An Analytical Perspective Of Edward Alexander Macdowell's Solo Songs Set To His Own Texts

Date of Award




Degree Name

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


Music Performance


Edward MacDowell (1860-1908) is recognized as one of America's greatest romanticists and poet-composers. Trained in France and Germany, and writing in a distinctly romantic vein, the pianist-composer symbolized the American ideal in art music at the turn of the century.MacDowell was primarily a composer for piano, but he also wrote forty-two fine songs, on poems by Goethe, Heine, Howells, Gardner, Deland, Burns, and wrote thirteen songs on his own texts, which were the most important songs.The subject area of this monograph is limited to Edward MacDowell's songs on his own texts. These songs were composed between 1893 and 1901, and comprise five song groups.Chapter I provides biographical information related to his songs.Chapter II deals with MacDowell's conception of song writing and his musical philosophy, as revealed in his writings and correspondence. Included in the discussion are such aspects as text selection, relative importance of the elements of a song, union of poetry and music, rhythm and regular pulse.The third chapter deals with the thirteen songs on his own texts. The songs are analyzed textually, with regard to the way the poetry affects the musical setting. Harmonic, motivic, and melodic analyses are also included.Concluding this monograph is an appendix, which is a listing of published songs with dates of composition, sources of texts, and publishers.



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