Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Matthew Steel

Second Advisor

Dr. David Loberg Code

Third Advisor

Dr. Christopher Biggs


Ali-Zadeh, Yanov-Yanovsky, Sharafyan, string quartet, modification

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis examines the practices of string quartet modification implemented by three post-Soviet Eurasian composers: Franghiz Ali-Zadeh (Azerbaijan), Vache Sharafyan (Armenia), and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky (Uzbekistan). After an introduction to the geography of the region and the biographies of the composers, their works containing modified string quartet configurations are examined within three distinct modification practices. These practices consist of the addition of outside instruments, the addition of electronic components, and the alteration of performance practice. The evaluation of these techniques is carried out through musical analysis and examination of cultural context. After each work has been examined, the body of works as a whole is explored within the concepts of ethnic nationalism, violence and political unrest, and commissioning agents as primary setting factors. The string quartet is implemented by Ali-Zadeh, Sharafyan, and Yanov-Yanovsky as a vehicle for expressing their respective national music traditions. These practices and their role within a global musical context have established a new musical genre serving as an international extension of regional music traditions.