Award Date


Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Richard Miller

Second Committee Member

Janis McKay

Third Committee Member

Diego Vega

Fourth Committee Member

Taras Krysa

Fifth Committee Member

Bill Bernatis

Sixth Committee Member

Clarence Gilyard

Number of Pages



After a brief historical overview of Volga Tatar history and Soviet political and historical contexts, this document begins with a detailed description of Volga-Tatar folk musical characteristics, including probable influences as described, analyzed, and transcribed by twentieth and twenty-first century Volga Tatar scholars. In this description, the author attempts to give the preferential voice to Tatar perspectives, such as the early ethnographers and Tatar ethnomusicologists from Kazan State Conservatory, the officials from the Union of Composers of the Republic of Tatarstan, and of course, the composers themselves. The author’s detailed discussion of folk music elements and genres is then followed by an elucidation of extramusical influences on the early generations of composers in Kazan, including Soviet era cultural policies, programs, and institutions. Next, is found an overview of the events leading up to the development of professional music in Kazan, followed by brief biographical sketches of a majority of Kazan’s composers who wrote symphonic music—covering their lives, musical accomplishments, stylistic characteristics, major symphonic works, and spheres of influence. Some of the Volga Tatar composers from the earliest generation—those who the author considers to be the forefathers of the Kazan school of composition, include: Sultan Gabyashi, Zagidulla Yarullin, and Salikh Saidashev. Then follows the first generation of professionally-trained Tatar orchestral composers, including: Mansur Muzafarov, Zagid Khabibullin, Nazib Zhiganov, Färid Yarullin, and Rustem Yakin. Next, the author briefly illustrates the lives, compositional styles, and musical contributions of second, third, and most recent generations of Volga Tatar composers, showing evidence of intergenerational influence between the first generations and those who followed. In the final chapter, Ms. Brown shares musical examples drawn from these composers' orchestral scores that illustrate their musical explorations and influences. This musical analysis endeavors to show Tatar folk music influences, as well as evidence of outside influences, including the Soviet Russian school, neighboring ethnic cultures, and Western influences. It also examines their attempts to fuse the attributes and genres of their folk music with the complexities of larger, developmental, symphonic forms and other compositional practices and techniques of Western, Western European, and Soviet Russian Schools. Through this narrative and subsequent analysis, the author's stated objective is to identify the unique characteristics of the Kazan School of composition through examining its orchestral composers and their compositional styles, striving to shed light on the works and lives of the orchestral composers of Kazan, who, until this day, remain largely unknown in the West, in both professional and collegiate orchestral programs.


Farid Yarullin; Nazib Zhiganov; ozyn koi; Salikh Saidashev; Tatar Opera Studio; Union of Composers of Tatarstan


Asian History | European History | Music | Other Music

File Format


File Size

10600 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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Available for download on Thursday, May 15, 2025