A study of the bowed piano string techniques utilized by Stephen Scott in "Minerva's Web" and "The Tears of Niobe"

Date of Award




Degree Name

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

First Committee Member

J. Robert Floyd - Committee Chair


Minerva's Web (1985) and The Tears of Niobe (1986) by Stephen Scott, are scored for one grand piano, to be bowed and plucked by an ensemble of ten musicians. The primary focus of the research has been to examine the bowed piano techniques utilized by Scott to achieve highly original timbres from the strings of the piano.In an attempt to better understand Stephen Scott's compositional influences, a brief history of extended piano techniques is presented in the first chapter.Comparisons between Minerva's Web and The Tears of Niobe, especially with regard to structure, and thematic and harmonic material, are illustrated by way of musical examples and discussion in Chapter II.Chapter III examines technical difficulties which include an explanation of the various bowing techniques used by Scott.Interpretive problems such as difficulties in phrasing, dynamics and subtleties in articulation are discussed in a chapter devoted to performance aspects. Attention is also given to unique ensemble problems arising from ten musicians performing on one piano.



Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text