer’s compositional style), and provides a description of the three works recorded for this project: Sonatine für Klarinette und Klavier (1967), Trio für Oboe, Klarinette und Fagott (1994), and Bläserquintett für Flöte, Oboe, Klarinette, Horn und Fagott (1956–57).
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    Chinese and Other Asian Influences in Debussy's Piano Music
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Guo, Chuqiao; Chance, Kevin T.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This project investigates the relationship between Claude Debussy’s piano music and various Asian influences, with a particular focus on Chinese influences. Debussy is one of the most prominent composers in the history of Western music, and his music draws on many features for inspiration, among which Asian elements and impressionism are the most representative. Debussy was inspired by Asian music, literature, and painting in many compositions, giving these works distinctive sound qualities as well as artistic appeal.Based on a comprehensive study of scholarly literature as well as theoretical analysis, this project explores several Asian influences on Debussy and offers reasons for the formation of Asian style in Debussy’s music. Particular elements of Asian style examined include Japanese prints and painting, Javanese gamelan music, and the Chinese pentatonic scale. Through the analysis of several of Debussy’s piano pieces, including “Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut”, “La fille aux cheveux de lin”, and Le palais du silence, this study discusses how Debussy’s exotic colors reflect various Asian styles. Additionally, through research on Chinese music history and theory, this project compares and summarizes several differences between Chinese music and Debussy’s own music in various compositions. It also analyzes three Chinese piano pieces in order to make comparisons with Debussy’s music. This research supports the conclusion that Asian influences, including Chinese elements, endowed Debussy with indispensable inspiration and artistic expression in his musical compositions.
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    Bridging the Gap: Adapting Works by Historical Black Composers for the Solo Tuba
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Kimmons, Aurther Devontray; Crawford, Jeremy S.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This document will be used to bring awareness to the eclipsed music of historical composers of African lineage between the Classical and 20th century Periods in Western Music History. As classical musicians we learn about famous composers from periods ranging from antiquity to the 20th century. We learn of their contributions ranging from the theoretical to the artistic. This gives us a digestible amount of material to learn over the course of a four-year degree program with possibility for more in-depth investigation should one decide to pursue a higher degree or a two-year graduate program. The information on composers of African lineage is not presented until the 20th century when the discussion turns to jazz and blues. However, composers of African lineage have been published since the early 1700s. This document will focus on the works of four composers of African lineage: Ignatius Sancho (1729-1780); Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799);from the Classical Period in Western Music History. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), who composed during the Romantic Period in Western Music History, and the fourth Margaret Bonds (1913-1972) who composed during the 20th century. The focus of this project is to transform works of these composers into new works for solo tuba, adding to the number of works by black composers. I strongly believe that these works have a place in the tuba repertoire, and I intend for them to be shared amongst people like myself.
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    Notes on a Recital of Standard Undergraduate Trombone Solos
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Rosati, William Thomas; Whitaker, Jonathan; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This manuscript provides context for a recital given on April 20, 2021, presenting seven standard works for tenor trombone often used in teaching undergraduate students. These works are Leonard Bernstein’s Elegy for Mippy II; Paul Véronge De La Nux’s Solo de Concours; Axel Jørgensen’s Romance, op. 21, edited by Per Gade; Lars-Erik Larsson’s Concertino, op. 45, no. 7; Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Concerto for Trombone and Band, transcribed and edited by Timothy Hutchens; Guy Ropartz’s Andante et Allegro, arranged by A. Shapiro; and Georg Philipp Telemann’s Sonata in F minor, TWV 41:f1, arranged by John Glenesk Mortimer. The program of the performance is included in Appendix I. The manuscript includes an analysis of each work on the basis of range, form, style, technical challenges, and issues related to accompaniment coordination, with emphasis being placed on potential pedagogical effectiveness for first- and second-year undergraduate trombone students. A list of additional standard solos for freshman and sophomore trombone students is included in Appendix II.
