Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Keyboard Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Paul Posnak

Second Committee Member

Rosalina Sackstein

Third Committee Member

Reynaldo Sanchez

Fourth Committee Member

Dennis Kam


A model was created in order to assist classical musicians, especially pianists, with the process of creating their own musical niches in order to achieve public recognition, build an audience following and experience financial gain. This blueprint involved creating six arrangements for the piano four-hand medium that were then self-recorded, self-marketed and self-distributed. This essay introduces the repertoire used for this project, five Argentinean tangos by Eduardo Arolas and a habanera by Sebastian Yradier and it also examines the criteria by which they were chosen. A discussion of the arrangements follows, focusing on the compositional techniques that were used. Next, the essay presents the methods employed to self-record, self-market and self-distribute the compilation as well as additional means available to independent musicians pursuing a similar endeavor. The discussion focuses on techniques that pertain to musicians who do not have the support of a record label or a music publisher. The conclusion of this study is that there are a number of accessible methods that independent musicians can employ in order to self-record, self-market and self-distribute their music. However, the level of success of such endeavors depends on the musicians' ability to create a high quality musical product, constantly interact with new audiences and employ various promotional methods. A recommendation for further study is enclosed.


Self-recording; Self-distribution; Album; Tango; Self-promotion; Career Development; Piano Four-hand Arrangements; Self-publishing