Date of Completion

Spring 5-13-2021

Thesis Advisor(s)

Cara Bernard

Honors Major



Music | Music Education | Musicology | Music Performance | Music Theory


While a surprising amount of research has been conducted on the American “jam band” Phish, most academic scholarship that exists regarding the band is concerned of the cultures, rituals, and communities that surround the band and the jam band scene. Of the band’s music that has been analyzed, most analyze the band’s improvisation, leaving little to no scholarship concerning the band’s hyper-complex, fugue-like compositions, especially those composed by Trey Anastasio in the band’s early years from 1983-1989, most of which became Phish’s most popular and most performed songs in concert. This thesis will analyze the early compositional style and technique of Trey Anastasio and Phish through analyses of two of the compositions that fall within this category: “You Enjoy Myself” and “Reba.” Through these analyses, I will aim to understand Anastasio’s early compositional techniques and influences surrounding these two pieces. Implications for these analyses in music education, musicology, and performance will be discussed.