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Harry T. BurleighFrom the Spiritual to the Harlem Renaissance$
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Jean E. Snyder

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039942

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039942.001.0001

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A Singer-Composer Learns His Craft

A Singer-Composer Learns His Craft

“Passionate sincerity and harmonic richness”

(p.243) 14. A Singer-Composer Learns His Craft
Harry T. Burleigh

Jean E. Snyder

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Harry T. Burleigh's work as a composer during the period 1896–1913. Burleigh's 200-plus vocal and instrumental works brought him national and international renown in the first half of the twentieth century. Burleigh's songs reflected his thorough knowledge of the prevailing forms and musical idioms of the European and American art song, both as a singer and as a composer. All his songs were written for the recital or concert stage, and they often set the same lyrics. Two of Burleigh's compositional output are choral arrangements of spirituals—“Deep River” and “Dig My Grave”—that were written for Kurt Schindler's Schola Cantorum. Also, it was not unusual for Burleigh himself to appear in concert or recital with other song composers. This chapter considers Burleigh's compositions published from 1896 to 1903 and from 1904 to 1913, including art songs, plantation songs, piano sketches, and sacred songs.

Keywords:   art songs, Harry T. Burleigh, lyrics, spirituals, Kurt Schindler, composers, plantation songs, piano sketches, sacred songs, compositions

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