Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Matthew Steel

Second Advisor

Dr. David Loberg Code

Third Advisor

Judy Moonert

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Using and expanding upon a theoretical model for examining the meaning of music presented by ethnomusicologist Timothy Taylor, one of the leading scholars on composer Kevin Volans and his music, this research will attempt to properly position Volans' percussion solo, She Who Sleeps witha Small Blanket, composed in 1985, within Volans' African Paraphrase classification. It will also attempt to dissociate She Who Sleeps from the claims of hegemonic cultural appropriation that are attached to Volans' African Paraphrase pieces. In his model, Taylor talks about the "inseparable metatext" that surrounds a piece of music and includes the composer's intentions, the listener's reactions, and the music itself. Expanding upon this model, this research will examine the percussion idiom and discuss whether there are qualities inherent in this idiom that influence claims of cultural appropriation. Based on She Who Sleeps' compositional adherence to the intentions of "New Simplicity," a musical movement that arose in Cologne, Germany in the late 1970s that Volans supported, and based on the dissociation of She Who Sleeps from claims of cultural appropriation given its compositional idiom, this research will ultimately showcase She Who Sleeps with a Small Blanket as Kevin Volans' quintessential African Paraphrase.