Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



Richard Danielpour is recognized as one of the most successful and acclaimed composers today. His music is often described as neo-romantic: full of grand gestures, highly accessible, brilliantly orchestrated, and rhythmically powerful and exciting. His music is based on the traditions of European classical music; however, it also combines the American vernacular of the 20th century, including jazz, rock, and pop music. His special interests in metaphysics and non-Western culture, especially Zen Buddhism, are also reflected in his compositions. This study examines Danielpour’s Quintet for Piano and Strings, written in 1988. The work consists of three movements with the descriptive titles: “Annunciation,” “Atonement,” and “Apotheosis.” In general, the work shows many of the composer’s compositional characteristics such as references to traditional tonal language procedure, metaphysical ideas (developmental narratives), and rhythmic energy. The purpose of this study is to illustrate characteristics of Danielpour’s compositional style found in the Piano Quintet, and provide some insights from a theoretical and stylistic perspective. The first chapter provides biographical information about the composer and some background about his Piano Quintet. Three central chapters are devoted to detailed formal analysis of the three movements, focusing on issues such as the formal structure, tonal center, and interaction between diatonic and special collections (e.g. octatonic, whole-tone, and pentatonic scales). A final chapter takes up general issues of relationships between and among the movements, focused on Danielpour’s stylistic characteristics found in the Quintet for Piano and Strings.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Constance Carroll



Included in

Music Commons