The Choral Works of Robert Ward: A View of His Compositional Approach to Text Settings and His Use of Symbols and Allusions
Description: Robert Eugene Ward's impressive body of work encompasses almost every genre of music. He has composed symphonies, operas, large orchestral pieces, chamber works, solo instrumental pieces, extended choral works, short choral pieces, ceremonial works, a ballet, theatre pieces, and even jazz and swing band pieces. Ward's name is recognized in most musical circles but usually only for his opera The Crucible, a work for which he earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1962. In fact, a survey of all the dissertations, articles, interviews, and books written about Robert Ward shows that the vast majority of these studies focus on his most famous opera. His choral works, though they comprise some of Ward's most expressive work, have received little attention. Ward's works show a deliberate use of symbols and allusions. While this use is far from an innovative concept in composition, Ward distinguishes himself with a consistent and purposeful application of these devices establishing an unmistakable interweaving of text, composition, and context. This study examines several of Ward's short choral compositions as they relate to the composer's use of symbols and allusions. Comparisons are made to Ward's use of these devices in his operatic works as a means of determining the consistency of their use throughout his vocal works. Chapter 1 looks at the composer's background, influence, and experience as to their impact on his approach to composition. Chapter 2 lays the groundwork for the discussion of symbols and allusions in music by establishing their basis and function in literary arts in general. The final chapter explores Ward's use of symbols and allusions in four of his choral works.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Tucker, Carlton S.
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Partner: UNT Libraries