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Vaughan Williams' Songs of Travel : a case study of art song as performance and pedagogical repertoire for bass trombone Sullivan, Nicholas Allan


The repertoire of the bass trombone as a solo performer is limited compared to other instruments. Although the number of compositions for the instrument is growing, there are periods in Western Art Music history where the instrument has little to no repertoire, or the repertoire is not appropriate for a student performer. This document examines the pedagogical and performance use of the art song cycle Songs of Travel, composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and transcribed for bass trombone. The songs are well-suited to performance on the bass trombone, written in the baritone register of the voice and using a varied range of dynamics, articulations, and tempi to express the emotions and to advance the narrative of the cycle. Transcribed vocal works are an excellent source of music for the bass trombonist, adding to the repertoire of the instrument from different periods and composers in Western Art Music history. In looking at the Songs of Travel as a case for performing art song, this document explores the use of song text to improve upon the performer’s concepts of phrasing, promote a legato style, expand upon musical expression, and reinforce a singing style of performing. Supplementary material(s) available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/81484

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