Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Lamont School of Music

First Advisor

Kristin Taavola

Second Advisor

Mitchell Ohriner

Third Advisor

Sean Friar


Orchestration, Spectral, Timbre, Viola


Timbre is an elusive musical parameter that musicians, physicists, and cognitive scientists have been grappling with for centuries. While timbre can roughly be defined as an auditory attribute that distinguishes one tone color from another, this definition does not capture the complexities of sound and our perceptions thereof. Research on timbre has flourished since the 20th century, however, timbre studies has largely gone unnoticed within the viola community. This study, “A View from Within,” helps close the gap between timbre studies and viola repertoire scholarship by presenting analyses of three pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries through a timbre and orchestration lens. Utilizing my own knowledge of viola technique and performance practice as well as sinusoidal analyses, historical orchestration treatises, and music perception methodologies, I offer an original and interdisciplinary approach to music analysis while advocating for future studies of contemporary viola music.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Ash Mach


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


117 pgs

File Size

16.8 MB


Music theory, Musical composition, Music history