Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Alexander Bonus

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Around the 1930’s my grandfather learned how to play the musical saw by Vaudeville in Tennessee. He then taught his children how to play, and my father did the same. Many people are unfamiliar with the fact that a handsaw can also be used as a musical instrument. For my senior concert, I wanted to show that the saw’s unique sound can in fact be incorporated in many different genres of music.

The program starts in Turkey, ~1 C.E., where the oldest complete musical composition we have record of, Epitaph Siekilos, was found on a tombstone. From there we travel to London, 1695, and Germany, 1885, during the baroque era, where Pucell and Handel show us the recognition of sin and the afterlife. The program then jumps over to China, 1950, where I imitate the sound of an Ehru. On our way back to Europe, we take a brief intermission and return for a lullaby (nana) in Spain.

After being sawed to sleep, we arrive in America, 1949, where dissonance starts to creep in as we make our way towards the present day. The second to least piece, my own, shows the wide range of the saw and various possible techniques. Since the saw is so engrained in my family history, for my final piece, my father, mother, and I performed a lullaby by Godard, beginning with piano, violin, and voice, and ending with the piano and two saws.

Each piece was selected for it’s dreamlike quality. I wanted for people to attend my concert and feel as though they were dreaming in order to wake up aware of the saws existence and variety of beautiful sounds.

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