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Analysis of harp performance issues in Federico's Little Songs for Children by George Crumb.

Description: During the 20th century, chamber works for harp expanded to include significantly different instrumentations, like flute, voice and harp. Indeed, a body of works for flute, voice, and harp began to develop mainly through the commissioning efforts of ensembles comprised of these instruments. This study of George Crumb's Federico's Little Songs for Children for flutes, soprano, and harp considers the unique advantages and challenges of this instrumentation and offers specific suggestions for performance. Attention to various compositional elements of Federico's Little Songs for Children, especially as they relate to the text, is also helpful in preparing to perform this work. The form, pitch material, and text-painting in the work allow for special opportunities to convey meaning to audiences in ways that do not rely on traditional tonal relationships. Accompanying the shift away from traditional tonal relationships, the development of the harp repertoire in chamber and solo settings during the 20th century also led to the development of many extended- techniques for this instrument. For the most part, these techniques have been described and given various notational symbols but not discussed in detail with regard to execution. Federico's Little Songs for Children itself requires several unique extended-techniques. Recommendations are given in this paper concerning how to achieve the extended-techniques in Crumb's work in a stylistically appropriate and effective manner.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Hembreiker, Linda-Rose
Partner: UNT Libraries