Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



The compositions of Romanian composer Carmen Petra-Basacopol (b. 1926) encompass a variety of musical genres such as solo instrumental music, chamber ensembles, and symphonic concert works, as well as opera, vocal, and vocal-symphonic works. Although not a harpist herself, Carmen Petra-Basacopol demonstrates great knowledge and mastery of idiomatic harp technique, including in her works an assortment of original timbre combinations such as knocking on the wood of the harp, pedal slides (is the sound effect produced when the pedal is moved while the string still vibrates), and près de la table (is the French expression for playing as close as possible to the sound board) – effects used rarely, if ever, by other Romanian composers. Her harp compositions can be approached by harpists with different levels of ability, representing a valuable tool in the development of their technique. The purpose of this research is to inform others about Carmen Petra-Basacopol and her works featuring the harp. I did not find any scholarly materials in my research about the composer’s harp repertoire, and even in the few internet sources dedicated to the composer that I found, Petra-Basacopol’s harp compositions are only listed. This document is divided in three sections. The first section will present a broad historical background of Romanian music. It will also introduce several relevant Romanian composers from the 19th and 20th centuries, their biographical information, and their relatively limited contributions to the harp literature. The second section is dedicated entirely to Carmen Petra-Basacopol, providing information regarding her life and harp compositions. This section will present a list of her entire harp works, including chamber music with harp. The third, and last section, will focus on three particular works for harp, describing them from a harpist’s point of view and ranking them according to level of difficulty. With the material presented in this paper, I hope to create more awareness of Carmen Petra-Basacopol’s presence as an outstanding composer, and to invite other musicians and harpists to explore her music.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Parker, Dennis



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Music Commons