Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Larry B. Campbell

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Perry


Paul Hindemith's Sonata for trombone (1941) is performed frequently on recitals and recordings and has become an important part of the solo trombone repertory. Because of its stature as a cornerstone of twentieth-century solo trombone literature, it is deserving of thorough analysis of its formal plan and harmonic structure. This paper and its accompanying lecture-recital focus on these aspects of the sonata, and on how the performers' understanding of balance, dynamics, climaxes and articulations may contribute to a convincing performance. Its aim is to provide trombonists preparing the work for performance with an analytical foundation that includes specific recommendations for solving performance problems, questions, and challenges. The first section of the paper comprises a detailed discussion of the presentation, return, modification, and derivation of the melodic themes that define the formal structure of the work, which is also graphically presented in the appendix. Extensive comparisons of specific pitch-class sets show how they unify the work, and Schenker-style graphs illustrate the relative importance of principal pitch centers. The second section of the paper relates harmonic action in the sonata to more traditional harmony and shows how this provides a strong foundation for Hindemith's harmonic language. Both traditional and non-traditional methods of providing centricity, motion, and unity in the sonata are illustrated through the use of music examples. The use of pitch-class sets as harmonic material is also discussed. The final section of the paper outlines performance issues that have been raised through analysis, practice, and performance of the work. Specific examples are provided which address performance problems and solutions.