A performance and pedagogical analysis of compositions for unaccompanied solo trumpet by Persichetti, Wolpe, Sampson, and Ticheli

Date of Award




Degree Name

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


Music Performance

First Committee Member

Craig Morris - Committee Chair


The unaccompanied solo, although not as prevalent as the sonata, concerto, or chamber piece, is nevertheless a valid form of instrumental composition, with particular challenges for both the composer and the performer. This study examined the selected unaccompanied solo trumpet compositions of four significant twentieth century composers (Vincent Persichetti, Stefan Wolpe, David Sampson, and Frank Ticheli), and analyzed these works from a performer's perspective. Pedagogical implications of these pieces were discussed, including the issue of musical interpretation and expression as applicable to non-accompanied material.This study examined the unique, specific use of musical elements which defined the form of each piece. The use of the traditional elements of music (i.e., rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, etc.) in non-traditional ways by the composers was investigated. The significance of these elements in terms of their implications for interpretation and expression was explored.The findings of the essay included particular identifying qualities to each composition: Vincent Persichetti's Parable for Solo Trumpet was found to be derived from three fundamental motives; Stefan Wolpe's Solo Piece for Trumpet was found to employ the principles of contrast and similarity, which governed the use of all of the musical characteristics of the piece; David Sampson's Solo was found to base formal structure on emotional content; and Frank Ticheli's The First Voice was found to be structurally identified by timbre.


Music; Education, Music

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