Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


School of Music


Diane Phoenix-Neal


A Compositional Trinity for Viola: Three Caprices Evoking Heritage, Faith, and Urban Culture is a combination of academic research and artistic expression brought about through the creation of three original and innovative caprices for solo viola. The purpose of this project was to compose showpieces for the viola that demonstrate virtuosity and technical brilliance whilst embodying elements of artistic self-identity. Caprice No.1, Aisling (a Vision), evokes aspects of Ireland’s cultural music, incorporating practices such as traditional timbres, rhythmic structures, and melodic ornamentation. Inspired by the music of the Roman Catholic Church, Caprice No.2, Vocate ad Mariam (Call to Mary), is a Marian devotion. The music blends contemporary string techniques with early sacred music aesthetics. Caprice No.3, Urbana, is edgy in nature, with a distinct influence from 1980’s minimalism weaved into the fabric of multicultural popular and global genres from the decade of my birth. Each of the three caprices incorporate Western classical and global approaches to string playing whilst maintaining a distinct classical impression. They explore different sound worlds through experimentation with timbre, textures, extended techniques, and electronics. While each caprice has a personal musical derivation, my aspiration is that they will resonate with and appeal to a wide range of musicians from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. They can be performed individually, or as a set, rendering them both adaptable and versatile. A Compositional Trinity for Viola: Three Caprices Evoking Heritage, Faith, and Urban Culture sheds light on viola virtuosity, reflects cultural artistic expression, and expands and enriches the catalogue of repertoire for my beloved instrument.

Available for download on Friday, April 05, 2024