Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



Ingolf Dahl’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra was written in 1949 for the famous concert saxophonist, Sigurd Rascher and was then revised to its present state in 1953. The concerto, widely known by saxophonists and wind band conductors alike, is considered among the finest of repertoire for band as well as for saxophone. Although Dahl’s concerto is one of the most frequently performed saxophone concerti, there has been surprisingly little written about it. Available published sources deal directly with the concerto, but do not address harmonic implications, the saxophone solo part, or the published wind band score. This document seeks to address this overlooked aspect of Dahl’s concerto and will provide a guide to assist performance from the point of view of the saxophone soloist as well as the conductor. The result is a new resource that will enable a greater harmonic understanding of the work for future performers. This dissertation begins with a brief discussion of Dahl’s biography and general compositional style and a section discussing the historical information about the concerto. After this brief introduction, an analysis of each movement is used to show ideas that assist a performer in better understanding the structure. Harmonic language and instrumentation are the main focuses of this section, helping the reader to form a more complete sphere of knowledge about the work. Other factors addressed include the harmonic progression of each movement culminating with each movement’s harmonic role in the overall structure. As a result, a performer gains a better micro and macro understanding of the concerto. This section is divided into three chapters, each dealing with a separate movement. Following the harmonic analysis is a section dealing with suggested performance guidelines. Among these guidelines is a discussion of aspects of performance particular to both saxophonist and conductor. The result is a better understanding of particular difficulties of instrumental parts in the ensemble, leading to a more efficient method of preparing for performance.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Griffin M. Campbell



Included in

Music Commons