Music, School of


First Advisor

Gregory Simon

Date of this Version



A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Music, Major: Music, Under the Supervision of Professor Gregory Simon. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2020

Copyright 2020 Bryan Grosbach

Parts for this thesis are available at:


In Time Gone By is a song cycle for Baritone vocalist and Pierrot Ensemble + percussion that explores the value of life being a byproduct of its finitude. Only during the most vulnerable and difficult events of that life can self-realization occur. These topics are wrapped into a “love-story” narrative crafted from select poems from Chamber Music by James Joyce and select quotes from the prose Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne. Using intervallic focus as a tool for development, the piece transitions from sparse quintal harmony to lush tertian harmony as a musical metaphor for the self-realization of the main character through the events of this narrative. Motivic fragments tie the six movements together into a single story and represent external and internal influences on the main character and his relationship with his love interest.

Advisor: Gregory Simon