Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Michael B Vercelli

Committee Co-Chair

George R Willis

Committee Member

Mary T Ferer

Committee Member

Alison Helm

Committee Member

Paul Scea

Committee Member

David W Taddie


The purpose of this document is to aid a performer's interpretation and preparation of Halim El-Dabh's Sonic No. 7 and No. 10, The Miraculous Tale, and Sweet and Prickly Pear. This project highlights the composer's unique method of notating techniques for the derabucca as well as his innovative compositional style in the aforementioned works. The original notational systems employed in these works represent one of the few written attempts to communicate advanced derabucca performance techniques to a classically-trained percussionist in published repertoire. Both prescriptive and descriptive in nature, these notational systems are the most ornate and visual of El-Dabh's writing for derabucca. Performance techniques, exercises, interpretation, and information based on composer interviews are included. It is the author's hope that this study will serve as a guide to interpreting and performing these works, as well as adapting the playing techniques to other instruments. It is the author's additional hope to bring attention to the creative notation systems used, which may be models for other non-western instruments.