First Advisor

Elwood, Paul

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College of Performing and Visual Arts, Music, Music Student Work


The Ballybriar Heist is a thirty-eight minute five-movement piece for symphony orchestra. It is based on a condensed version of the short story “The Ballybriar Heist.” The music draws influence from a variety of sources. Through analyzing folk music and seeing its influence in concert hall compositions throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, one sees how these folk traditions evolved and were incorporated into concert hall music. Composers collected and transcribed folk music, giving them new ways to approach composition. Examining the music and performance practice of traditional Irish music shows how these traditions and performances influenced composers’ writing as well. Tintinnabuli is another influence on The Ballybriar Heist. It is a compositional technique invented by Arvo Pärt that uses both serial and spiritual influences. How it came into practice can be seen by examining Pärt’s life. Finally, the composition itself is an example of program music. It is based on a story that dictates the structure and layout of the music, showing how a storyline can be translated into instrumental music. By analyzing the composition, The Ballybriar Heist, one sees the influence of folk music, tintinnabuli, and program music. Seeing how a piece of art can be translated and presented through another lens and translated into a different medium shows how the interpretation and presentation of an artistic idea can transform and take on changed forms.


226 pages

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Copyright is held by the author.