Music, School of




First Advisor

Tyler G. White

Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Music, Major: Music, Under the Supervision of Professor Tyler G. White. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2017

Copyright (c) 2017 Jacob K. Lee


Traditionally, the requiem form began as a Catholic mass to honor the dead. Today, the requiem is generally composed conveying messages of solace to troubled hearts. Many composers, such as Britten and Rutter, choose to abandon some of the orthodox text of the mass to provide an added measure of connection for the audience. The result of these later requiems is often a baring of the composer’s soul – something profoundly personal shared in the hope of inspiring others. This latter process is my aim in creating my Requiem. I approach this end in several ways, compositionally: There is a recurring hexachord throughout the piece; at the beginning, it is tense and obtuse. As the piece progresses, the hexachord softens to create more serene sonorities. I often choose to engage the Lydian mode to create a feeling of spaciousness and light. The symbolism behind numerical identities of three and seven I find significant and attempt to highlight as I can. I employ two English texts: “Awake, my soul!” taken from a passage in the Book of Mormon, and “The Lord is My Shepherd: taken from Psalm 23 in the Bible. A tenor soloist provides further personal connection. Ultimately, it is my hope that this composition will stand as “a light on a hill”, guiding the lost and weary travelers of life to their rest in the Lord.

Advisor: Tyler G. White

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