Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Vocal Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Esther Jane Hardenbergh

Second Committee Member

Stephen Zdzinski

Third Committee Member

Tony Boutté

Fourth Committee Member

Karen Kennedy


The purpose of this essay is to explore and examine the value of Philip Heseltine’s art song and to provide a contextual analysis for performance related to symptoms of mental illness. Currently, Heseltine’s repertoire is not considered a primary source for songs in English. This essay also provides insight as to reasons why Heseltine’s repertoire is less widely performed (or considered) than others. Heseltine’s art songs are discussed, along with characteristics relevant to Heseltine’s compositional style. Additional discussion includes dissection of Heseltine’s personality and behavior, illustrated in personal correspondence and other biographical materials. A comparison is made between the symptoms of mental illness Heseltine may have experienced and his compositional style. Furthermore, pertinent facts of the relation of creativity and genius are presented. Discussing and comparing Heseltine’s body of vocal solo song with his erratic personality, behaviors, and unorthodox methods of thought will provide musicians and musicologists with a greater understanding of who Philip Heseltine was. It is this understanding that will affect the study and performance of his music.


Warlock; art songs; mental illness; symptoms of mental illness; contextual analysis; heseltine