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Tyler Goodrich White's Symphony No.3: An Analytical Guide for Conductors

Kao Zhou, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study is to provide an analysis of Symphony No.3 by Tyler Goodrich White, a noted American composer. Throughout the 20th century, musical composition has been driven by innovations in compositional technique, musical styles and languages, and even philosophical thinking. When these tremendous changes occurred, they also left numerous distinctive marks on the times. As a musical genre, the symphony has developed for nearly 300 years. How to integrate modern musical language with the traditional symphonic genre and give this genre new vitality has become the pursuit of many composers in the 21st century. Tyler Goodrich White uses his recent orchestral work, Symphony No. 3, to narrate his unique understanding of the symphony’s status in the early 21st century and its possible developmental direction in the future. In this document, Chapter I provides a background of White’s early family life and major musical educational experience, including an introduction to his major orchestral and chamber works. Chapter II, including studies of thematic materials and harmonic structure, is a formal analysis of the symphony movement by movement. In Chapter III, the four aspects of formal design, harmonic innovation, rhythmic usage, and orchestration traits are examined to find out how White inherits and innovates upon the music of his predecessors. Based on the horizontal and vertical analysis in the previous chapters, Chapter IV provides a practical guide for conducting this work. Chapter V summarizes the main characteristics of the Symphony No.3 and discusses White’s musical style and philosophy as a post-modernist composer.

Subject Area

Music|Musical composition|Music theory

Recommended Citation

Zhou, Kao, "Tyler Goodrich White's Symphony No.3: An Analytical Guide for Conductors" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI28085868.