Gina Ceccoli

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Department or School

Music and Dance


Utilizing the first eight measures of the Kyrie from Missa Primi Toni by Palestrina, Distant Cathedrals is a piece which connects the old with the new. The elegant voice-leading and careful regulation of dissonance in Palestrina’s panconsonant music is emblematic of late Renaissance polyphony. Given Palestrina’s position as one of Europe’s leading composers, late Renaissance counterpoint is often labeled Palestrina-style polyphony. This piece infuses the pureness of Palestrina with extended tertian and mixed-interval harmonies of the contemporary variety, while alternating and integrating Palestrina’s thematic material and Distant Cathedral’s original material. Distant Cathedrals was written for full orchestra, including: one piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, one tuba, timpani, and strings. This piece was read by the Eastern Michigan University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Professor Kevin Miller, on March 13, 2012.

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