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The responsibility of every vocal coach is to supply the singer with an accurate and sensible interpretation of poetic text. Such textual interpretation and understanding are fundamental to successful musical performance. Naturally following an understanding of the poetry is an understanding of the composer's setting of poetic elements. In Ralph Vaughan Williams's Five Mystical Songs, clear consistencies can be observed between music and poetry. In each song, the poetry of George Herbert is complemented by the composer's choice of musical settings. This treatise examines elements of Herbert's poetry in the context of Vaughan Williams's settings. Elements such as rhythm, pattern, variation, and poetic meaning are discussed in regards to each poem and song. Furthermore, this treatise will explore what may have caused Vaughan Williams's attraction to Herbert's poetry.
Five Mystical Songs, George Herbert, Vaughan Williams
Date of Defense
October 27, 2006.
A Treatise submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Carolyn Ann Bridger, Professor Directing Treatise; James Mathes, Outside Committee Member; Timothy Hoekman, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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