Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music



Major Professor

Kenneth A. Jacobs

Committee Members

Brendan P. McConville, Duane K. McClelland


Cimmerian River is a four-movement concerto for solo cello and symphony orchestra. The work was composed by Nicholas D. Powell. The initial version (for piano and cello) was written in 2012 and orchestrated in 2013. The movements are titled “Dark Cascades,” “Shaded Current,” “Past Shadow Things,” and “Deluge.” This document will compare and contrast Cimmerian River with other works containing comparable parameters, such as similarity in melodic construction or harmonic language. The concerto will also be set in the context of other cello concertos, ranging from historic (as early as Dvořák and Elgar) to recent (as late as Williams and Jacobs).

Some terminology from music theory will be applied in the following manner:

Scale degrees will be indicated by carets above numbers, such as 1 [scale degree one] or 5 [scale degree five].

Set theory functions are indicated in two ways: chevrons (angled brackets) for normal order, such as <2378>, or parentheses for prime form, such as (0156).

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