Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



The purpose of this paper is to bring attention to Nadine Dana Suesse, a gifted composer who gained particular acclaim during the 1930’s and 40’s. Suesse was among the composers of Tin Pan Alley who captured the tone and atmosphere of this important period in American music through their popular songs and instrumental works. In this predominantly male setting, a handful of female composers also made significant contributions. These women are often left in the shadows and are not known as well, even though many of their works are noteworthy and their dedication to the arts inspirational. Among them was Nadine Dana Suesse, who composed popular songs, orchestral works, and short pieces for solo piano. Although she made quite a name for herself during this period, today her compositions are often overlooked. Suesse was described as being an unusual composer for her time. She gained notoriety with her contributions to the popular genre and at a young age performed her more serious compositions on stage with Paul Whiteman. It did not take long before she was known as the “Girl Gershwin” for her exceptional pianistic abilities and success in composing. Her contributions to this era are worthy of recognition and renewed attention. This paper will discuss her life and several of her early compositions for solo piano.



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Committee Chair

Delony, Willis



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Music Commons