The Twenty-Four Preludes of John Burge: Scholarly Notes to Accompany a Performance and Recording Project

  • Author / Creator
    Walton, Mathew
  • The full thesis for this degree consists of three components: a recording of John Burge’s Twenty-Four Preludes for solo piano, scholarly notes to accompany this recording, and a final solo piano recital presenting this work. The recording was produced in May, 2016 at the University of Alberta’s Convocation Hall on a Hamburg Steinway Model D-274 concert grand piano, while the recital was presented at the same venue on September 11, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. The scholarly notes represent the first academic evaluation of Canadian composer John Burge’s Twenty-Four Preludes (2015), and seek to position this recent composition within a historical context spanning over three centuries. The notes analyze the preludes both as a set and individually, and explore the technical challenges (including various extended techniques), extra-musical associations, pedagogical applications, and theoretical and compositional features of this music. The scholarly notes also reflect on the challenges of performing the complete set of preludes in a live concert, and discuss the nature of the keyboard idioms found in the work. Finally, by considering large-scale connections within the Twenty-Four Preludes, and by comparing the work to other piano works in the same genre or of a similar scale, this essay evaluates the significance of Burge’s composition, both within the landscape of Canadian piano music, and within the broader piano literature as a whole. Supplemental material containing audio and video files related to this thesis is available at

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Music
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Hannesson, Mark (Music)
    • Smallwood, Scott (Music)
    • James Douglass (Music; External - University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
    • Gramit, David (Music)
    • Ingraham, Mary (Music)