Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Performing Arts)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Dr Jonathan Paget

Second Advisor

Dr Paul Hopwood

Third Advisor

Stewart Smith


This dissertation examines the work of Russian composer, critic, and musicologist, Boris Vladimirovich Asafiev (1884-1949) against contemporaneous systems of cultural activity associated with Soviet communism. Over the course of his lifetime, Asafiev designed and developed a unique aesthetic‐philosophical theory on the process of musical formation and perception. This study examines the political and ideological forces that contributed to the appearance of socialist realism, and places Asafiev within this context, evaluating his life and works. Central to this dissertation are two musicological volumes taken from Asafiev’s immense catalogue of works: Musical Form as a Process (1930), and Musical Form as a Process: Intonations (1947). The theories developed in these works are applied in an analysis and close reading of Asafiev’s Sonata for Solo Viola (1938). This study includes insights gleaned from a recital performance of Asafiev’s works (including the Sonata for Solo Viola). The recital which took place on March 29th 2015 forms the creative/performance component of this research, and is attached as a DVD-Rom.