A manual of annotated exerpts from the duo/sonata literature for strings and keyboard for the collaborative artist

Date of Award




Degree Name

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

First Committee Member

Paul Posnak, Committee Chair


This study isolates a limited amount of passages from the standard literature composed for violin, viola, and cello with piano which represent technically demanding challenges for the pianist. The purpose is to provide a guide for collaborative artists and aspirants who need to identify and practice these excerpts in order to perform well on short notice the works from which they are drawn. The ability to be "on call" could be crucial for the success and economic sustenance of the pianist, especially in geographical areas of intense musical activity where one pianist can easily be substituted for another. It can also be a determining factor when auditioning for a coaching and accompanying faculty position in music institutions. If these excerpts are used as a basis for an organized repertoire maintenance program, learning or reviewing the remaining portions of a particular work would be a quicker task. This process is similar to that of orchestral instrumentalists who must prepare and be able to perform with ease a specific body of orchestral literature.A total of 60 excerpts were selected for this study. Each excerpt was assigned a level of difficulty within a 5 to 1 scale. The most technically challenging excerpts were rated at level 5; the least challenging at level 1. There was no intention to determine which of the excerpts was hardest or easiest within each level. All excerpts at a given level were organized into separate sections in which they were arranged alphabetically by composer. Each excerpt is presented as follows: (1) its complete identification (composer, work, movement, and measures); (2) the excerpt itself; (3) a statement describing the nature of its difficulty; (4) a restatement of its level of difficulty; (5) suggestions for practicing the excerpt.When appropriate, specific references are made to other works in which similar difficulties may be found. A chapter titled "Additional Comments on Selected Excerpts" provides supplemental information regarding style, compositional technique, transcription for other instruments, or other aspects relevant to the understanding of these excerpts.The author presents this study as a prototype of a manual that could help the maturing collaborative artist prepare efficiently for many engagements to come. Mastery of the works from which these excerpts were taken will increase the serious chamber musician's professional opportunities.


Music; Education, Music

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