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Thesis (M.M.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1954. Department of Music.


Copyright 1954, the author. Used by permission.


This essay is a discussion of the adaptability of the Art Song to choral arrangement.

A song may be defined as a short composition for solo voice, usually but not necessarily accompanied, based on a poetic text.The term, Art Song, is used here to indicate that portion of the song literature which has developed during the romantic and modern eras.The Art Song, then, is a comparatively new form in music.

The Art Song fares best when performed by a single voice.A compelling reason for arranging the Art Song for various choral groups is to provide for a choral group the interpretative experience usually confined to a single participant.While in any group there might not be a single person vocally competent to perform an Art Song, yet that same person in a group may have the satisfying experience of intimate association with such musical literature.

Several basic problems are encountered in the adaptation of an Art Song to choral arrangement.They are as follows:

  1. Does the text indicate any special treatment with respect to voice combinations?

  2. Should the melody remain in a given voice or move to other voices?

  3. Does the accompaniment need to be modified to suit the new arrangement?

  4. How is complex harmony to be realized?

Advisors: Myron J. Roberts and Arthur Westbrook