Music, School of


Date of this Version

Spring 4-17-2013


A DOCTORAL DOCUMENT Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Musical Arts, Major: Music, Under the Supervision of Professor Carolyn Barber. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Raul G. Barcenes


This document explores A Chant from the Great Plains by Carl Busch. As the winner of American bandmaster Edwin Franko Goldman’s composition contest in 1919, this work helped launch the tradition of commissioning upon which the repertoire of the modern concert band medium relies. Inexplicably, Busch’s piece fell into obscurity and has become so rare that the primary researcher on Carl Busch, Dr. Donald Lowe, was not able to view any of the music while compiling his research with the exception of citations and articles. This document provides a rationale for the revival of the work in both scholarship and performances. Its origins were explored, as well as its historical significance and compositional craft. This document also provides a suggested instrumentation for performance, as well as a formal analysis of the work. Recommendations were also made for the creation of a critical edition for the modern wind band.

A Chant from the Great Plains helped begin the trend of accomplished composers viewing the wind band as a musically viable medium in the twentieth century. The historical and professional importance of this work warrants further study and the potential creation of a new critical edition.

Adviser: Carolyn Barber