Sketches For Trombone And Orchestra (original Composition)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Theory and Composition


Sketches for Trombone and Orchestra, a twenty-one minute work, is organized in five contrasting movements, each with its own character, texture, and form. The composition is based on a twelve-tone, combinatorial row and a numerical, event series governing the number of notes or attacks used in groupings.The first movement is in three sections. A palindromic structure forms the basis for development in the first and third sections which are homophonic in texture. In contrast, the second section is contrapuntal. The numerical, event series is especially prominent in this movement.The second movement, in Rondo-like form, contrasts sections which feature the solo trombone alone with sections involving only the orchestra. This movement is entirely contrapuntal in texture and each section is related to a specific tonal center.The melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic materials of the third movement, influenced by the works of Edgard Varese, are organized in three independent strata differentiated by range, timbre, and density. An additive process is used to expand the upper and lower sonorities which are chordal in nature. In contrast, the linear solo trombone line exhibiting considerably more inertia lies between these sonorities.The fourth movement falls into six sections in a Rondo-like form. Sections 1, 3, and 5 contrast two sonorities in cross-rhythms based on the numerical, event series. Section 5 includes an extended cadenza during which the trombonist improvises on several given motives.The fifth movement, a series of variations, is based on three contrasting motives introduced in the opening nine measures. These variations result from the alternation and combination of the three motives in various timbres, ranges, rhythms, dynamics, and articulations.



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