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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Defining characteristics of the brass music of Anthony Plog and their application in performance Cannon, Alexander Robert


This dissertation examines the defining characteristics in Anthony Plog’s brass music. Plog’s treatment of motive, delivery of musical expectation, and timbre creates music that is idiomatic for brass performers. While the information herein is intended to be informative for all brass musicians, Plog’s writing for the trumpet is particularly examined to illuminate the technical and artistic demands on trumpet players. Lauding the composer’s techniques, the dissertation may also be useful for composers interested in effective writing for brass musicians, especially in a chamber music setting. Myriad examples from Mr. Plog’s brass chamber repertoire demonstrate why his techniques yield outstanding compositions for brass. The cited works are Concerto No. 1 for Trumpet and Brass Ensemble (1988) for soloist and 16-member ensemble, Four Sketches (1990) for brass quintet, Postcards (1994) for solo trumpet, and Trio for Brass (1996) for flugelhorn, horn, and trombone. Commentary by Mr. Plog and noted trumpet performers of his works Nick Norton, Gabriele Cassone, Allan Dean, and David Hickman contribute to the understanding of the composer’s defining characteristics. With a refreshing approach to new music for brass, composer Tony Plog’s brass compositions are frequently programmed and have become staple works in the brass repertoire. Emphasizing the effectiveness of his approach to brass composition, it is the hope that this dissertation proves useful in preparing both extant and future brass works by Anthony Plog.

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