Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



My purpose in writing this document is to simply present my experience in learning and performing Zoltán Kodály’s Sonata for Unaccompanied Cello, Op. 8. My intent is not to instruct cellists on the interpretation of this piece. Each musician must decide how to play it in a way that suits his or her own conception of the piece. Rather I intend to go through each movement and discuss the problems I faced and how I endeavored to solved them, why some solutions worked and others did not, how I prepared for a recital performance of the piece, and what I learned in the process. I have also included theoretical analysis at the opening of each chapter. I have always felt that by understanding the structure of a piece of music, and by acknowledging a logical flow to the sequence of musical events, that my relationship with the piece will deepen and my performance will be more meaningful as a result. Exploring this aspect of the piece also provides another outlet for practice away from the instrument for the performer. However, this analysis will also be beneficial to the reader because I have arranged the technical issues in terms of formal structure by grouping problematic phrases based on thematic groups or formal sections. In addition to the technical and theoretical aspects of the piece, I have included some historical information on Kodály’s life leading up to the composition and publication of the piece, as well as a chapter on scordatura which offers some historical background and discusses some of the logistical problems faced by the cellist. While incorporating background information about a piece may or may not truly affect one’s enjoyment in learning the piece, it adds another important dimension to a cellist’s understanding of the piece and any impact it had on the cello repertoire.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Parker, Dennis



Included in

Music Commons