Artsong : a brief survey of artsong literature, composers and musico-poetic structure accompanied by a performance-based interpretation workbook

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Robertson, Patricia C.
Ewart, Phillip S.
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Thesis (D.A.)
School of Music
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This dissertation, which takes the form of a creative project as is sanctioned by the Doctor of Arts Curricular Program, is an investigation of artsong literature, composers and musico-poetic structure. The work is a textbook designed for an undergraduate course in song literature and is accompanied by a performance-based interpretation workbook. The author's approach to the artsong is a threefold one: the artsong is considered as a unique performance idiom and is examined for the characteristics common to all; distinctive features are examined which identify specific sub-genre classifications within the body of artsong; specific artsongs are investigated from a performance aspect in order to develop an appropriate methodology for the interpretation of an individual song. This work includes information about historical analysis, performance practice, translation, phonetic transcription and the characteristics of versification unique to each language covered.The unique contribution of this work, however, is the workbook of sixty-five artsongs.In the workbook, the student is guided through a systematic approach to the interpretive process. The student is asked to examine the poem for type, mode of address and imagery and is asked to consider elements of rhyme, meter and poetic structure. The student is guided through an investigation of the characters both present and implied in the poetry; the student is asked to consider the structural elements of the musical setting in order to better discern the composer's response to the poem. Additionally, the student is asked to place the speaker-the person whose voice he or she is bringing to life-in time and location as well as construct a profile of the speaker's character. At the beginning of the workbook the entire process is demonstrated for the student; as the student progresses through the workbook, he is expected to perform more and more of the tasks until he can independently create a performance-based interpretation.The work contains copious musical examples as well as a source guide to instructional materials (scores, translations, recordings) and a brief glossary.