Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Instrumental Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Robert M. Carnochan

Second Committee Member

Thomas M. Sleeper

Third Committee Member

Gabriel John Beavers

Fourth Committee Member

Don D. Coffman

Fifth Committee Member

Donald Scott Stinson


Transcriptions are often deemed as less important than their original models. The accessibility to original models (in performance and listening), the perceived prestige, and the rejection of transcriptions in place of original compositions are often reasons that musicians provide when dismissing transcriptions. This paper hopes to provide an account in favor of transcriptions, through (1) the review of aesthetic writings on music (especially those related to transcriptions), (2) a brief commentary of the similarities between writing music (composing, transcribing, arranging) and performance, and (3) a transcription of Steven Stucky’s Symphony (2012). Through the above methods, the paper examines the benefits of transcriptions (and composing and arranging in general), considers the opposing views on transcriptions and provide counterarguments to them. The primary audience is graduate students in performance (instrumentalists, conductors, singers) and music educators at the collegiate level. However, musicians at all levels may find the discourse in this paper useful. A recommendation for further study is enclosed.


Steven Stucky; Symphony; Transcription; Band; Winds