Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


The School of Music

Document Type



Most string students are taught using pieces by Mozart, Vivaldi, Telemann, Brahms, and etudes by Kreutzer, Campagnoli, Fiorillo, all of whom are pre-20th century composers. Unsurprisingly, these students are often confused when they finally encounter 20th century music, which is rife with complex metric, rhythmic, and harmonic passages that are more challenging than music from the earlier centuries. Therefore, teachers should take care to include pieces with 20th century idioms in every young string student’s education, and Béla Bartók’s Forty-Four Duets for two violins is a perfect pedagogical tool for introducing these concepts.

This document will explore various concepts of string chamber music playing, and elaborate on terms found in 20th century music such as asymmetrical time signatures, mixed meters, metric modulation, syncopation, rhythmic augmentation/diminution, and bitonality. A selection of pieces within Bartók’s Forty-Four Duets have been chosen to highlight the pedagogical value of this collection, which will be demonstrated through analyses and curated practice guides. Furthermore, a comparison of two common viola transcriptions will be discussed to make this document applicable for both violinists and violists.



Committee Chair

Sparr, Kimberly



Available for download on Wednesday, August 15, 2029