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    Reference Recordings of Advanced Flexible-Instrumentation Literature for Wind Band
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Glaeser, Joseph; Coleman, Randall O.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This project comprises an album of flexible-instrumentation music for wind band (flex band music) and an accompanying manuscript discussing the need for this type of music in support of music education in the United States. Recordings took place at the Bryant-Jordan Hall recording studio on the campus of The University of Alabama between January 25 and February 25, 2021. The album consists of two works for flex band, each presented in three discrete mixes/instrumentations, with each part having been recorded individually to facilitate the production of multiple different final products. The manuscript discusses the benefit to directors and students of smaller instrumental ensembles in being able to hear flex band music performed by different combinations of instruments. Also included in the manuscript is a brief historical overview of the wind band and its various instrumentations focused on fostering an understanding of the necessity for flex band music, background information on the compositions and their composers as justification for their selection for this project, and biographical information on the performers.
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    Reimagining Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto no. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 Allegro Scherzando for wind band
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Cichy, Rebecca; Coleman, Randall O.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    A wind band transcription of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18, Allegro Scherzando offered ample opportunity to experiment with different tone colors and orchestrations, as it was a work that translated well to the wind band medium. In the transcription, the integrity and character of the original work for solo piano and orchestra remained intact through a transformation to a solo piano and reduced wind band instrumentation. The continual demand for quality wind band repertoire and the recent need for reduced-instrumentation repertoire due to the COVID-19 pandemic were both addressed through this transcription. Additionally, wind band repertoire is lacking a substantial representation of works transcribed by females. As a female composer, arranger, and transcriber, I felt an immense amount of responsibility to represent females in a positive light in the field of wind band transcriptions and to promote, advocate, and support fellow and future female transcribers.
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    The pedagogical benefits of playing violin duets: a historiography, pedagogical discussion, and annotated repertoire list
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Paillan, Christian; Grégoire, Jenny; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Although duets exist in abundance, they are less taught and performed than other chamber music subgenres, and there is limited historical study and scholarly research about them. This project will explore the didactic advantages of incorporating violin duets into the regular violin study curriculum. The manuscript will include a concise historiography of the pedagogical benefits of violin duets, a pedagogical discussion of selected works for a recital, and an annotated repertoire list of violin duets. The discussion includes pieces that represent diverse musical styles, eras, and levels of difficulty. The elementary level is represented by a selection of pieces from 44 violin duets, by Béla Bartók; 23 Stücke für eine und zwei Geigen, by Paul Hindemith; and Duetti per due violini, by Luciano Berio. For the intermediate level, the discussed works are Canonic Duo No. 3 in D major TWV 40:120, by Georg Philipp Telemann; and two arias from Don Giovanni: für zwei Flöten oder Violinen nach einer Ausgabe um 1809, arranged after the opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Finally, the advanced level is represented by Duo concertant in G Minor, Op. 57, No. 1, by Charles Auguste de Bériot; and Sonata for 2 Violins in C Major, Op. 56, by Sergey Prokofiev.
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    Twenty-first century music that embodies a positive relationship between trumpet and piano
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Bruflat, Benjamin Alan; Yates, Eric; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This manuscript emphasizes the importance of new music by arguing that it exposes both audiences and musicians to learn and understand new ideas, that it challenges musicians to rethink how they program performances and utilize technological advancements, and that it artistically and financially supports a large and diverse population of current composers.The next section of the manuscript discusses chamber music and the responsibilities of the musicians. Ultimately, musicians in a chamber setting are of equal importance and must learn each other’s music as well as their own in order to effectively communicate through various body languages during a performance. Improving this skill is possible through the attendance of concert performances and through studying recorded performances, but there is no substitute for learning through experience. The final section of the manuscript analyzes the music selected for the recording project through interviews with the composers of each piece. It also utilizes interviews conducted with the pianists who worked on each piece to discuss any unique aspects of the music from their perspective as collaborators in different stages of their careers. The recording/editing process is also discussed as there are challenges involving microphone setup, audio balance, and editing various recordings together that were unique based on the pieces being recorded.
