Toccata, repetition, and mode in Stephen Paulus's complete organ works

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Composer Stephen Paulus produced ten solo organ works during his active career: The Triumph of the Saint, Meditations on the Spirit, Three Temperaments, Paean, Toccata, Triptych, King David’s Dance, Organic Romp, Blithely Breezing Along, and A Refined Reflection. Paulus gave his works distinctly varied programmatic titles, but this document, a survey of his complete organ works, reveals numerous commonalities in compositional construction, mode, and form. Paulus’s extensive use of toccata figuration and repetition creates a common aesthetic. With regard to his tonal language, Paulus’s use of mode and the constant shifting from one pitch center to another is revealed. In addition, this document presents a complete modal analysis of A Refined Reflection, showing that Paulus’s employment of toccata figuration, repetition, and extensive use of mode affect the form of the piece. Large arch forms and the characteristic sound of perpetual movement are recognizable hallmarks not only of this piece but of all his organ works.

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