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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Summer 1990

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Rutschman, Carla J.

Second Advisor

Wallace, David (Conductor)

Third Advisor

Pullan, Bruce


The problem presented in this thesis is how band literature should be chosen for use in the high school band classroom. The purpose of the thesis is to investigate the justification and criteria for selecting appropriate literature to teach musical style in the high school band class. Two questions central to the purpose of this thesis are: 1) Why should style be used as a factor in determining literature selection and, 2) What elements of style are important when selecting literature based on this justification?

In music education, two distinct philosophies concerning performance classes have emerged: aesthetics and performance. The aesthetic philosophy espouses the need to develop each student's natural responsiveness to the power of the art of music. Performance philosophy is based solely upon the merit of musical performance as an end in and of itself. These two philosophies, while contrasting in their approach, share a common ground; the performance literature used in the classroom. It is the author's contention that elements of musical style found in the literature can be addressed through either, or both, of these philosophies.

The thesis offers a brief summary of the history of music education in the U.S. during the Twentieth century, and examines in detail the beliefs of aesthetic and performance philosophies. The conclusion reached from this examination is that teaching musical style can be incorporated in each of these philosophies without undermining the major goals of either.

The thesis describes the style characteristics of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Twentieth­ century periods that can be found in wind literature. Included in this examination are examples from specific band compositions, whether transcriptions or original wind literature, from each of these periods. Following each historical period is a list of specific characteristics that should be found in literature that is selected from that period. There are appendices listing sources for further study in all of the style periods as well as selected literature from all of the periods.

The conclusion of this study is that imparting knowledge of the style characteristics inherent in music literature is important to teaching in the high school performance class regardless of the educational philosophy to which one subscribes.




Band literature, Music education, Musical style, High school band class


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Music appreciation; Music appreciation--Bibliography; Style, Musical; Bands (Music)--Instruction and study; Music and youth; School music--Instruction and study




masters theses




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