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Title:African American Composers and the Piano Concerto
Author(s):Sennet, Rochelle
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hobson, Ian
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Black Studies
Abstract:H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932), George Theophilus Walker (b. 1922), and Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork (b. 1941) are three prominent African American composers who have contributed to Western music traditions. Although studies have been conducted regarding the history of the American piano concerto, this dissertation discusses the importance of the African American contribution to this genre. As there is currently limited research regarding these piano concerti, the author has chosen three representative works which exemplify the variety displayed by the African American eclectic composers. While Adams's, Walker's and Hailstork's solo keyboard works have been investigated to some extent, there is no current research regarding each of their piano concertos. Therefore, this dissertation aims to bridge the gap between the studies of the American piano concerto and African American eclectic composers.
Chapter One includes an introduction of the historical background of the American piano concerto as well as of the African Americans who have composed piano concerti since the early-twentieth century. The main body of the dissertation discusses Leslie Adams's, George Walker's, and Adolphus Hailstork's approaches to form, harmonic vocabulary, and stylistic features employed in each work. Chapter Two discusses Adams's Citiscape with relation to its tonal aesthetic, pianistic devices, innovative features in the orchestration, and the display of vocal influence. Chapter Three discusses George Walker's Piano Concerto with regard to the incorporation of techniques such as twelve-tone devices and the alternation between lyrical and percussive techniques. Chapter Four discusses the Piano Concerto by Hailstork and its illustration of affinity for both Romantic and Impressionistic styles. The conclusion, Chapter Five, summarizes the previous chapters as well as provides suggestions for learning more about the piano concerti by African American composers. Finally, this dissertation also provides a comparison of stylistic traits between each concerto and each composer's piano solo works to illustrate similarities in compositional approach to the piano.
Issue Date:2008
Description:189 p.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI3314886
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:2008

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