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    The sound of Korea: twenty first century Korean choral music
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Lee, Dong-Kyu; Zaheri, Amir; Minear, Andrew; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    South Korea has seventy professional choirs and is one of the leading choral musiccommunities in Asia and around the world. Korean choral compositions are frequently performed by foreign choirs. This manuscript includes an overview of various types of Korean choral music and notable Korean composers for non-native conductors. It begins with chronology of Korean choral m a brief usic and highlights eleven popular contemporary Korean composers and their music. The works detailed in this manuscript are each included in a new professionally recorded album entitled The Sound of Korea (21st Century Korean Choral Music) featuring the Seoul Vocal Artists. They are discussed in the order in which they are recorded on the album, which is organized according to the following themes: Poetry Settings, Church Anthems, Elements of Jazz, and Elements of Traditional Korean Music. Korean composers often ensure that the meaning of texts is intricately connected to their musical settings. The Korean poetry settings included on this album typify how music and poetry both have repetitions for emphasis, as well as similarities in structures, rhythms, dynamics, and tempo. Church anthems as a genre began with the arrival of Western missionaries in the 1880’s. Today they remain an important genre of Korean choral music and often share similar characteristics, including a prelude, an interlude, and frequent use of a main melody. Many Korean choral composers studied at music institutions known for their Jazz studies, which inspired those composers to infuse jazz harmonies and scat singing in their compositions. Finally, many composers include elements of traditional Korean folk music in their contemporary works. Composers use various elements like folk song melodies, traditional rhythms, singing styles, and modes. By providing a brief analysis of these eleven contemporary Korean choral compositions, this manuscript might help non-Korean conductors recognize various styles of Korean choral music and assist them in their preparations for performing these and other Korean choral works.
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    Dream diary
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020-05) Holloway, Benjamin; Zaheri, Amir; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    DREAM DIARY FOR MIXED ENSEMBLE by BENJAMIN HOLLOWAY AMIR ZAHERI, COMMITTEE CHAIR MATTHEW BOYLE REBECCA SALZER TYLER BRADLEY WALKER A RECORDING Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the Department of Music in the Graduate School of The University of Alabama TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA Copyright Benjamin Holloway 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ABSTRACT Dream Diary is a musical depiction of depression and panic disorder. The work is in three movements without break, and is composed for voice, piano, synthesizers, guitar, bass, and drums. The total length is fourteen minutes. Dream Diary is intended to depict a specific event in three different phases of my experience with depression, anxiety, and panic. Each movement will represent and describe one of these phases both lyrically and in musical elements. Spiral, the first movement, tells the story of a dream I had during my worst phase of depression. The lyrics will tell the dream as it happened, and the music will reflect the mood through sparse texture, soft dynamics, and use of silence. The second movement, Intrusive Thoughts is a re-creation of a panic attack. The lyrics used are quotations of words and phrases from my life that played a substantial role in the panic attacks I have experienced. The music will primarily consist of digital manipulations of these phrases, fragments from the first movement, and drones in extreme high and low registers, which will re-create the physical symptoms of a panic attack (tinnitus, chest tightness, etc.). Survivors, the final movement, will describe a dream I experienced during recovery. The lyrics are more of a reflection on the dream’s implications than a strict retelling of it. The music will reflect anxiety and anger at my condition through heavier textures, complex and changing meters, extreme dynamics, and distorted or “heated” vocal techniques. Musically, the work will transform the Spiral theme at the end of each movement for continuity and as a balance to the harsher sounds and styles used. The original theme is presented in a slow duple meter, but its reprise in Intrusive Thoughts will increase tempo, shift to compound meter, and feature additional instrumental parts to create momentum toward the final movement. The final reprise in Survivors begins like the initial reprise at the end of Intrusive Thoughts, but ends with a repeat of the final lyrics of Spiral. The project is presented as a recording without score. It is created and recorded in the University of Alabama Electronic Composition Studio using ProTools, FL Studio, and Max. Digital synths and effects are handled primarily in FL Studio, while most instruments and analog synths are recorded in ProTools. The drums are a blend of electronic and acoustic, using FL Studio and the ARP 2600.
