Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Music Theory and Composition (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Dennis Kam

Second Committee Member

Rene Gonzalez

Third Committee Member

D. Scott Stinson

Fourth Committee Member

Charles Mason


Concerto Blue is a three-movement concerto for classical guitar and medium-sized orchestra. Aesthetic considerations of this piece involve taking essential ingredients that define the blues and de-contextualizing them into an artful collage. The work celebrates the blues guitar by utilizing elements and phrasing that span the tradition of the blues from its acoustic foundation in the Mississippi Delta to the formation and expansion of rock music. The concerto is scored for an amplified classical guitar that can compete sonically with the orchestra as they are often pitted against each other for an affect reminiscent of a concerto grosso within the Baroque tradition as well as an old fashion duel often found in the blues tradition. A loop pedal for the guitar is called for in the score to create textures that rival the orchestra in volume and density. The entire work in three movements can be seen as a sonata form while a traditional blues progression is used as a basis for tonal polarity. Near the end of the third movement, the guitar is given a highly technical cadenza. The orchestra then merges with the guitar at the end of the cadenza to create a sentimental conclusion. The live loop effect and extended techniques offer a contribution to the evolution of the guitar concerto genre.


Classical Guitar; Concerto; Blues Guitar; Postmodern