Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Joseph N. Straus

Committee Members

Philip Lambert

Norman Carey

Kyle Gann

Subject Categories

Music Performance | Music Theory


Vivian Fine, ultramodern music, American music, post-tonal analysis, dissonant counterpoint, modern solo piano music


Vivian Fine’s Toccatas and Arias (1987) is an important work both in Fine’s compositional output and in the history of ultramodern music. Through her close associations with Ruth Crawford, Henry Cowell, and others, Vivian Fine was very much a product of the musical scene that developed in New York in the 1920s and early 30s. Toccatas and Arias, Fine’s last piece for solo piano shows that Fine continued to write in the ultramodern/dissonant counterpoint style throughout her life. Its characteristics also demonstrate that, contrary to music-historical writings that suggest such music essentially died out in the mid-twentieth century, Fine persisted in writing this way well into the twentieth century’s last decades.



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