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An Analysis and Performance Guide for Anna Thorvaldsdóttir's Aura for Three or Four Percussionists

Matthew E Rush, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This doctoral document and accompanying lecture recital seek to illuminate and bring clarity to aura (2011) for three percussionists and AURA (2015) for four percussionists by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdóttir. This composition is examined through a thorough musical and formal analysis to show that there is a guiding force to be found behind the sustained drones and complex bell themes of the piece. A performance guide to reduce the composition’s logistical and musical challenges is included in the hopes that it will shorten the learning curve for a new ensemble as they learn the piece. It is this author’s aim that this resource will make this composition accessible to a wider range of ensembles and thereby bring more exposure to the music of Anna Thorvaldsdóttir. In addition, biographical information and a survey of the composer’s compositional process and style is included to increase the limited amount of scholarly research that currently exists on Dr. Thorvaldsdóttir and her works.

Subject Area

Musical composition|Music theory|Music

Recommended Citation

Rush, Matthew E, "An Analysis and Performance Guide for Anna Thorvaldsdóttir's Aura for Three or Four Percussionists" (2018). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10846156.