Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

James B. Campbell


John Psathas is the one of the most forefront, living New Zealand composers and is considered to be one of the three most important living composers of the Greek Diaspora. His music is performed across the globe, most notably as the opening and closing ceremony music for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. His percussion music has been championed by percussionists for three decades, starting with Dame Evelyn Glennie with the work Matre’s Dance. Psathas still receives regular commissions for percussion instruments, having released multiple works in the last few years and multiple works still to be premiered.

The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the percussion works of John Psathas and its place in modern percussion literature, understand Psathas’s compositional style, and provide insights to performing his works. Interviews with individuals who have worked with Psathas and his music, as well as interviews with the composer himself provide an in-depth look at these works. Taking that knowledge, the dissertation provides an in-depth analysis into the theory and performance practice of Cloud Folk (2017), including harmony, setup, ensemble balance, instrument consideration, style, rehearsal markers, and specific performance considerations for each section.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)