Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Joseph N. Straus

Committee Members

Norman Carey

Jeff Nichols

Ursula Oppens

Subject Categories

Music | Music Performance | Music Theory


Post-tonal Music Analysis, Modernist Solo Violin Music


This dissertation investigates analytical and performance relationships through studies of three post-tonal pieces for solo violin: Élégie by Igor Stravinsky (1944), Riconoscenza per Goffredo Petrassi by Elliott Carter (1984), and Melismata by Milton Babbitt (1982). The challenge of interpretation is especially evident in non-tonal music, as performers are unlikely to have any knowledge of the relevant relationships between pitches, functions of harmonies, or formal features in the pieces they play. In this respect analysis can contribute to an understanding needed to form a meaningful interpretation. I will attempt to show that even the most seemingly abstract theoretical concepts can have direct bearing on performance of modernist music and will propose a four-step process that I believe is effective at producing analyses in a form that can influence playing, down to the minute details.



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