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    Suitable for dancing: works for horn and piano by alec wilder
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Williams, Joshua Paul; Snead, Charles; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Alec Wilder’s works for horn and piano provide numerous opportunities for horn playersto explore a variety of musical styles. Wilder’s compositional style can be described as a mixture of classical, jazz and popular music. Many of his works for horn were strongly influenced by the technical and musical capabilities of his dear friend John Barrows, a horn player for whom he wrote many pieces. Wilder often composed music that deliberately deviated from what listeners would traditionally expect. When studying Wilder’s compositions for horn and piano, one finds that there are many nuances that are characteristic of Wilder’s compositional style. This project is a CD recording of Alec Wilder’s Suite for Horn and Piano (1960), Sonata No. 1 for Horn and Piano (1958) and Sonata No. 3 for Horn and Piano (1970). The recording is accompanied by a manuscript that highlights the stylistic similarities among these works and emphasizes the importance of these works in the horn repertoire. Because the history of Alec Wilder is well documented, this manuscript focuses on specific musical elements found in these works. I support my statements by providing examples from all three works.
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    Harald genzmer: unexplored works for clarinet
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020-06) Coleman, Jarom; Molina, Osiris J.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Harald Genzmer’s oeuvre includes many compositions involving the clarinet that are of high quality but have received little exposure. While all of his works for clarinet are published, dishearteningly few have been recorded. This manuscript and accompanying recording project were inspired by this deficiency, in the hope that with further exposure Genzmer’s clarinet works will become a core part of the repertoire. To that end, this manuscript explores the life of Harald Genzmer, discusses his experiences studying with Paul Hindemith (whose influence informed much of Genzmer’s compositional style), and provides a description of the three works recorded for this project: Sonatine für Klarinette und Klavier (1967), Trio für Oboe, Klarinette und Fagott (1994), and Bläserquintett für Flöte, Oboe, Klarinette, Horn und Fagott (1956–57).
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    Mieczyslaw Weinberg: violin and piano Sonata no. 3 op. 37 and no. 5 op. 53
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Suarez, Silvia; Grégoire, Jenny; Noffsinger, Jonathan; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919 – 1996) wrote six sonatas for violin and piano, and three sonatas for solo violin, as well as an extensive number of chamber music, symphonic, vocal, and instrumental works. There is very little written on Weinberg’s violin and piano sonatas. The technical challenges and creative musical language employed in these works make them worthy of being studied, investigated, and added to the standard violin and piano chamber music repertoire. For this project I will write about the Sonatas no. 3 op. 37 (1947), and no. 5, op. 53 (1953) of Mieczyslaw Weinberg. I will also discuss Jewish influences and Shostakovich’s influences on Weinberg’s life and compositional style. To support this research, I will include excerpts from the scores to analyze Weinberg’s musical language. The performance of these two works will take place in the Spring of 2020 in conjunction with my final manuscript.
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    Compositional innovations in Claude T. Smith’s masterworks for the United States Air Force Band
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Walker, Joshua Daniel; Ozzello, Kenneth; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The United States Air Force Band has long served as a driving force in the commissioning of professional-level wind band literature. By soliciting the most sought-after composers, the Air Force Band ensures that many of their commissions grow into staples of wind band repertoire. Exemplary of this trend are the five service band compositions by Claude T. Smith (1932–1987). Of these, Festival Variations (1982) and Danse Folâtre (1986) offer the most characteristic representations of his innovative compositional style. Smith’s essential compositional traits can be divided into three main areas: first, his unique treatment of motives and variations; second, his frequent use of irregular and mixed meter; and finally, his practice of composing demanding, highly technical parts for each of the wind ensemble’s constituent instruments, exemplified especially by his innovative writing for horn. This document will first provide a brief biography of Claude T. Smith, focusing on his early career as a teacher, composer, and leader in the wind band community. Second, it will explore the compositional influences that led to the development of his mature style. Third, it will discuss the relationships that led him to compose professional-level wind band music. Finally, it will provide a detailed examination of Festival Variations and Danse Folâtre, highlighting Smith’s innovative compositional approach.
