Music, School of


Date of this Version



McCullough, Amanda. Symphony No. 1 for Double Wind Orchestra. MM thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2013. Web.


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 Eric Richards. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2013.

Copyright (c) 2013 Amanda McCullough


This piece represents the splitting of the mind as well as the irrational and often violent thoughts that compete against each other in order to blur the line between the real and the imaginary. The piece culminates in the third movement into a sort of psychotic break and ends in the disquieting limbo between life and death represented by the solo piano.

This symphony also explores the sonic possibilities of creating a stereo effect by splitting the wind ensemble into two separate ensembles. This includes the resolution of dissonances on one side by the opposite side, the continuation of melodic ideas moving freely from side to side, and each side playing within tonality, but combining together to create dissonant bitonality.

The middle ensemble, which includes piano, bass, contrabassoon, and all the percussion but the two timpani, acts as a sort of glue that holds the two separate wind ensembles together and ultimately creates the illusion of one large ensemble that is split into two, like a psyche being fractured. The piano further represents pain and self destruction by the large, brutal cluster chords that are played by hitting the keys with full force with both forearms over and over again throughout the Symphony.

Adviser: Eric Richards

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