First Advisor

Zukiewicz, Adam

First Committee Member

Kramer, Reiner

Second Committee Member

Bellman, Jonathan

Third Committee Member

Wanasika, Isaac

Document Type


Date Created



The first book of Études pour piano is the only cycle considered by the composer György Ligeti (1923–2006) among his eighteen piano études. The formal classification of the cycle, the six études fail to fit in the term of classical form due to its highly conceptual nature. According to Ligeti’s description on temporal concept in his études, an examination of the temporal issues is in need to decode the complex rhythmic structures from the perceptual perspective. Through the examination of the temporal organization, the Études is a compilation of in non-directed linear processes, and each étude is a self-containment via process. Because the processes are not in a hierarchical or causal relationship, the formal design of the cycle is to be classified as moment form. In my dissertation, I analyze the cycle from the temporal perspective using rhythmic graphs as references, in which accents on each rhythmic layer are marked down on grid charts. Also, I explore rhythmic features that have impact on the perception of temporal conflicts, and provide a categorization of them. Moreover, I present pedagogical approaches toward the rhythmic features to tackle the difficulty in playing the interacted rhythmic layers from the beginning of learning phase. Exercises and interactive classroom activities are designed for students to practice on the rhythmic features, and for teachers to create an interactive learning experience in rhythmic pedagogy.

Abstract Format



221 pages

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Copyright is held by the author.