Title page for ETD etd-08272009-000441

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Smith, William Clay
Author's Email Address william_clay_smith@yahoo.com
URN etd-08272009-000441
Title Drum Taps: A Performance Guide to the Song Cycle by Richard Pearson Thomas
Degree Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
Department Music
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Grayson, Robert Committee Chair
O'Neill, Patricia Committee Member
Peck, Robert Committee Member
Sims, Loraine Committee Member
McKnight, Michelynn Dean's Representative
  • Richard Pearson Thomas
  • Drum Taps
  • Walt Whitman
Date of Defense 2009-04-23
Availability unrestricted
Smith, William Clay, B.A., Campbellsville University, 2000

Master of Arts in Music, Campbellsville University, 2001

Doctor of Musical Arts, Fall Commencement, 2009

Major: Music

Drum Taps: A Performance Guide to the Song Cycle by Richard Pearson Thomas

Written Document directed by Kirkpatrick Professor of Voice Robert Grayson

Pages in written document, 147. Words in abstract, 120.


Composer Richard Pearson Thomas has gained recognition from his art song “I Never Saw a Moor” and his participation in the AIDS Quilt Songbook, but his song cycle Drum Taps has often been overlooked. This document examines the baritone song cycle which was completed in 1990. The study begins with biographical synopses of the composer and the poet, Walt Whitman, as well as brief information about the poetry from which Drum Taps is drawn. Subsequent chapters focus on the five songs of the cycle, studying each song’s text, sound, harmony, melody, rhythm, growth throughout the piece, and performance practice. The information is presented as an aid to preparing and performing the work. Additionally, an appendix presents the composer’s complete works.

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