Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



J. A. C. Redford’s Antiphons is a reverent and mystically beautiful, choral song cycle, consisting of seven settings and written for a cappella divisi mixed chorus. Based on texts originating from the seven, ancient Great O Antiphons, each of Redford’s settings interweave the original antiphon text with one of seven Advent sonnets written by English poet-priest, Malcolm Guite. The texts of the Great O Antiphons coincide with the seven verses of the familiar Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” This study contains a brief history and a comprehensive textual analysis of the ancient antiphons, an in-depth textual analysis of Guite’s sonnets, and a thorough musical analysis of Redford’s Antiphons, as well as biographies on the American composer, J. A. C. Redford and the English poet, Malcolm Guite. The musical analysis of this study examines the musical structure as it relates to the original antiphon and the sonnet text. Redford strategically positions the ancient chant within the structure of the sonnet to incite a conversation between ancient and modern texts. The structure of Malcolm Guite’s Advent sonnets is also discussed. The quatrains and couplet are identified and the location of the volta is revealed for each sonnet. Redford has stated that his primary goal is to musically portray the essence of the text’s meaning. This study endeavors to offer insight into the composer’s journey. Significant considerations include his nontraditional approach to musical structure, his employment of a variety of tonal centers and music textures, his incorporation of intricate rhythmic schemes and frequent meter adjustments, and his unique harmonic language applied to color the music.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dickson, John



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Music Commons