Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



Committee Chair

Douglas Rust

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Danny Beard

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Christopher Goertzen

Committee Member 4 School



This paper presents and demonstrates a linear approach to works from John Adams’ most recent compositional period (1991–). Existing research into this period primarily focuses on specific surface-level events, with little examination of deeper large-scale structures within the works. Chapter 1 reviews the existing research, as well as relevant research into minimalist music and post-tonal analysis, and some existing approaches are then incorporated into the methodology presented in Chapter 2. The methodology is presented in three stages: identifying formal structure, identifying linear structures through salient pitches, and determining harmonic support for those salient pitches. The methodology is demonstrated in greater detail in Chapter 3 through an analysis of Adams’ 1996 chamber work, Hallelujah Junction. The linear analysis ofHallelujah Junction reveals an overarching harmonic progression within the work, and provides insight into the manner in which Adams establishes and resolves harmonic expectations, even through his characteristic gradual processes.

Included in

Music Theory Commons