Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The life and solo vocal works of Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972)
by Kilgore, Alethea N., D.M., The Florida State University, 2013, 149; 3612442
Abstract (Summary)

This treatise examines the life and solo vocal works of composer Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972). It includes a biographical outline of Bonds's family background, education, and students. Her accomplishments as a concert pianist, composer, and music educator in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles are also described. The second half offers an overview of Bonds's solo vocal compositions. There is one chapter devoted to each of the three styles of song that she composed in her career: African-American spirituals, jazz/popular songs, and art songs. In addition, the treatise explores Bonds's relationship with the poets of the Harlem Renaissance, and her forays into the musical theatre genre.

Musical excerpts and descriptions of many of Bonds's published and unpublished solo vocal works are included. This document will be of benefit to singers, pianists, coaches, and musicologists interested in finding new repertoire with a distinctly American sound, as well as those who are seeking songs composed by American female composers, African-American composers, or art songs that include musical elements drawn from the spiritual or jazz.

Over half of Bonds's solo vocal works incorporated the poetry of Langston Hughes. The chapter entitled "The Art Songs: Poets of the Harlem Renaissance" is dedicated to the art song settings of Langston Hughes's poems and also includes one art song setting of a Countée Cullen poem. The chapter entitled "The Art Songs" features settings of texts by Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Margaret Bonds, Marjorie May, Janice Lovoos, and Edmund Penney.

Appendix A of this document includes a list of Bonds's solo vocal works. It includes publication information, poet, and dates of composition. Appendix B includes seven digital photographs, including images of Margaret Bonds, Langston Hughes, William Levi Dawson, Florence Beatrice Price, Leonard Harper, Charlotte Holloman, McHenry Boatwright, and Maya Angelou.

Many of Margaret Bonds's songs were never published and are located in archival libraries and remain unknown. One purpose of this document is to expose these lesser known pieces to a larger audience, hopefully giving them a deserved place as a significant contribution to the American art song repertoire.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brister Rachwal, Wanda
Commitee: Hoekman, Timothy, Porter, Marcia, Shaftel, Matthew
School: The Florida State University
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 75/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: African American Studies, Music, Womens studies
Keywords: Art songs, Bonds, Margaret, Hughes, Langston, Jazz songs, Musical theatre songs, Spirituals
Publication Number: 3612442
ISBN: 9781303740060
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