Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music


Music Performance

First Advisor

William Terwilliger


In Romania, professional Roma (Gypsy) musicians called lăutari developed a colorful and unique musical tradition. This study explores the music of the lăutari and its influence on five works for unaccompanied violin: George Enescu’s recently discovered Airs dans le genre Roumain (1926) and “Le Ménétrier” from his Impressions d’enfance (1940), Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3 “Ballade” (1923), Helen Bowater’s Lautari (2003), and Roxanna Panufnik’s new composition Hora Bessarabia (2016).

Drawing from written sources, audio and video recordings, and transcriptions, this study first investigates the history, influences, and unique characteristics of the lăutari tradition and approach to violin playing. After discussing each composer and the background behind the five unaccompanied works, this study analyzes how lăutari music influenced these compositions and provides performance suggestions. These suggestions are based on applicable stylistic and technical principles drawn from traditional lăutari violin playing and from the researcher’s own experience learning and performing each piece.