UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Seraph for piano and string orchestra Stark, Bradley


Seraph is a fifteen minute composition for piano and string orchestra. In addition to traditional musical techniques such as variation and passacaglia, the work employs a distinctive approach to phrase structure, form, harmony, and compositional technique. An ascending natural minor scale serves as the main theme while other melodies, textures, harmonies, and motives interact in counterpoint with the theme. In addition, the theme undergoes its own developmental transformations and modifications, and it influences a distinctive harmonic language featuring extended, non-traditional chords and progressions that rarely repeat. Musical phrases and secondary melodies are unusual in length and mostly avoid expectations of cadence, while metric instability occurs through frequent meter changes. In addition to variation technique, the musical structure features episodes that contrast in compositional design through the development of less prominent motives and differences in approach to harmony. The piano part was partly composed through the use of transcribed improvisation, which serves as a basis for the harmonic and motivic structures heard throughout the composition. The piano part also features complex rhythmic divisions and technical demands for the performer while interacting with the orchestra in a variety of textures. As a whole, the work possesses several features which contribute to an original style and aesthetic.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International