During the late months of 1952 through January of 1953, Samuel Barber wrote Hermit Songs, Op. 29, a set of ten medieval texts written by monks in margins of manuscripts they were copying. The poems of Hermit Songs are not poems in the traditional sense. Some are very short, some are written in modern terms, and others are merely random thoughts, observations, or musings of the monks who penned them. Barber's challenge was to provide these texts with a musical setting and supporting accompaniment that enhanced the poems' meanings, depicted their moods, and reinforced the listeners understanding of them. This paper will show how Barber achieves this goal. It will also briefly explore Barber's compositional style, specifically of his vocal music, his traditional text-setting techniques, his choice of texts for Hermit Songs, and how he uses musical devices to emphasize important words.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 49/05M, Masters Abstracts International|
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