Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Gayle Blankenburg

Reader 2

David Cubek

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© 2016 Chessa Catherine Wathen


In the scholarship surrounding piano repertoire, Henry Cowell is seen as a kind of “one-hit-experimental-wonder,” being know mostly for his astonishingly progressive piece The Banshee. However, Cowell was an enigmatic composer, a diverse scholar, an influential proponent new music, as well as a music theorist and comparative musicologist. Therefore in order to gain a more complete understanding of Cowell and his deeply influential piano works, this project seeks to explore the philosophical, cultural, and non- Western musical influences that inspired Cowell’s novel experimentation at the piano.