Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Dinos Constantinides


What immediately comes to mind when looking at the First String Quartet (1960) of Kryzstof Penderecki is his creative method of notation and captivating visual aspect of the score. The composer introduces effective and unusual sounds which require new performance techniques. In addition to these devices he places the composition in a non-metered notation which gives the work an indeterminate aspect. All of these mechanisms sometimes overshadow the more detailed information of the work. However, when listening to this composition certain organizational aspects present themselves in the foreground. Intimate study of the work will reveal the importance of rhythm, pitch organization and formal considerations. In general, studying this piece will provide insight into Penderecki's compositional development. The second part of the dissertation is an original composition, by the author, titled Symphony II. It is comprised of three separate movements, roughly ten minutes each. This work combines a variety of techniques, ranging from clusters, polychords, instrumental color effects, the whole tone scale, hints of tonality, chromatic passages, tertian applications, a quotation, the use of repetition, and various rhythmic aspects. The first and third movements are in ternary form and the opening ideas of both movements are stated and developed in the cello and double bass. A solo violin is introduced and appears three times during the course of the first movement. This solo violin returns and appears twice in the third movement. The similarities between the first and third movements create a cycle, thus giving the entire piece an arch form. The second movement is based on a theme proposed by Frederick the Great of Prussia, on which Johann Sebastian Bach improvised when he was visiting Potsdam in 1747.