Recent WVU music grad’s dissertation wins international innovative electronic dissertation award
Tomislav Dimov, who graduated from the West Virginia University College of Creative Artsin 2010 with a doctorate in musical arts (violin performance), has been named one of the winners of the Innovative Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Award in an international competition.
The awards are presented by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations, a consortium of universities worldwide.
Dr. Dimov is currently on the faculty of the Universitas Pelita Harapan in Indonesia and serves as head of the string department and lecturer of violin as well as head of the orchestra department and artistic director and conductor of the university’s symphony orchestra.
His WVU dissertation is titled “Short Historical Overview and Comparison of the Pitch Width and Speed Rates of the Vibrato Used in Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach as Found in Recordings of Famous Violinists of the Twentieth and the Twenty-First Centuries.”
The research utilizes tables and graphics for comparison, sorted by year of recording, followed by discussion of the results.
Access to sound samples and files are available through a virtual CD linked to the document via the Internet.
Research project files include PDF with music score interlinked to MP3 audio files, so the end user can simultaneously hear the audio of the music score they are viewing on the page.
According to the digital library, this provides an interactive approach to the listener, which allows for enhanced “visualization” of the music score by making it come to life as it was intended to be heard.
“I selected this topic because of its empirical exactness and innovative approach to the analyzed sample,” Dimov said. “Working with recordings made in different technological generations and of different quality—spanning more than a century—made this research unique, as such attempts have not been made before, or at least very seldom.
“I wanted the research to be alive, and not just numbers on paper,” he said.
“Since I work with sound and music, for me it was inconceivable to keep my work ‘silent.’ This way anyone looking at my work can see and hear the result of the research.”
According to the digital library, very few examples of this interactive approach exist in the field of music.
“Tomislav’s path-breaking approach serves as an excellent model of enhanced learning experiences through multimedia integration into the research document,” the organization said, in announcing the award.
A native of Macedonia and fluent in 10 languages, Dimov came to WVU from the Pittsburgh area as a doctoral student, studying violin performance with faculty member Mikylah McTeer. He previously studied in Macedonia and Moscow, receiving a Master’s degree-level diploma with honors from the Russian Academy of Music, before immigrating to the United States.
“After completing my post-graduate doctoral studies at the ‘Gnesins’ Russian Academy of Music in Moscow, and after moving to the United States, I felt that I needed an additional qualification that was going to add more strength and versatility to my academic resume,” he said.
“At the time, WVU was the only university in the Pittsburgh area that offered the doctorate in violin performance. Also, by talking to my friends and fellow musicians, I knew that WVU was a great place to study.
“After moving to Morgantown, I was immediately in love with the great working spirit of high professionalism and excellence in education and the feeling of constructive partnership among the professors and students at WVU,” he said.
“The academic time I spent in the violin class working with Dr. McTeer is definitely one of the most fulfilling and self-reinventing experiences of my life, equally as a graduate student, educator and performing artist.”
“The chemistry of the music-making one can feel in Dr. McTeer’s class is astonishing and I am extremely lucky and honored to be the first one in a long row of doctoral degree candidates that I am sure are going to come out of WVU under her meticulous guidance. The inspiration for artistic achievements I got from her is going to stay with me always.”
He also praised music faculty David Taddie for his strong love for education, and the high academic standards and discipline of Chris Wilkinson and Beth Royall, as well as the leadership and professional excellence of Mary Ferer and the intelligent guidance of Andrew Kohn.
“The friendly and constructive guidance I got from Mitchell Arnold, William Skidmore, and Russell Dean was an example for me and I try to behave the same way with all of my students,” he said.
“Also, the constructiveness and helpfulness that I experienced from Cynthia Anderson and Keith Jackson is an example of how administrators can be a decisive factor in the education of their students as well as an example,” he said.
According to McTeer, Dimov is a violinist of the highest caliber.
“He has excelled in a number of international competitions, including first prizes in the National Violin Competitions in Macedonia, second prize in the National Violin Competition in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and second prize in the National Violin Competition in Ljubljana, Slovenia,” she said.
“He was an inspiration to the undergraduate violinists at WVU.”
Dimov’s award was presented at the international Electronic Thesis and Dissertation 2011 Symposium, held Sept. 13-17 in Cape Town, South Africa.
WVU became the second institution in the world to required electronic thesis and dissertation submissions in 1998. WVU graduate student research is now accessed on the internet millions of times each year by academia, industry, government and the public from more than 100 countries worldwide.