Stephen Montague's "At the White Edge of Phrygia": A conductor's performance analysis

Date of Award




Degree Name

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


Music Conducting

First Committee Member

Thomas M. Sleeper, Committee Chair


The primary purpose of the essay is to provide information for conductors who are preparing a performance of At the White Edge of Phrygia, for chamber orchestra, by Stephen Montague. The work exists in several versions, and the essay provides conductors who are preparing the piece with a synthesis of information from the several sources in order to clarify various issues about the work.At the White Edge of Phrygia is an example of a style, post-minimalism, about which little has been written, and concerning which critical consensus appears to be still in the process of coalescing. The essay discusses stylistic characteristics of minimalism and post-minimalism and analyzes the characteristics of the work in relation to those styles.Four groups of issues are addressed: textual problems, understanding the style and stylistic context of the work, comprehension of the musical substance, and performance issues. The conclusion of the essay offers recommendations for further study in several areas.



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