Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



First Advisor

James Clanton

Second Advisor

John Ross

Third Advisor

Donald Judd


The aim of this thesis is to offer further information on the six different pieces that were performed on April 10th, 2018 in the McCray Recital Hall on the campus of Pittsburg State University, in partial fulfillment of a Master of Music degree. Included in this program were works for marimba, vibraphone, timpani, and multiple percussion. These pieces were predominantly chosen because of their prominence in the canon of percussion literature. This is to say that each of the pieces performed have interesting and challenging musical ideas that have inspired percussionists over many years to perform them.

This text is meant to provide context as to why these pieces deserve this respected position, why they are worth performing, and the complex ideas contained therein. Each piece will have its own chapter, detailing out these concepts. Biological information about the composer will also be provided, along with analysis of the work, performance considerations and any other interesting detail about the piece that is pertinent to this discussion.

Each piece will be discussed with respect to their order in the performance program. The program order was considered heavily when this recital was being put together. The initial piece, Saeta, was a great way to begin the recital. The piece put a tense and quiet energy in the hall. Following this was the last movement from that same set of solos, March, which is an interesting piece both audibly and visibly for the audience. Following these two pieces, the vibraphone solo, Blues for Gilbert, provided a soft, lamenting tone that contrasted the bold and brash sound of the timpani. Continuing with contrasting pieces, the multi-percussion piece Cold Pressed was next. This piece was a departure from the tonality of the previous three pieces, allowing the audience a musical palate cleanser made of cowbells, temple blocks and other assorted percussion instruments. After a brief intermission, the more serious and lengthy work The Process of Invention for marimba was performed. This piece was very complex and required a lot of attention and consideration from the audience. To account for audience fatigue, As One, was the final piece. A duet for two, it offered very fast rhythms, interesting interplay between the two players, and entertaining choreography that was enjoyable for the audience. This seemed a fitting way to end the recital, offering an enjoyable and impressive display of musicianship.



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