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Title:A Study of the Selected Masses of Twentieth-Century Black Composers: Margaret Bonds, Robert Ray, George Walker, and David Baker
Author(s):Thomas, Andre Jerome
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This study exposes the reader to the works of four twentieth century Black composers. Each of the composers has written a mass composition. The composers were selected because of their diversity in composition. Two of the composers (Margaret Bonds and George Walker) have written mass compositions that reflect no real ethnic influence. The compositions by Robert Ray and David Baker represent compositions that illustrate two ethnic forms, gospel and jazz.
Each chapter of this study includes: (1) Biographical Sketch--to inform readers of these composers and their works; (2) About the Composition--a discussion of pertinent details about the composition, including facts related to the premiere performance, publication, recordings, and reviews; (3) Analysis--provides the readers with a basic understanding of the structure of the composition; and (4) Performance Problems--provides the non-Black conductor with information regarding performance practice to increase confidence and to encourage attempts to perform such compositions. (Many non-black conductors hesitate in pursuing performance of compositions by Black composers because of a lack of knowledge of the Black folk idioms, creating for them a fear of failure.)
The summary includes a brief discussion of other mass compositions by Black composers that are distinctly unique. Appendix VII includes a listing of mass compositions by twentieth century Black composers.
The mass compositions represented in Appendix VII range from jazz and gospel to those that represent traditional "twentieth century western art music"; and from those that are functional compositions to those that make significant contributions as concert compositions.
It is this writer's hope that this study will develop a spark of interest in the performance of these compositions; and that many of the previous fears regarding performance, due to a lack of performance practice knowledge, will be lessened. With this study as background information, and with much encouragement from this writer, perhaps these compositions will someday receive the exposure and performance that they deserve.
Issue Date:1983
Description:214 p.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8410058
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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