Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


School of Music

Document Type




I was introduced Paul Hindemith’s Cello Concerto (1940) in 2015, my first year as a Doctoral Student. Admittedly, this piece was not very attractive to me. However, I tried to embrace this work, and experience it as a new adventure in ear training, technical challenge and style. Several weeks later, after many frustrating hours of practice, I closed this music because so many elements of this composer’s sound were unfamiliar and foreign to me, to which I could not easily relate. Even though I had listened and examined this work for these initial weeks, I felt horribly under-prepared, musically to approach this piece and do it any kind of justice.

Now, I have returned to this piece to try to overcome the difficulties I faced earlier in my studies. I am curious to see, after three years here, mainly working on compositions that are more traditional and limited in harmonic and cellistic scope, where do Hindemith and I stand. The aim of this project is to discuss the challenges, both aurally, and mechanically that this work poses, to me at least. The first chapter will present a brief history of Hindemith, and his general compositional style. In the second chapter, I will present my personal story, my approach to solving some of the works demands and how I attempt to process the strange melodic and harmonic structures found within this piece. Perhaps some of these discussions may assist others if similar difficulties are found.



Committee Chair

Dennis Parker