Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Scott Price


Nocturnes have remained in the standard piano literature for over two hundred years. However, students may not study this genre of repertoire until the advanced level of playing, and might therefore lack the full skills or knowledge necessary for successful nocturne performance. The purpose of this study is to provide a current, comprehensive, didactic resource on Romantic-style pedagogical piano nocturne literature from early elementary to early advanced levels, to aid teachers in the education of their students.

This study comprises four chapters, a bibliography, and two appendices. Chapter 1 consists of an introduction, purpose of the study, need for the study, limitations of the study, a literature review, and design and procedures. Chapter 2 consists of a history of the solo piano nocturne’s development. Chapter 3 comprises four parts: an overview of the grading system used to level repertoire, definitions of the Romantic-style nocturne and related components, an introduction to nocturne-like method book literature, and an analysis of thirty pedagogical piano nocturnes with progressive leveling and annotations. These annotations consist of publisher information; level of difficulty; annotations on style and form; technical and artistic challenges of the meter, rhythm, harmony, and melody; and other pedagogical benefits and suggestions. Chapter 4 consists of a summary, recommendations for further study, and conclusion. Appendix A lists by level the nocturnes and nocturne-like works discussed or listed in Chapter 3. Appendix B consists of full bibliographic information for both the repertoire discussed as well as additional pedagogical and standard piano nocturne repertoire.