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

Donald Oglesby

Second Committee Member

Karen Kennedy

Third Committee Member

Esther Jane Hardenbergh

Fourth Committee Member

Dorothy Hindman


This essay is a performance guide to select a cappella choral works of Jean Sibelius that is geared towards choral musicians whose primary language is English. The introduction begins with an overview of Sibelius's early career as a composer and the socio-political climate in which he lived. This provides context for the discussion of Sibelius's Finnish language a cappella choral repertoire. The performance guide itself first gives a thorough explanation of Finnish choral diction. Rather than enumerate every single Finnish choral work by Sibelius, the author has narrowed the scope of the essay to a select group of pieces based on popularity and stylistic distinctiveness within the composer's overall choral output. Using Ron Jeffers's Translations and Annotations series as a model, each selected piece is then presented in terms of musico-poetic information, harmonic language and performance considerations, and literal translations and phonetic transcriptions of Finnish texts. Alternate editions for three of the pieces are included in the Appendix.


Sibelius; choral; a cappella; Finnish; diction; translations