Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music (BMu)

First Advisor

Steven Harper


As important as orchestration is for composers during the compositional process, timbre in music has historically been given a role subsidiary to that of pitch and rhythm. Throughout this paper I look into the possible ways that the timbral element of music might be brought to the foreground. I will discuss concepts introduced by Arnold Schoenberg which had significant impact on timbre theory as well as Schoenberg’s Five Orchestra Pieces, op. 16 no. 3 which makes use of timbral variation to an unprecedented degree. In closing, I will make an argument about the possibility which the timbral element of music has to bolster structural forms (as evidenced by Anton Webern’s Symphonie, op. 21, mvt I).

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