Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Music, MA

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Robert Zappulla

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Carey Robertson

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Nancy van Deusen

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Rights Information

2021 Tyler Andre Zimmerman


The organ solo works from Liège before 1750 are neglected today, but such works are fascinating from a historical performances perspective, especially given their fusion of Dutch, French, and Italian styles. This thesis uncovers historical evidence that supports performance practice decisions in these works. Four collections of Liégeois organ solo pieces are analyzed, including the Liber Fratrum Cruciferorum Leodiensium by Gerardus Scronx (1617), the Pièces d’orgue by Lambert Chaumont (1695), the Livre d’orgue by Thomas Babou (1710), and the Pièces de clavesin (harpsichord and organ pieces) by Hubert Renotte (1749).

Novel applications of historical evidences include understanding how to register the solo voices in Scronx’s échos, the exact details of executing the port de voix ornamentation in Chaumont, how to register the allemandes and chaconnes in Chaumont, the registration of the chorale passages in Babou, how to adapt harpsichord pieces to be played on the organ in Renotte, and the balance of voices in the organ pieces by Renotte. Many other performance practice topics are discussed, including articulation, phrasing, tempo, dynamics, pitch, temperament, fingering, pedaling, ornamentation, embellishment, rhythmic freedom, agogics, notes inégales, and venue acoustics. Finally, an appendix presents a lecture recital on the topic of historical performance practices in organ works by the composers Buxtehude, Clérambault, J. S. Bach, and Reger.

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