Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


"Lament for the Stolen" (1938) for Women's Chorus: A Collaboration Between Harl McDonald and Katherine Chapin with Historic Perspective and Music Analysis Public Deposited

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  • Harl McDonald’s 1938 work for women’s chorus and orchestra entitled Lament for the
    Stolen, with poetry by Katherine Garrison Chapin, is a piece of music with rich history and
    enlightening social context. As a result of several factors, the work has been all but forgotten in
    the history of twentieth-century music.

    The goal of this document is to generate an awareness of the creators of Lament for the
    Stolen (Sophie Drinker, Katherine Garrison Chapin, Harl McDonald), their context as important
    artists and philanthropists in 1930s America, the tumultuous narrative regarding the conception
    and composition of the work, and the public reception of the music–both prior to and after its
    premiere. In addition, this document features an analysis of the musical structure, harmonic
    language, and motivic development of the work, and how McDonald’s music expresses the
    themes of Chapin’s poetry. Following the musical analysis is a discussion of necessary
    considerations regarding a contemporary performance of the work.

    Finally, this document concludes with an exploration of perspectives regarding the
    relevance of this piece of music–one that was very indicative of 1930s America–almost one
    century after its premiere.

Date Issued
  • 2023
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Commencement Year
Last Modified
  • 2023-11-09
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