Date of Award

8-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Music

First Advisor

John E. Stamp, Jr., DMA

Second Advisor

Carl Rahkonen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jason Worzbyt, DMA

Abstract

Steven Bryant is one of the truly gifted composers of his generation. This thesis is a comparative analysis of four of his works for band. Written over a fifteen year period, Chester Leaps In, MetaMarch, ImPercynations, and Suite Dreams make up a “Parody Suite” of four unrelated works humorously characterizing staples of the wind band repertoire. The works selected for this thesis, ImPercynations and Suite Dreams, are based on Percy Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy and Gustav Holst’s First Suite in Eb. True of both works, the listener and performer must gain an understanding of the source material to truly appreciate Bryant’s manipulation of thematic material and rhythm. Dusk is a tone poem belonging to a set of three loosely related works making up a “Night Cycle.” This elegant work musically depicts the tranquility in the last moments of daylight before the onset of complete darkness. Using a straight forward arch form, the simple yet effective work is a beautiful piece of program music. The Concerto for Wind Ensemble is a contemporary work that draws from elements of popular and classical music. Composed for the USAF Band of Flight, the intent was to feature the virtuosity of the players in this group. Many contemporary and extended techniques are employed, including the use of antiphonal choirs as part of the aesthetic experience.

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