“Depiction Through Evocation, Representation, and Introspection: An Examination of David Maslanka’s Unaccompanied Marimba Music”
Corey R. Robinson
DMA, University of North Texas, August 2018
The primary purpose of this study is to provide connections between a formal motivic analysis and the programmatic content of David Maslanka’s three works for unaccompanied marimba: Variations on Lost Love (1977), My Lady White (1980), and A Solemn Music (2013). A comparison of the compositional process of each of these works is proposed through terms of Maslanka’s use of depiction. Depiction is the action or result of representing through drawing, painting, or other art form, in this case, music. In each work for unaccompanied marimba, Maslanka uses this process of depiction in a unique way. The depictive mediums are categorized as evocative, representative, and introspective and these distinct approaches to depiction lead to three drastically different musical works. The different methods of depicting source materials are the distinguishing characteristics that separate these three works for solo marimba.
This document includes a motivic analysis and comparisons of compositional devices used in these three works. A brief overview of Maslanka’s life and works as well as a listing of all of his works that feature percussion instruments are also included.