Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music



Major Professor

Kenneth A. Jacobs

Committee Members

Kenneth Jacobs, Angela Batey, Brendan McConville


The technique of symphonic composition requires a deliberate and methodical process by the composer; when the symphony is intended to aesthetically convey a specific subject matter, the compositional process must become even more deliberate. First a subject must be chosen and examined in a contemporary standpoint. Then the composer must determine how to reflect this subject through his or her composing. Ideally, the end result of this composition should encompass the subject matter as thoroughly as possible.

While the great majority of textbooks on music theory and composition centralize themselves on elements of pitch in music, the composer has many other elements to consider, notably rhythm, texture, timbre, and form. These elements – be they working independently of one another, supporting one another, or at odds with one another – can be influenced by a wide variety of both traditional and developmental artistic movements. Oftentimes, a composer may find it ideal to synthesize both older techniques of one element with newer techniques in another.

This synthesis was the objective in composing a modern program symphony based on the four seasons. Emulating different styles and affects of the twentieth century, this work aimed to synthesize both older and newer techniques. This thesis explains in detail the compositional process used for this program symphony.

Seasons for a Cynic.pdf (3077 kB)
Score - Seasons For a Cynic (PDF)

Seasons for a Cynic - I_ Summer.mp3 (13792 kB)
Audio - I: Summer (MIDI mp3)

Seasons for a Cynic - II_ Autumn.mp3 (10499 kB)
Audio - II: Autumn (MIDI mp3)

Seasons for a Cynic - III_ Winter.mp3 (8526 kB)
Audio - III: Winter (MIDI mp3)

Seasons for a Cynic - IV_ Spring.mp3 (4881 kB)
Audio - IV: Spring (MIDI mp3)

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