Music, School of


Date of this Version

Spring 4-11-2013


A DOCTORAL DOCUMENT Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, Major: Music, Under the Supervision of Professor Tyler White. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Matthew James Holman


This piece is a violin concerto modeled after, but not explicitly quoting melodic material of, several pieces of music by composers Bear McCreary, and Martin O’Donnell. The first and third movements of my piece were each modeled after two of Bear McCreary’s pieces from the soundtrack to Battlestar Galactica Season 2 – Allegro, and Prelude to War, respectively. The second movement of my piece was modeled after Martin O’Donnell’s piece Ashes, from the soundtrack to Halo: Reach.

Although I model my piece on the formal structures and, occasionally, the chord progressions of McCreary’s and O’Donnell’s pieces, my piece is significantly different from theirs. This difference in overall sound is accomplished through my use of orchestration, original melodic lines, fuller harmonies, use of rhythm, and changes to the original piece’s key structure and metrical plan.

My concerto has a total duration of approximately 18 minutes, and was written for violin soloist and full orchestral accompaniment. Each of my piece’s three movements was written to be able to stand independently of the other two. This allows an orchestra to play only a single movement without sacrificing any of the broader understanding of the works’ construction, as would occur if all the movements were closely thematically linked to one another.

The overall character of the piece was written in a post-minimalist style, with distinct melodies supported by often repetitious rhythmic patterns. The harmonies used in the piece are primarily based on triadic and pandiatonic structures. However, extended chords were also employed. By composing a piece in this style, my goal was to create a work that will appeal to younger audiences, and which would therefore aid in attracting newer audiences to the concert hall.

Adviser: Tyler White

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