Dr. Roy Breiling’s doctoral dissertation covers the use of the chorale tune “Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten” (“If you but trust in God to guide you”) in David’s composition, In Memoriam. The author also includes biographical information as well as an overview of David’s compositional approach and how it relates to his musical style.

David Maslanka’s Use of a Chorale Tune in “In Memoriam”

David Maslanka’s music has been widely performed in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan; however, to date, there are only two published dociiments that provide information about his music. J. Patrick Brooks presented a theoretical analysis of Maslanka’s Concerto for Piano, Winds and Percussion in his D.M.A. dissertation, and in The College Band Director’s Journal. Thomas Wubbenhorst published an article in which he discussed Maslanka’s wind band piece, A Child’s Garden of Dreams. This author’s document will further contribute to what has already been written about David Maslanka and his music.

According to recent research, there are no studies that focus on Maslanka’s use of chorale tunes in his wind band compositions. In addition to the composition selected for this document, Maslanka uses chorale tunes in numerous other wind band works, such as A Tuning Piece: Songs of Fall and Winter (1995), Montana Music: Chorale Variations (1993), and Symphony No. 4 (1993).

The purpose of this document is to help musicians understand David Maslanka’s use of a chorale tune in In Memoriam. Chapter 1 contains biographical information about David Maslanka, including an explanation of the influences of J. S. Bach and C. G. Jung, and a general commentary on Maslanka’s compositional style. Chapter 2 contains a description of his use of a chorale tune in In Memoriam and the compositional techniques he uses with respect to the elements of music. Chapter 3 will give a summary of Maslanka’s use of a chorale tune in In Memoriam.