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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2004

T C 357 • Words and Music: The Art of Setting Poetry to Music

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39643 M
1:00 PM-3:30 PM
mhr 2.610

Course Description

Art Song is the genre in which composers like Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms excelled in the nineteenth century, and composers like Samuel Barber, Benjamin Britten, and Ned Rorem stood out in the twentieth century. This seminar will focus on the poetry first, then on the differing ways that composers have dealt with this poetry by setting it to music. Opera, Oratorio, and Vocal Chamber Music will also be covered in brief. Students will explore the basic repertoire of sung poetry in the Western tradition, but will also try their hands at writing poetry to be set for the voice. A live singer/pianist duo will assist the instructor in demonstrating the actual process of poem-to-song in the classic and modern traditions.

About the professor: Dan Welcher has written over ninety works of music, including two operas, three symphonies, two string quartets, and an oratorio. Host of “Knowing The Score” on KMFA-FM, Welcher is internationally known as a teacher who can demystify the classical music impulse to an audience of non-specialists. Formerly Composer in Residence with the Honlulu Symphony and Assistant Conductor of the Austin Symphony from 1980-1990, Welcher holds the Lee Hage Jamail Regents Professorship in Fine Arts at the University of Texas School of Music.

Grading Policy

Seminar presentation 25% Long paper (15 pp.) 25% Active enthusiastic participation 25% Final examination 25%


Schubert, Die Schöne Müllerin, op. 25 Barber, Songs Welcher, Seven Songs on Poems of e.e. cummings


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