With this project, I have studied cello music written throughout many of the major musical eras in an attempt to discover the cello, specifically regarding playing style, technique, and tonal ability. The composers included in this project are Bach, Haydn, Dvořák, Pärt, and Amanti. Most of the major musical styles are represented, with a focus on baroque, classical, romantic, minimalism, and jazz. I performed this wide variety of pieces at my Senior Recital for the Western Kentucky University (WKU) Music Dept. The goal of the recital was to showcase the rich musical history of the cello and how cello composition technique progressed to where it is now, as well as to demonstrate the technical and musical abilities I’ve gained over the last four years as a cellist here at WKU. At the end of the recital, I included two of my own song arrangements, “Come Together” by The Beatles and “Gold” by Penny & Sparrow. Both songs and music groups have greatly influenced me as a musician, and arranging and performing these songs for cello gave me a new appreciation for the music. I also chose these arrangements because of my eclectic tastes. In “Come Together”, I employed a bluegrass fiddle technique called “chopping”, and in “Gold”, I used an electric cello and a loop pedal to simultaneously play the melody, harmony, accompaniment, and percussive beat. In this thesis, I will give a brief history of each composer and a brief history and analysis of each piece. The sections of my thesis are: History of the Cello, The Classics (Bach, Haydn, Dvořák), Tintinnabuli and Jazz (Pärt, Amanti), and My Arrangements (The Beatles, Penny & Sparrow).
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Ms. Sarah Berry
Composition | History | Music Performance
Propst, Joshua, "Evolution of the Cello in Music" (2017). Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 700.