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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Conservatory of Music

First Advisor

Madeline Bunning


This composition for orchestra was performed as a ballet under the title "Big Top" with the Modern Dance Group of College of the Pacific on May 24 and 25, 1951. The orchestra for the performance was made up of two pianos, a banjo, tympani, flute, piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, trumpet, two trombones, and tuba. In this final setting a larger orchestra is involved.

The piece was cast in sonata allegro form because of the principle of contrasting themes and thematic development which characterizes this form.. I wanted to present two very contrasting moods, one of primitive brutal force, the other of tenderness and artlessness; to play the one against the other, constantly developing the ideas until such a conflict should be reached that one would win out over the other. This is accomplished by extensive use of the first, or brutal subject throughout the development section, only occasionally interjecting references to the tender theme. In the recapitulation the tender theme is introduced first almost as if it had finally triumphed but hardly is it stated before the theme of brutality returns intact, and is even heard in a telescoped form as the last phrase of the coda.

The title is written in what might be termed "fractured Latin". Translated loosely it means, "Don't let your whimsy wear you down".



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