Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2016

Degree Name

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Iverson, Jennifer

Second Advisor

Tse, Kenneth

First Committee Member

Coelho, Benjamin

Second Committee Member

Hand, Gregory

Third Committee Member

Iverson, Jennifer

Fourth Committee Member

Stanton, Zachary

Fifth Committee Member

Tse, Kenneth

Public Abstract

Jindřich Feld is an important composer in the Czech Republic’s later twentieth century musical history. Throughout his career, Feld was steadfast in his commitment to liberally representing his musical ideas in spite of the shifting artistic policies of the communist party. While under communism, Feld taught in the Prague Conservatory and elected to promote an educational environment that allowed students to express themselves freely. Feld also became involved with Czech radio and took responsibility over the role this industry played in reconnecting the Czech Republic with art music.

Feld’s Sonata for Alto Saxophone quickly became one of the benchmarks in the classical saxophone repertoire. Composed during the 1989 “Velvet Revolution,” its second movement, Bells of Liberty, acknowledges the end of communism in Czechoslovakia. The Sonata reconciles a contemporary language with repeated and recognizable melodic and rhythmic motives that make it approachable to a wide audience.

Underneath the motives lie a range of compositional processes. Together, these processes create an intricate level of cohesion between the small-scale and large-scale elements of the work. This thesis illustrates many of these processes, explains how they collaborate and coexist, and analyzes how they come together to form symmetrical constructs. Moreover, to better understand his compositional style, this thesis puts Feld in conversation with a wider range of composers and techniques. These discoveries are meant to stimulate further research into Feld’s music as well as provide a template for understanding how Feld’s compositional techniques cooperate across a movement or an entire work.


Dodecaphony, Feld, Jose, Saxophone, Symmetry, Zayas Caban


xi, 135 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 133-135).


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Copyright © 2016 José Antonio Zayas Cabán

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