Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The vocal chamber music of John David Earnest: A performer's guide
by Loehnig, Melissa Meredith, D.M., The Florida State University, 2012, 101; 3519346
Abstract (Summary)

Without contest, the twentieth century can be regarded as a "melting pot" of compositional styles. Each composer's unique contributions, as well as the numerous compositional techniques utilized in this era, combine to make it one of the most interesting, intellectually stimulating periods in music history. Many scholars have extensively researched the most popular of these modern composers; however, numerous, lesser-known composers remain who are still actively writing, who also deserve recognition, and whose music is worthy of study and performance. John David Earnest is among these.

This document will introduce the reader to Earnest's compositional style, highlighting his specific compositional contributions to the genre of vocal chamber music. The goal of this research is to increase awareness of John David Earnest's music, both from an analytic and performing viewpoint. In particular, this document examines the two vocal chamber works of John David Earnest, Tales of Terror and Murder and The Blue Estuaries, bringing to light important style characteristics and techniques that can be found in these works. Through reading this document, the reader will gain an overall knowledge of Earnest's compositional style that can be applied to his vocal music. This will hopefully inspire continued research and further performances of his music.

After a brief introduction, the document begins with background information on the composer including his childhood, education, achievements, and an overview of his output. This then leads to a discussion of his compositional style. Here, the author outlines general style characteristics and compositional traits regarding harmony, melody, rhythm, and text setting used often by the composer in his vocal music. Following this, the next two chapters provide thorough stylistic analyses of Earnest's vocal chamber works, Tales of Terror and Murder and The Blue Estuaries. Both of these chapters examine the texts used, the treatment of the texts according to Earnest, and specific technical and performance related difficulties that can be encountered in these works. After a brief summation, the document concludes with an appendix of the complete works of John David Earnest.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hoekman, Timothy
Commitee: Fisher, Douglas, Mathes, James, Trujillo, Valerie
School: The Florida State University
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 73/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Chamber music, Earnest, John David, Vocal music
Publication Number: 3519346
ISBN: 978-1-267-52203-0
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