Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Brown, James R.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Music


This paper explores examples of two significant categories of the organ repertoire: the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and organ music from the twentieth century. The latter of these categories is represented by music of Arvo Pärt, William Bolcom, and Olivier Messiaen. Each piece is examined from a musical and historical perspective; they are analyzed in terms of their stylistic qualities as well as their rhetorical or functional intents. The three twentieth-century composers are presented with an emphasis on their highly individualistic musical languages. Conclusions are drawn from secondary scholarly commentary resources and thorough research of the primary sources, which are the musical scores. Similar types of pieces across eras are compared and contrasted. This paper represents the research portion of a senior recital capstone project. Each piece discussed in this paper is performed live by the author and recorded to accompany the research. The paper is designed to inform the listener about these pieces and composers and to enrich the listening experience.


The author performed this recital on Sunday, April 24, 2016, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall at Northern Illinois University. The organ (Opus 17) was built by Martin Ott in 1983.

Program Notes - Doran M.pdf (2691 kB)
Program Notes

01 BWV 544-1.m4a (12861 kB)
Audio - BWV 544-1

02 BWV 544-2.m4a (13583 kB)
Audio - BWV 544-2

03 BWV 526-1.m4a (9059 kB)
Audio - BWV 526-1

04 BWV 526-2.m4a (8750 kB)
Audio - BWV 526-2

05 BWV 526-3.m4a (10492 kB)
Audio - BWV 526-3

06 BWV 654.m4a (15783 kB)
Audio - BWV 654

07 Pärt-1.m4a (2754 kB)
Audio - Pärt-1

08 Pärt-2.m4a (3566 kB)
Audio - Pärt-2

09 Pärt-3.m4a (3386 kB)
Audio - Pärt-3

10 Pärt-4.m4a (3377 kB)
Audio - Pärt-4

11 Pärt-5.m4a (3712 kB)
Audio - Pärt-5

12 Pärt-6.m4a (5552 kB)
Audio - Pärt-6

13 Pärt-7.m4a (2238 kB)
Audio - Pärt-7

14 Bolcom.m4a (10864 kB)
Audio - Bolcom

15 Messiaen.m4a (20431 kB)
Audio - Messiaen

01 Senior Organ Recital Video - Doran M.mp4 (1478306 kB)
Video - 1

02 Senior Organ Recital Video - Doran M.mp4 (1437132 kB)
Video - 2


Research Paper, 10 pages; Program Notes, 9 pages; Audio, 62 minutes; Video, 62 minutes




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Alt Title

Senior Organ Recital and Program Notes

Media Type