The Published Songs Of Ross Lee Finney

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)




The published songs of Ross Lee Finney achieve a good blend of words with music. The success of these songs, as with most songs, is measured by their ability to communicate the texts. When the ideas in the poetry are clear, the musical setting enhances, even mirrors the words. But when the ideas are extremely abstract, as with some of the MacLeish texts, even the musical technique of "word painting" only hints at the content of the original poem.Chapter 1 includes the purpose and scope of the essay and a review of the available literature on the subject. The method of presentation is discussed and some brief biographical information is included. Each of the four song collections is discussed individually, song by song, in chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5. The last chapter in this six chapter essay is a summary and includes information as to the ranges, tessituras and maturity required to adequately perform these songs, as well as a few suggestions for changing a note or a phrase when necessary. In discussing the songs, each chapter begins with information on the author of the text(s) and establishes from which works Finney selected them. Musical elements are discussed with reference to melody, tonality and form. How the composer balances the use of voice and piano is discussed as well as the relationship between poetry and music. There are sixty-four musical examples that illustrate what is discussed in the text.



Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text