An Introduction to Selected Character Pieces for Piano by Robert Muczynski
AuthorOh, Joo Young
KeywordsRobert Muczynski character pieces
Robert Muczynski solo piano
Six Preludes, op. 6
Suite for Piano, op. 13
Toccata, op. 15
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRobert Muczynski (1929-2010), composer, pianist, and educator, is a noteworthy American musician from our time. His prowess as a pianist undoubtedly accounts for the striking number of pieces he wrote for the piano, namely, one concerto, preludes, sonatas, suites, a toccata, and variations. Out of a total of forty-eight pieces with opus numbers, seventeen are for solo piano. This document contains an overview of Muczynski's life as a composer and musician, with an emphasis on his solo piano compositions. The body of the document traces sources of Muczynski's compositional style, especially the influence of Alexander Tcherepnin, his composition teacher and mentor, and Sergei Prokofiev. An analysis of some of Muczynski's shorter piano solo pieces follows: Six Preludes, op. 6, Suite for Piano, op. 13, and Toccata, op. 15. This analysis demonstrates that Muczynski's short piano pieces often exhibit a persistent focus on one generative musical idea within each piece, usually consisting of unifying etude-like material. For variety and color, he relies on frequent changes of metric pulse, sudden accents, highly chromatic harmony and melody, and an extreme range of sound. These stylistic traits are consistent with those previously identified by other scholars in his larger piano compositions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College