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Thesis (M.M.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1969. Department of Music.


Copyright 1969, the author. Used by permission.


Thus with a clear understanding of Ned Rorem’s predisposition and with his indulgence, the writer of this thesis discusses all of his songs written for voice(s) and piano thus far during the composer’s lifetime.A direction has been pursued whereby these series of separate discussions of each song combine to form an instructive document for those who are training in the performing arts.

In writing about each song an attempt has been made to discuss the poetry, to comment upon the music in general and sometimes specific terms, and to add notes on points of detail.A word or two of explanation may be needed on each of these aims.

In the commentaries each song has been described to show the interconnection between the music and the poem.Inevitably, in so doing, this writer has also become involved in some attempt at evaluating the intentions and achievements of the songs, and, of necessity, has drawn upon harmonic, formal, melodic, and stylistic analysis.

Although specific illustrative examples taken from the songs will be reprinted here, the reader should have the scores of the songs at hand for maximum understanding of the discussions.Constant references will be made to them, too many to allow the feasibility of including examples of all details.

Advisor: Richard M. Grace