Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music


Music Composition

First Advisor

John Fitz Rogers


György Ligeti's final composition, Hamburg Concerto (1999, rev. 2002), features his compositional technique of expansion and contraction. The concerto is scored for two flutes, oboe, two bassett horns (both doubling on clarinet), bassoon, solo double horn, four natural horns, trumpet, trombone, two percussionists, and single strings. The natural overtones of the horns offer unique harmonic possibilities that relate to Ligeti's use of expansion/contraction. While several analysts have examined expansion/contraction in other works by Ligeti, no one has yet looked at this technique in Hamburg Concerto, particularly as applied to Ligeti's use of natural overtones. This paper examines the two outer movements of the concerto and presents evidence for Ligeti's use of expansion/contraction in the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic levels of musical structure.

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