A Swann's Song in Middle-earth: An Exploration of Donald Swann's "The Road Goes Ever On" and the Development of a System of Lyric Diction for Tolkien's Constructed, Elvish Languages
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
Donald Swann is best known for his long-time collaboration with lyricist and singer Michael Flanders, with whom he served as composer, pianist and fellow singer. He composed many other serious works beyond the Flanders and Swann collaboration, including song cycles, operas, masses and other choral repertoire. This study explores one example of Swann’s classical repertory: "The Road Goes Ever On: A Song Cycle," a collection of nine musical settings of texts by J. R. R. Tolkien, author of "The Lord of the Rings." Beginning with biographical and stylistic synopses of both the composer and the poet, subsequent chapters include: an historical overview of the cycle’s composition, publication, and reception; an examination of Tolkien’s Elvish languages of Quenya and Sindarin and the proposal of systems of lyric diction for each; and interpretive performance guides for each of the songs, emphasizing the relationship between music and text. Appendices follow with permissions letters, documents of special interest, and poetic texts too lengthy for inclusion in the main body of the document.
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Leonberger, Richard Garrett, "A Swann's Song in Middle-earth: An Exploration of Donald Swann's "The Road Goes Ever On" and the Development of a System of Lyric Diction for Tolkien's Constructed, Elvish Languages" (2016). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 4323.