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    Development and application of alternate and non-traditional French Conservatory oboe techniques in the performance of traditional Chinese music
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Larson, Erik H.; Bailey, Mary; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Scholarship in using the modern French Conservatory oboe for the performance of traditional Chinese music is limited. While many modern techniques have been developed for the performance of contemporary oboe music, most do not address the unique performance practice required to perform traditional Chinese music, and are therefore not applicable. New approaches and new techniques are required in order to realize the potential for effectively presenting Chinese music on the oboe. Recorded performances of traditional Chinese instruments, in particular the dizi, erhu, and suona, and written instructions on performance practice by noted masters of these instruments have been examined. Through careful study of these sources, new methods for producing sounds on the oboe related to these traditional instruments have been developed. These new performance techniques for the modern oboe were applied in a recording of ten traditional and folk Chinese melodies, in arrangements for solo oboe, oboe and piano, and oboe with mixed ensemble. The work represented here in no way claims to match the sensitivity of style and cultural authenticity demonstrated by masters of Chinese music. Rather, it is intended as a starting point for Western oboists to begin respectfully exploring China’s millenniums of musical heritage.
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    A performance guide to Daniel Dorff's literature for solo flute and piccolo
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Mayhew, Ruth Washington; Schultz, Diane B.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The music for flute and piccolo by Daniel Dorff has become part of the standard repertoire and has been widely performed and recorded. As of this writing, Dorff has composed four solo flute pieces (Nocturne Caprice, August Idyll, Trees, Woodland Reverie) and one solo piccolo piece (Tweet). These compositions are of varying difficulties, and performers should be aware of their technical and harmonic complexities. This document provides harmonic analyses of these works and advice to aid performers’ comprehension of the music, facilitating more meaningful interpretation of this repertoire. These suggestions comprise the author’s personal experience performing these pieces, input from other flutists, and recommendations from the composer. Consultation with the composer himself proved invaluable in compiling information on performance practice and technique. By clarifying potential misconceptions and offering insights into his compositions, Dorff’s advice presented here will aid performers’ understanding and presentation of these pieces. Finally, similarities among these works as well as their unique features will be discussed. This document provides a solid foundation upon which flutists can build their own interpretations of these works.
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    Selfish: a recording of my own compositions
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Johnson, Michael Bennett; Whitaker, Jonathan; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This project comprises a professional recording of several of my compositions and an accompanying manuscript discussing my general approach to composition and my unique role as a composer-performer. The recorded compositions include works for trombone choir, solos for bass trombone and piano, a duet for tenor trombone and bass trombone with trombone octet, and a piece for bass trombone and fixed media written specifically for this project. The manuscript focuses on the harmony, rhythm, and form of my compositions. Stylistic traits such as neotonality, asymmetric forms, and novel rhythmic textures are discussed with examples from the compositions. The manuscript concludes with a discussion of the duality of being a composer-performer, addressing various perspectives on why the two should be mutually inclusive, or why they should be kept separate.
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    The Sacred Choral Works for Women's Voices of Francis Poulenc
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1994) Amos, Shaun McClelland; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This document focuses on Poulenc's three sacred choral works for women's voices--Litanies a la Vierge Noire, the motet Ave Verum Corpus, and Ave Maria from Dialogues des Carmelites. It is essentially a conductor's guide to the history and performance of these pieces.
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    Taming the tension: addressing upper body issues for the singer
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2019) Willis, Scott Edward; Houghtaling, Paul H.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    A common vocal obstacle for many singers is detrimental tension, its occurrence in the upper body in particular, and how to alleviate it. Preconceived ideas of singing, poor habits of posture, or uninformed exposure and performance experience in contemporary vocal styles, could contribute to various tension problems for singers. This document examines the pedagogical research of several renowned voice teachers, showing how addressing excessive tension through voice teaching has changed in the past two centuries. In researching the views of these voice teachers, a compendium of pedagogical strategies and vocal exercises that these individuals have identified to help remedy unwanted tension in the upper body has been compiled. Research on physical activities, from Alexander Technique and yoga to dance training and Laryngeal Manipulation Therapy (LMT) will be included. These forms of activities are becoming common among voice teachers and students when working with alleviating tension related issues. This document focuses on the following areas: jaw, tongue, neck, shoulders, chest, and intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of the larynx. It is the author's hope that the research and resulting compilation of historical and modern techniques designed to reduce tension will serve as a useful tool for voice teachers and performers alike.