Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Herndon Spillman


Calvin Hampton (1938--1984), American composer and organist, produced an impressive repertoire of organ works in his short life. In the period between 1973--1983, he composed eleven major organ works. In addition to writing for the organ, he composed vocal, chamber and orchestral works for varied instruments. The purpose of this monograph is to provide the first extended study of Hampton's solo organ works, focusing on his compositional style, which embodies the traditions of the German and French schools. Classical forms provide the framework of his organ works while the contrapuntal devices of the Baroque shape the textures. These features, combined with the harmonic language and rhythmic devices of the twentieth century, characterize Hampton's style. This project is limited to a discussion of the seven currently-published solo organ works: Prelude and Variations on " Old Hundredth," Suite No. 1, Suite No. 2, Five Dances, Three Pieces, Voluntary and Postlude on "Engelberg ," and Fanfare for the New Year. Chapter I provides biographical information on Calvin Hampton; Chapter II examines Hampton's compositional techniques, particularly the use of variations, contrapuntal procedures, ostinato, and idiosyncratic harmonic and rhythmic devices; Chapter III focuses on Hampton's, "neo-Romantic" organ work, Three Pieces, which is modeled after the organ music of the early twentieth-century French school, represented by Marcel Dupre, Olivier Messiaen, and Jehan Alain. The conclusion summarizes the results of the study by establishing the significance of Hampton's solo organ works and the distinctive features that embody his style, thereby assisting organists in discovering and interpreting this extraordinary repertory.