Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music

Degree Level





Cholthitchanta, Nophachai

Committee Member/Reader

Cholthitchanta, Nophachai

Committee Member/Second Reader

Gosman, Alan

Committee Member/Third Reader

Ward, Peggy

Committee Member/Fourth Reader

Baranello, Micaela


In a mere two days, Robert Schumann composed a duet that would become a lasting symbol of romanticism in chamber music. “Fantasy Pieces for Clarinet and Piano”, Op. 73 is now a standard in clarinet repertoire. As such, the piece is frequently performed and analyzed. Schumann and his “Fantasy Pieces” are well known and broadly discussed, which leads one to wonder: how does one contribute to and interpret such a standard? To answer this question, it is proposed that research is utilized to examine the history surrounding the composer and the work alongside theoretical analysis to find and interpret key features of the work. The product of this would be a thesis examining these factors and how they relate to performance related decisions along with a complete performance of the work.

True understanding relies upon examination of factors beyond the literature itself. These factors include the time during which the piece was composed, where it was composed, the historical events of this time and place, the musical standards of the time, the composer’s life, and the composer’s repertoire. Knowledge of these factors allow insight to how they may have impacted the composition of the work, whether or not the composer was aware of this impact himself. With an understanding of the historical context, the theoretical analysis will then be performed. The construction of the piece will be analyzed and interpreted. This includes musical features such as the overall structure and form, the harmonic structure, the use of rhythm, the melodic contour, the intervallic structure, the use of tendency tones, and the appearance of ornamental techniques.

The information compiled from the research and analysis discussed above can provide a complex understanding of “Fantasy Pieces for Clarinet and Piano”. Understanding these concepts is vital for musicians of all walks of life. Historians communicate with the composer through evaluation of history. Theorists communicate with the composer through examination using technical and mathematical methods. Performers use an understanding of techniques and effects to communicate with everyone. They communicate with the composer through evaluation and study of the piece, with their peers through rehearsals, and finally with the audience, providing a complex mixture of the composer’s musicality and their own. These relationships are the very core of musical study. Thus, study of Robert Schumann’s “Fantasy Pieces for Clarinet and Piano” adds another line of communication within the musical community.


Robert Schumann, Fantasy Pieces, Romantic, Theoretical Analysis, Performance Decisions