Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Keyboard Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Santiago Rodriguez

Second Committee Member

Kevin Kenner

Third Committee Member

Maria Fenty Denison

Fourth Committee Member

Naoko Takao

Fifth Committee Member

Tony Boutte


This thesis introduces Akira Yuyama, a prolific living composer of highest distinction for his contributions to, most notably, repertoire dedicated to performances by young musicians. Confections: A Piano Sweet is arguably his most creative opus and this thesis includes an analysis of the work for its musical content as well as its effectiveness in the pedagogical context. Yuyama’s Confections has been a best-seller for over four decades in Japan and is one of the most popular set of pieces assigned to young piano students. Despite its popularity and uniqueness as programmatic music about food, the composition nor its creator have been closely examined in academic spheres. This introduction will be the first detailed document devoted to the biographical information of Yuyama and analytical discussion of his work. Also included is the author’s commentary on the most fascinating facet of Confections, which is its use of food as the principal programmatic element, and the author discusses how that relationship may affect the performer’s interpretive decisions. A recommendation for further study is enclosed.


Akira Yuyama; Piano Pedagogy; Confections; Gastronomic Analogy; Interpretation