Date of Award

Summer 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Jacqueline McIlwain

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Edward Hafer

Committee Member 3 Department


Committee Member 4

Danilo Mezzadri

Committee Member 4 Department


Committee Member 5

Kimberly Woolly

Committee Member 5 Department



Four of composer Scott McAllister’s works, Devil Sticks, Uncle Sam’s Songbag Vol. I, Freebirds, and Funk feature the clarinet within a variety of ensembles. The purpose of my dissertation is to analyze the music in three ways: the background and outside influences found within each work, what happens in the pieces in terms of clarinet interaction with the ensemble(s), and finally relate it to McAllister’s other works. Through an interview with the composer, insight was gained into the background and history of each work, including who commissioned and first performed each one, any themes running throughout each piece, and outside influences, musical or otherwise, which appear in the pieces. An analysis of each piece in terms of overall form and structure, musical gestures contained within, and interaction between the clarinet and other instruments helps to define the clarinetists’ role in each piece. The information gathered is then combined to relate the compositions to others by the same composer, revealing commonalities and providing insight into stylistic characteristics used by McAllister as a whole. This information is gathered in hopes of an end result of helping performers to dissect the music to find the influences, compositional techniques, and commonalities with other works by the same composer in order to further their understanding of not only the four pieces predominantly featured throughout the document, but extrapolate the findings into McAllister’s compositional tendencies as a whole.

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