Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The first portion of this dissertation is an original composition A Symphonic Poem on Dante’s Inferno. This symphonic poem is in three movements: I. The Dream, depicts Dante falling asleep and describes the beginning of the Inferno, II. The Journey, depicts Virgil and Dante walking towards the Gates of Hell, III. Hell’s Depths; explores Hell’s Gates, the Souls of Limbo and the Nine Circles of Hell. Dante realizes at the age of thirty-five that he has wandered into the Dark Wood of Error. As soon as he realizes his loss, Dante lifts his eyes and sees the first light, lighting the edges of a little hill (The Mount of Joy). This is a glimpse into Dante’s opening dream. In this composition the text does not begin until movement III, which is the point on this journey where Dante and Virgil reach the Gates of Hell. In addition to an orchestra there is also a chorus of forty singers. The chorus only appears in the final movement. This symphonic poem is not meant to be a direct depiction of Dante’s vision. Instead a combination of Dante’s ideas and my own are combined to create this three-movement symphonic poem. The second portion of this dissertation is a study on Karlheinz Stockhausen and his effect on the trumpet repertory. By exploring the trumpet music that Stockhausen had written for his son Markus, an added dramatic element to the compositional trumpet language is discovered. Through Stockhausen’s use of visual and audible combinations the trumpet’s compositional language was expanded. Markus and his father spent many hours experimenting with the trumpet’s capabilities. As a result many trumpet techniques were extended. These sounds often are put in motion by Stockhausen’s added dramatic effects. Through Stockhausen’s Licht Cycle and its character Michael, who was played by Markus, a new dramatic use of the trumpet becomes clear. Three major threads will be traced in order to clearly see the influence that Markus, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and their relationship had on the character of the trumpet. As Stockhausen’s Licht Cycle was spiritually inspired so is Dante’s Inferno.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Constantinides, C D



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Music Commons