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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 Paul Haar
Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2008
Copyright © 2008 Christopher J. Barrick

This document has now (8/2009) been published in book form, so the doctoral document is no longer available here. For ordering information, please see:


The purpose of this document is to provide an introduction to the solo saxophone repertoire of American composer Elliot Del Borgo (b. 1938). By examining Del Borgo’s relatively unexplored body of works for saxophone, this research aims to encourage further research and performance of this music.

Since its invention in the 1840s, saxophonists have gone to great lengths to expand the instrument’s repertoire. Most of these efforts have been focused in one of two areas: the transcription and adaptation of existing music and the commissioning of composers to write new works for the saxophone. A subset of this latter method can include the rediscovering, examining and celebrating of overlooked bodies of music for their instrument. It is in this subset where one finds American composer Elliot Del Borgo has contributed such a repertoire with six compositions for solo saxophone, including two sonatas, two unaccompanied pieces, a work for saxophone with strings and a piece for solo saxophone with band.

The following topics are addressed, in order, to introduce the saxophonist to this repertoire and establish its compositional merit: Del Borgo’s biographical background, his compositional influences, his approach to writing for the saxophone, the importance of his collaborations with saxophonist Dale Underwood and analyses of the composer’s music for saxophone. The final chapter will provide conclusions drawn from this research, followed by appendices containing transcripts of telephone interviews with Elliot Del Borgo and saxophonist Dale Underwood.

Under the Supervision of Professor Paul Haar

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