Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Timothy Hoft

Second Committee Member

Anthony Barone

Third Committee Member

Kenneth Hanlon

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Grim

Fifth Committee Member

Dmitri Shalin

Number of Pages



The Russian Revolution and the ensuing Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) spawned an era of Soviet music education that resulted in generations of gifted musicians. Soviet-era piano composers contributed to the emergence and the development of a unique style of piano training, a Soviet piano school, represented by great pianists and music educators known all over the world. Recent research on Soviet-era piano music focuses on non-programmatic piano compositions. The research conducted in this work appears to be the first to produce a comparative overview of major programmatic piano compositions for children written during the Soviet era.

In Cultural Influences Upon Soviet-Era Programmatic Piano Music For Children, the author offers an examination of Soviet-era music history, traditions, aesthetics, as well as the influences of Soviet cultural and political forces upon the creation and development of extra-musical imagery and narratives in Soviet-era programmatic piano music. This work discusses the role of musical meaning, expressed through extra-musical imagery and narratives, which is conveyed by the means of imagination, fantasy, and creativity in programmatic piano compositions. This research examines the role of culture, and the use of cultural references and the cultural toolkit in children’s music education and piano instruction. It also studies the major Soviet-era composers and programmatic piano compositions, and offers a comparative overview of the main categories of extra-musical imagery and narratives that are prevalent among the character pieces composed over the course of Soviet cultural history.

The Soviet-era composers reflected the Soviet culture and history in their programmatic piano compositions by using extra-musical imagery and narratives that capture children’s imagination and motivate them in their musical education and piano training. This work identifies an important collection of Soviet-era programmatic piano compositions for the use in children’s musical education as well as in future research. The concepts discussed in this paper and the comparative overview of the Soviet-era programmatic piano compositions and their categories represent a valuable source for piano instructors to understand the historical development, significance, and expressive intentions of the network of symbols and narratives that underlies much of the Soviet piano repertoire, to help achieve success with their students.


Music Education; Piano Music for Children; Piano Performance; Programmatic Soviet Piano Music; Russian Piano Composers; Soviet Piano Music


Education | Fine Arts | Theatre and Performance Studies

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit