Approachable Contemporary Piano Repertoire! A Study of Selected Piano Works by Two Living Composers: David Duke and Stefan Young

July 25, 2017


This lecture recital is to introduce piano compositions by two living composers: David Duke and Stefan Young. The repertoire chosen includes: Preludes (1980s), Postcards (1980s), and Sonatina (1977) by David Duke; and From the Dark Woods (1991), Meditation (2002), and La Guitarra (1993) by Stefan Young. Both composers were born in the mid-1900s. Their music represents styles ranging from classical to contemporary. These pieces provide effective early engagement with contemporary idioms and are viable substitutes for standard works featuring similar twentieth-century compositional techniques and ideas. It is hoped that this presentation will promote pianists’ and teachers’ appreciation of contemporary music, thus fostering the support and development of new music.

Contemporary compositional techniques will be broken down into categories: rhythm and meter, harmony and tonality, unusual scales, and other features. Examples to be shown include: shifting accent, changing meter, unmeasured score, polyrhythm, secundal harmony, quartal harmony, polytonality, atonality, parallelism, ostinato, octatonic scales, whole tone scales, pentatonic scales, blues progression, and quotation.

The various levels of piano literature by Duke and Young can be generally divided into three main categories: elementary, intermediate, and advanced. Each of these categories may be further subdivided into early, middle, and late levels. The compositions presented in this presentation range from early elementary to early advanced levels.

Presentation Type: Lecture Recital

Recording Date: December 2016

Recording Location: University of the Incarnate Word

Performer: Dr. Wei Chen Lin

Duration: 22:21










Selected Bibliography

Books and Dissertations

Hahn, Christopher Charles. “Canadian Pedagogical Piano Repertoire Since 1970: A Survey of Contemporary Compositional Styles and Techniques.” D.M.A. document, University of Oklahoma, 2005

Ross, Susan. “Music Reflects Duke’s Current Interest.” The Music Scene No. 334 (November-December 1983): 5, 22

Young, Stefan Hayden. “Andante and Allegro for Piano and Orchestra:  An Original Composition and Analysis.”  Ph.D. Thesis, Rutgers University, 1981


Music Scores

(All scores are used with the permissions from the composers)

Published Piano Music

Duke, David. Sonatina. Waterloo: Waterloo Music Co. Limited, 1985

_______.  Preludes. Avansdale, 2016


Unpublished Piano Scores

Duke, David.  Postcards.  Score, 1980s, available from the composer.

Young, Stefan.  From the Dark Woods.  Score, 1991, available from the composer.

_______.  La Guitarra.  Score, 1993, available from the composer.

_______.  Meditation.  Score, 2002, available from the composer.

1433 Last modified on September 26, 2018