A Historical and Pedagogical Guide To Alan Shulman's "Theme and Variations" (1940) For Viola and Piano With an Introduction To "Variations" (1984) For Viola, Harp, And Strings

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Hsiaopei Lee

Advisor Department



Alan Shulman (1915-2002) was an American composer and cellist whose compositional and performance activities made him a distinguished musician during the mid-twentieth century. Many of his works were highly acclaimed by critics and colleagues alike during the 1940s and 1950s Composing a total of six works for the viola, only one work is readily performed today, but still relatively unknown to many. The purpose of this research is to inform and educate interested musicians, especially violists, about Alan Shulman's Theme and Variations (1940), through historical, analytical, and pedagogical studies, in hopes of reaching a new population of musicians so that it can regain its former popularity as a great musical work for the viola. It will also serve as an introduction to one of his later works, Variations (1984), in hopes that violists will become interested in this composition so that it can enter the viola repertoire and be adopted for performance.