Master of Music (MM)



Document Type



The Magic Nesting Doll is the introduction and first scene to a ballet that borrows the story from a children’s book of the same name by Jacqueline K. Ogburn. The Introduction sets the scene for the story by introducing the themes to the three main characters, Katya, introduced by the oboe, the evil Grand Vizier, an octatonic march, and his nephew the Prince introduced by the English horn with a somber yet regal theme. These themes are introduced in that order within the body of the work. Scene I begins the story with Katya working with her Grandmother, who falls ill and seems to recover but after a short time the illness overtakes her again and just before she passes away she gives Katya a nesting doll and tells her not to open it until she has a dire need for something. The motive for the nesting doll is punctuated with a thin orchestral texture and the first appearance of the celesta alluding to its magical qualities. Following this is a dirge representing the funeral and burial of the Grandmother. This section ends with a bell like tolling in the low register marking the end of the funeral and this brings out the nesting doll again reminding Katya of the times she had with her Grandmother. Something isn’t quite right as Katya still feels the pains of losing her grandmother and the melody falls into a reworked version of Katya’s theme in a minor key which winds down to the end with a pulsing of the orchestra with timpani indicative of the sobs of Katya as she laments over her loss.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Constantinides, Dinos



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Music Commons