2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Fine Arts

The Use of Jewish Folksong and Musical Form as Tools to Both Unify and Emphasize Text in Robert Convery’s Cantata Songs of Children
Emily A. Nelson♦
Dr. Jay Bulen, Faculty Mentor

Robert Convery’s Songs of Children, composed in memory of all children who perished in the Holocaust, is based on nine poems written by children interned at the Terezin Concentration Camp. Convery effectively uses a Jewish folksong and musical form as tools to unify the cantata and emphasize its poignant text. With the basic idea that “hate transforms a child,” the poems are organized in such a way as to demonstrate a spiritual transformation of a child’s experience in a concentration camp. Each movement of the cantata represents a different state of mind. Not only are the movements of the cantata unified textually but they are also unified musically by the Jewish folksong Ani Maamin. The musical material in each movement is derived from specific sections of this folksong. Musical form serves a crucial role to emphasize the differing emotions in the individual sections. Specific examples from the score are provided.

Keywords: Robert Convery, Songs of Children, Jewish folksong , musical form , used as tools, unify the cantata , emphasize its text, examples provided


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 3-3
Location: OP 2113
Time: 9:00

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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