Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Peter Amstutz.


The waltz is a dance in three-four time for couples. The origin of the waltz is obscure, but it may come from the influence of the Landler. In the nineteenth century, the waltz was the most popular ballroom dance in Europe, but as dance music the waltz developed into a stylized and refined form in the hands of the major composers.;The purpose of this study is: (1) To examine the development of the waltz as composed for solo piano, in order to understand the characteristic styles of one composer as compared to another and, (2) To survey the various formal structures as they evolved over time during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This research will examine not only the development of the waltz, but will also focus on major composers' styles of writing for solo piano.;The origins of the waltz. (A) The appearance of the waltz in the late eighteenth century; (B) Early examples of piano waltzes and their composers; (C) The contribution of Johann Strauss Jr. and Joseph Lanner in Vienna.;The nineteenth century. (A) Schubert; (B) Waltzes by four major composers, (Weber, Chopin, Brahms and Liszt), with brief mention of Schumann, Grieg and other nationalistic composers of the nineteenth century; (C) Analysis of Styles: What are the styles and formal structures of these major composer's works? (D) Comparison and Contrast: What can be learned by comparing and contrasting compositional styles in these nineteenth-century works?;The twentieth century. (A) Waltzes by Ravel, Bartok, Morton Gould, and other composers, with brief discussion of those by Schonberg and Prokofiev; (B) Analysis of Styles: What styles and formal structures do these composers employ? (C) Comparison and Contrast: What can be learned through a comparison and contrast of the waltzes by these composers?;Summary. (A) What are the major influences on the composers of the nineteenth century and those of the twentieth century? (B) Contributions of the major composers, as well as comparison and contrast between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries.