The elements of neoclassical style in the women's choir compositions of Irving Fine

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Garrett Saake (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Welborn Young

Abstract: The composer Irving Fine died in 1962 at the age of forty-seven cutting short the life of an important figure in twentieth-century American music. Since Fine's life was relatively short, his musical output is proportionally small and often goes unstudied. Fine's contribution to the choral genre is particularly small but offers a unique perspective of composing for choir. Fine's complete oeuvre includes music in many genres that can stylistically be divided into two categories; tonal-neoclassical and atonal-neoclassical. Fine's early instrumental compositions are decidedly tonal-neoclassical and ultimately become serially based, a style that characterizes most of his later works. While Fine's instrumental music developed towards atonality, his works for women's choir did not. The choral music for women's choir remained rooted in the tonal-neoclassical style of his early period. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that Irving Fine composed choral music for women's choir in an operative and nuanced style of choral writing that remained effectively tonally based and in the neoclassical style as understood and applied by Fine and his colleagues. This document places the selected choral works in context through a brief biography and discussion of neoclassicism as the term was understood during Fine's compositional period. The biography "Irving Fine: A Composer in His Time" by Phillip Ramey and information from the Irving Fine Collection at the Library of Congress are the primary sources of biographical information. The remainder of this paper is a detailed examination of Fine's treatment of musical form, harmony and character in his compositions for women's choir. Through this examination, Fine's music will be shown to function within criteria of tonal-neoclassicism as understood and practiced by Fine and his colleagues.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Boston, Boulanger, Irving Fine, Neoclassical, Stravinsky, Women's Choir
Fine, Irving, $d 1914-1962
Choral music

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