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Title:The choral music of Lou Harrison. (Volumes I and II)
Author(s):Brunner, David Lee
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Johnston, Ben
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Lou Harrison's music is clearly an important contribution to the twentieth century repertoire. His early writing for percussion ensemble, experiments in just intonation, melding of Eastern and Western influences, instrument building, and music for gamelan are especially significant. While much of his work has received attention, performance, and praise, his music for chorus is not well-known, much of it in manuscript and inaccessible.
This study examines in detail the complete choral works of Harrison from 1939 to the present. It is the purpose of the study to define his compositional style through an analysis of these works. The text is divided into three main sections, the first of which is a brief biography and chronology of the choral works. The main body of the document is an analysis of the works, discussed in chronological order. Each piece is addressed individually with regard to the stylistic characteristics of melody, rhythm, harmony, texture, form, and text setting, where applicable. The final portion is a summary of Harrison's compositional style for chorus and concluding remarks. Appendices include a chronological listing of the works, and transcriptions of conversations between the author and Lou Harrison and Ben Johnston and Harrison. The second volume contains reproductions of the unpublished choral scores.
Harrison's background has furnished a rich and fertile soil for the development of his choral style. His early study with Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg, associations with John Cage and Harry Partch, and abiding affinity to Eastern cultural, philosophical, and musical influences, coupled with an adherence to the principles of just intonation and interest in the world's music, has produced a willful experimentation with and assimilation of various styles within his own. All of these influences are clearly evident in the choral works, music which is expressive, fresh, imaginative, and interesting, an amalgam of his many loves and interests.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Brunner, David Lee
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8924777
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8924777

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