Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Dr. Lisa R. Coons

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Adams

Third Advisor

Dr. Christopher Biggs

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Matthew Steel


Chamber music, string quartet, I'Art Brut, timbre, texture

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


l’Art Brut , also commonly referred to as “outsider art,” is comprised of a variety of visual media by untrained or mentally ill artists. The string quartet is subtitled this because it takes inspiration from the work of these artists; with its jagged edges, vibrant colors, and horrid scenes, there is an organic beauty inherent in such eclectic and divergent art. Another factor which drew me to the artwork of the mentally ill was the commonality of Kenophobia: an abnormal fear of empty spaces. Schizophrenic, Swiss artists, Adolf Wölfli (18641930) and Aloïse Corbaz (18861964) were noted for suffering this phobia and realizing it through their art. Every inch of canvas on a Wölfli or Corbaz painting is covered with color and intricate design. I channeled this phobia in regard to timing and development of my work. Each section is timed precisely, so the cohesive whole, much like a painting, is a journey of density, texture, timbre, atmosphere, and character.