"Song of Myself": Themes of identity and context in selected early twentieth-century settings of Walt Whitman
by Zoeller, Anthony, D.M.A., UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI, 2010, 105 pages; 3422047


Composers have set the poetry of Walt Whitman (1819–1892) more than five hundred times in the century since his death—the most for an American poet. For many, Whitman is the quintessential representative of the United States. This document will examine the ascendancy of Whitman as it relates to vocal art music from the first half of the twentieth century and will focus on the context in which composers have turned to him for inspiration. Composers from various nations and communities also seem to find something in Whitman that speaks to them and their individual circumstance, be it comfort in war and loss, racial integrity, sexual orientation, love of man and nature, or patriotism. Specific pieces will be presented as representational examples of these various themes. Concepts of self-identity and national identity will be addressed, and the particular circumstances of composition will be presented in order to show how Whitman, who during his lifetime was largely dismissed by the public and the academy, became known as America’s Bard.

AdviserBruce Mcclung
SourceDAI/A 71-10, Sep 2010
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsModern literature; Music; American literature
Publication Number3422047
Adobe PDF Access the complete dissertation:

» This is an open access dissertation.
  Use the link below to access the full text PDF of this graduate work:
  Use the link below to search and retrieve all open access dissertations:

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With over 2.3 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

The database includes citations of graduate works ranging from the first U.S. dissertation, accepted in 1861, to those accepted as recently as last semester. Of the 2.3 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 1.9 million in full text formats. Of those, over 860,000 are available in PDF format. More than 60,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - http://www.proquest.com - or call ProQuest Hotline Customer Support at 1-800-521-3042.