Music, School of


First Advisor

Stanley V. Kleppinger

Date of this Version

Fall 12-2-2022

Document Type



Bohrer, Isabel. "Perceptual and Conceptual Structures in Thea Musgrave's Green." MM Thesis University of Nebraska, 2022.


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 Stanley V. Kleppinger. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Isabel A. Bohrer


Green, by Thea Musgrave, traces the interaction between two contrasting musical ideas. The opening of the piece presents the first idea: a lyrical section that highlights the importance of the pitch class E within the idea. This is interrupted by the second, discordant, idea which initially presents as a low F tremolo. Throughout the first half of the work, these ideas interact. The second half of the work further explores the melodies developed from the more discordant ideas, completely omitting the lyrical theme.

Within this piece there is a framework based upon the use of octatonic collections and modified octatonic collections. The use of the octatonic scale OCT02 with the addition of the pitch-class E and the octatonic scale OCT01 with the addition of the pitch-class F become important collections throughout the piece. These collections inform the structural framework, and the use of these collections interact with the section boundaries within the first half of the piece, creating collection-based elisions between sections. These collections also inform the way that Musgrave uses stratification within the piece. While there are instances of textural stratification, Musgrave also creates collection-based stratification with the use of multiple collections simultaneously. This collection-based stratification is a more conceptual application of the technique.

The use of octatonic and octatonic-adjacent collections gives further insights into the underlying structure of the piece. The perceived interplay between the two contrasting ideas is reflected within a full analysis of the form and the use of stratification in the work.

Advisor: Stanley V. Kleppinger

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