Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





David Olan

Committee Members

Joseph N. Straus

Jeff Nichols

Norman Carey

Subject Categories

Composition | Dynamical Systems | Geometry and Topology | Music Theory


Ligeti, Piano Concerto, fractal, chaos, analysis, music


This interdisciplinary study explores musical-mathematical analogies in the fourth movement of Ligeti’s Piano Concerto. Its aim is to connect musical analysis with the piece’s mathematical inspiration. For this purpose, the dissertation is divided into two sections. Part I (Chapters 1-2) provides musical and mathematical context, including an explanation of ideas related to Ligeti’s mathematical inspiration. Part II (Chapters 3-5) delves into an analysis of the rhythm, form, melody / motive, and harmony. Appendix A is a reduced score of the entire movement, labeled according to my analysis.


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