Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Shafer Mahoney

Second Advisor

Suzanne Farrin

Academic Program Adviser

L. Poundie Burstein


Melting Crayons was inspired by a conversation with a clarinetist and a good friend, Jena Nahnsen, last summer in Italy. As we were waiting for our friend to finish her shopping for souvenirs next to Ponte Vecchio, Jena and I had a conversation about combining visual colors and music.

A few months go by, and Melting Crayons is created. A collection of melodies is generated using the six-digit crayon color code based on the fundamental E-flat. Using Mango Tango #e77200 as an example, the color code is a combination of letters and numbers. Letters reference for pitch, with my choice of accidentals; while numbers are used as an ascending or descending interval in relation with the fundamental E-flat, with the exception of the number zero, which is treated as the fundamental pitch E-flat, and number one, which is treated as E-natural. As the result, performers might experience difficulty in sight-reading as the melodies are spelt specifically to accommodate such concept and might confused as an error. Each sequence is introduced using the concept above, and then is manipulated, repeated and orchestrated.

The artwork for this piece is created by my beloved sister, Sissy Tang. The artist melts crayons directly onto the canvas with a stream iron and, as the crayon is still in its liquid form, the artist manipulates its shape with brushes.

Included in

Composition Commons



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