Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



October Mountain (1942) is one of the standard early works written for the percussion ensemble. There has, however been little examination of the work theoretically. The primary focus of this document is to study the composer, Alan Hovhaness, the compositional structure of the piece, and to provide a guide for performance as well as a historical and theoretical reference for performers, conductors, and pedagogues in the field of percussion. My research included Hovhaness’s life, his compositional styles, and the influence of cultural identity on his compositions. This required the study of compositional techniques used by Hovhaness, particularly in his percussion writing. Therefore, I thoroughly examined October Mountain his only work written specifically for percussion ensemble. In addition to my own personal study of October Mountain, I also consulted other documents that survey Hovhaness’s use of percussion and rhythm. These included Arnold Rosner’s Analytical Survey of the Music of Alan Hovhaness and Laura McShane’s Mysterious sounds of evocative, poetic beauty: percussion in the music of Alan Hovhaness. In regards to his heritage, I researched the Armenian culture and found several studies on national identity, these included but were not limited to Armenian Folk Arts, Culture, and Identity edited by Levon Abrahamian, as well as Simon Schama’s Landscape and Memory. This document contains a list of recordings of October Mountain, as well as a list of Hovhaness’s chamber works that include percussion instruments.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dietz, Brett



Included in

Music Commons