Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Dean Gronemeier

Number of Pages



Following the impact of the Futurist movement and machine music of the early 20th century, curious attention to percussive sounds as significant musical and compositional avenues achieved not only recognition of usefulness, but also attained a legitimate status among American composers who were intrigued by its intrinsic timbres. By the 1930s, these compositional pioneers began to compose new and exciting pieces with the intention of providing a heightened awareness of rhythm and sound, as opposed to merely accentuating harmony and melody. In particular, The West Coast Group, a group of composers and performers on the Pacific coast, began to write and perform such music. Among the members of this group was Johanna Magdalena Beyer; This document will explore the percussion ensemble music of Johanna Magdalena Beyer in an effort to reveal the historical significance of her percussion compositions, as well as provide a general musical examination through updated editions of each percussion ensemble work. While she lived a reclusive life and little is known about it, only one of her works was published while she was living. It is evident that her compositions for percussion ensemble were among the relatively few pieces written at the time, and more importantly, that remain available for study today; This document will be divided into two main parts. In order to provide the historical setting for Beyer's works, the first part will explore the events that contributed to the advent of the percussion ensemble in the 1930s. This part will also present some of the little known biographical information of her life. The second part will contain information obtained from the musical analysis of her six pieces for percussion ensemble composed from 1933 to 1939.


Beyer, Johanna Magdalena; Beyer, Johanna Magdalena; Ensemble; Forgotten; Johanna; Magdalena; Music; Percussion; Percussion Ensemble; Rediscovering; Voice; Women Composers

Controlled Subject


File Format


File Size

2344.96 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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