2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Fine Arts

Margaret Bonds’ Three Dream Portraits: Art Music and Racial Inequality in the United States
Elizabeth K. Geisewite♦
Dr. Warren Gooch, Faculty Mentor

Margaret Bonds (1913-1972) shattered cultural norms of race and gender in the early-mid 20th century United States by establishing herself as a highly respected African-American woman pianist and composer. Inspired by the social and artistic climate of the Harlem Renaissance, she selected three of Langston Hughes’ poems and set them as a three-song cycle for solo voice and piano. The resulting work, Three Dream Portraits, resonates as a powerful anti-racism statement. Unity, variety, and progression of elements within the piece, such as melody, harmony, meter, and text, make this cycle dense with musical and poetic meaning. A brief exegesis of some of the works’ most fascinating features will precede a performance of the entire cycle.

Keywords: vocal performance, African-American, Racism, Margaret Bonds, Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, song cycle

Topic(s):Music

Presentation Type: Performance Art

Session: 15-2
Location: OP 1393, Performance Hall
Time: 10:00

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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