Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Stephen Caplan

Second Committee Member

Anthony Barone

Third Committee Member

Janis McKay

Fourth Committee Member

Marina Sturm

Fifth Committee Member

David James

Number of Pages



Sir William Herschel (1738-1822) is best known for his contributions to the field of astronomy. However, prior to his career in astronomy, Herschel was a professional musician. While living in Bath, England, Herschel developed an interest in astronomy. In 1781, he discovered the planet Uranus using a telescope of his own design. This was the first planetary discovery since the Classical Era. King George III was so impressed with Herschel's discovery that he offered Herschel an annual stipend with the condition that he quit his music career and move to Windsor so the royal family could have access to his telescopes.

Herschel earned his living as a conductor, music teacher, and occasional soloist. Herschel's primary instruments were the oboe and the violin, but he aspired to be known as a composer. Although many of his works have been previously available, his oboe concertos remained in the private Herschel family archives until relatively recently. Manuscripts in Herschel's hand of three, three-movement oboe concertos, a single movement for a fourth oboe concerto, and other Herschel manuscripts owned by the Herschel family were purchased at auction by the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library at the University of California, Berkeley in 1958. With the exception of Herschel's own performances, these concertos remained unperformed until 1996, when they were recorded by Richard Woodhams as part of a project funded by the American Philosophical Society. This project produced a published collection of the three oboe concerto scores along with the Woodhams recording. Unfortunately, efforts to find the orchestra and oboe parts used for the recording have been futile.

This project resulted in a new performance edition of Herschel's Oboe Concerto No. 2 in C (c. 1761). This edition of the work was created by studying the manuscript score and parts located at the University of California, Berkeley, and the published score resulting from the American Philosophical Society project. There are numerous discrepancies between the manuscript score and parts as well as several errors in the published score. There are also many unclear articulation and dynamic markings in the manuscript. The editorial decisions for this edition are based on my study of Herschel and 18th century performance practice. I have also created a piano reduction to provide amateur and student musicians a more accessible performance option. Along with this edition, I have provided a stylistic and formal analysis of the work, which will give performers insight into historically accurate realization of the ornamentation and other performance practice issues.


British; Concerto; Concertos (Oboe); Eighteenth century; Herschel; William; Sir; 1738-1822; Oboe; Performance practice (Music)


Music | Music Performance

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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