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"To immerse myself in words": Text and music in selected choral works of Samuel Barber

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Title: "To immerse myself in words": Text and music in selected choral works of Samuel Barber
Author(s): Nally, Donald John
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Brooks, William
Department / Program: Music
Discipline: Music
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: A.Mus.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Biography Music Literature, English
Abstract: This study focuses on the texts of ten choral works of Samuel Barber: The Virgin Martyrs, Let down the bars, O Death, Heaven-Haven, Sure on this shining night, Reincarnations (three), A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map, Twelfth Night, and To be Sung on the Water. The works span Barber's professional life and are presented in their order of composition. Each chapter presents historical and analytical information about the text and its author and an analysis of the musical work as Barber's response to the poetry. The discussion focuses on Barber's attraction to and treatment of poetic devices, meter and rhythm, color, subject, and meaning. In the process are revealed the unique characteristics of Barber's music for words; a recurrent motive which links the works is discovered, the composer's debt to Brahms' choral writing is clarified, factors contributing to the melancholy nature of the works are described, the pervasion of plagal relationships and modal syntax is discussed. Finally, Barber's penchant for modal ambiguity, close attention to musical form, and concise phrase structures is used as the basis of an evaluation of his placement in the history of musical style and his role among twentieth-century composers, with conclusions based on the study of his musical response to words.
Issue Date: 1995
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/20400
Rights Information: Copyright 1995 Nally, Donald John
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9543682
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9543682
 

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