Date of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Committee Chair

Ellen Elder

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Elizabeth Moak

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Michael Bunchman

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Christopher Goertzen

Committee Member 4 School


Committee Member 5

Douglas Rust

Committee Member 5 School



Robert Muczynski (1929-2010) was a composer, pianist, and educator whose work is starting to garner more attention and interest from scholars, performers, and audiences.

Muczynski’s musical output covers a variety of genres from works for solo instruments to orchestral works and film scores. He was especially devoted to writing for piano. This is well represented in his musical output. Among his forty-eight compositions with opus numbers, seventeen works are for solo piano. He also wrote a piano concerto (No.1, Op.7), and twelve chamber works featuring the piano. Although his music has increased in popularity, it is less discussed when compared to other American composers of the twentieth century.

This study explores Muczynski’s later piano compositions, with a focus specifically on his last three piano compositions: Maverick Pieces, Op. 37, Masks, Op. 40, and Dream Cycle, Op. 44. This document does not explore Desperate Measures, Op. 48, which is already discussed in several other academic documents. Because of limited scholarship available, this document contributes to the existent literature pertaining to Muczynski’s later piano works in general and provides a stylistic analysis and discussion of each of these three works, as well as pianistic suggestions for the performer.