Symphonic Imagery, an original composition and an examination of three similar programmatic compositions

Date of Award




Degree Name

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


Music Theory and Composition

First Committee Member

Ferdinando DeSena, Committee Chair


This Doctoral Essay includes two main parts. Part I describes three related programmatic works in Chapters 2 through 4, and my original work in Chapter 5. The works examined in Chapter 2 through 4 are: Ravel's orchestration of Musorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Debussy's La Mer and Messiaen's Oiseaux Exotiques. Chapter 5 examines the forms, motives, and musical representations of my original composition Symphonic Imagery. Eight Sonic Portraits and Landscapes. There is also a comparison to Colours Picturesque, vol. 2, for piano, the work from which many of the themes and general moods are derived. The piano work also inspired the verses that provide the extra-musical ideas for Symphonic Imagery. The second part of the paper will be the score of the orchestral work; the piano work and verses are included in the appendices.



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