Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



The purpose of this monograph is to present the first formal analysis of John Mackey and his music. Through substantive firsthand interaction with the composer, this document details Mackey’s unique compositional development through computer-based learning and includes a conductor’s analysis of Redline Tango and Turbine. Mackey’s compositional style includes simplistic forms using melodies and harmonies that do not readily demonstrate the difficulties conductors and performers may find within his well-crafted compositions. Mackey’s work emphasizes the element of rhythm and his orchestration typically utilizes the conventional instrumentation for wind ensemble with prominence placed on percussion. Redline Tango has been awarded two significant band awards and has received international performances. Turbine is unique in comparison to Mackey’s earlier works, relying even less on melodic material and more on rhythmic complexity for its content, establishing it as Mackey’s most rhythmically complicated band work to date. A distinctive characteristic of Turbine is Mackey’s percussion scoring, which includes the use of non-traditional percussion instruments and may cause conductors to consider alternative score preparation and rehearsal techniques. Both Redline Tango and Turbine display balance in form between repetition and contrast, consistency and originality in style, a creative design that exhibits craftsmanship and unique rhythmic vitality. Although technically demanding, conductors and performers should find rehearsals and performances of both pieces to be enjoyable. To be assured, audiences continue to be captivated by Mackey’s distinctive compositional style, unique rhythmic creativity and imaginative percussion scoring.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Frank B. Wickes



Included in

Music Commons