Date of Award
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
American composer Miriam Gideon (b. 1906) has earned a place as a prominent exponent of American art song through her contribution of high quality works for the genre. This study deals with ten songs chosen to represent her piano/vocal solo songs which span her compositional life from 1937-1987. Individual studies of each song have been approached from a performer's vantage point, as prepared for a Lecture/Recital. The songs are: Lockung (1937), Vergiftet sind meine Lieder (1937), She Weeps Over Rahoon (1939), Gone in Good Sooth You Are (SONNETS FROM "FATAL INTERVIEW, 1952), Epitaph for a Wag in Mauchline (EPITAPHS FROM ROBERT BURNS, 1952), Mixco (1957), To Music (1957), Farewell Tablet to Agathocles (SONGS OF VOYAGE, 1961), Bells (1966), and To Thomas Moore (POET TO POET, 1987). Information and observations presented for each song include: publication data, source of poetry, suggested voice type, harmonic structure, range, tessitura, meter signature/changing meters, expression and tempo indications, dynamic range, length, consideration of specific difficulties of the vocal line, translations of foreign texts or unfamiliar words in English texts, and interpretive suggestions for performance. Although the earliest songs of Cideon are clearly descendants of the German Lied, her mature works are composed in a unique and individualized style described by the composer as "free atonality.". Conclusions drawn from the study include: (1) textual communication was of utmost importance; (2) although atonal and dissonant, Gideon's mature songs do not lack for lyrical qualities; (3) while Gideon may make extreme demands on the musicianship of singers, she does not make unrealistic demands on the voice; and (4) extremes of dynamic intensity and emotional colors are required for an artistic performance of this repertoire. A chronological appendix listing all of Gideon's songs that are available with piano accompaniment is included with names and addresses of the publishers.
Sims, W. Loraine, "An Introduction to the Songs of Miriam Gideon (B. 1906)." (1996). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 6215.