Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music


Piano Pedagogy

First Advisor

Scott Price


The purpose of this document is to provide a stylistic analysis of Seventeen Waltzes for Piano by Leo Ornstein by examining the music in the analytical areas of form, harmony, melody, rhythm, texture, and keyboard layout–along with suggestions concerning pedal usage. These seventeen individual works were compiled and catalogued by the composer’s son, Severo Ornstein. The collection (S.400-S.416) is found to be a significant contribution to 20th-century piano literature by a lesser-known but nonetheless great Russian-Jewish-American composer and pianist, Leo Ornstein. The Seventeen Waltzes for Piano are a unique realization of the composer’s improvisatory writing style, mastery of large forms, complex harmonic language, melodic continuity, rhythmic patterns, dense textures with wide-ranged “orchestral” scoring, and virtuosic approach to the keyboard (with overall sparse indications for the use of the damper pedal).