Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John Cody Birdwell


Partita for 8 Voices (2012) is a groundbreaking a cappella work that earned its composer, Caroline Shaw, the record of youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013. While the work continues to receive performances from its premiere ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, no transcription of the piece to any other ensemble type existed at the beginning of this DMA project. The author sought to transcribe a piece by a living female composer with no work for band into the wind band medium. The resulting transcription, Partita for 8 Voices & Wind Ensemble, adds a new work to the repertoire of band literature that includes new, esoteric, and proprietary extended technique for wind and percussion instruments.

The purposes of this DMA project are 1) to provide a brief analysis of Partita for 8 Voices, 2) to provide details of the trials, errors, and successes during the transcription process of Partita for 8 Voices & Wind Ensemble as well as recommendations for future conductors of the work, and 3) to provide anecdotal evidence of the important relationship conductors build with composer intent by embarking on a transcription process.

The first chapter includes a biography of Caroline Shaw, the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, and a timeline of Shaw’s compositional process regarding Partita for 8 Voices. The second chapter is a brief theoretical, timbral, and technical analysis of Partita for 8 Voices. Chapters three through seven discuss the transcriptional process and conductor’s insights for each of the four movements of Partita for 8 Voices & Wind Ensemble and general considerations. Chapter eight discusses anecdotal evidence of what conductors learn from the transcription process.

An appendix of information including interviews, a graphical analysis of technical and timbral events in Partita for 8 Voices, and the full score for Partita for 8 Voices & Wind Ensemble is also provided.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)