Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



Michael McGlynn, Irish composer and director of the choral group Anúna, is a fresh and engaging voice in the world of choral music. This paper delves into the sacred and secular works of Michael McGlynn to yield a clearer understanding of the style of this unique composer and the performance issues inherent in McGlynn’s Celtic Mass, an extended work for chorus, strings, harp, and percussion. Correspondence with the composer and examination of a representative cross section of his works revealed a number of influences, from Medieval music to the traditional music of McGlynn’s Irish homeland. McGlynn’s compositions range from chant settings dominated by drones and open sonorities to highly chromatic works. Rhythm is an important component of the composer’s works, and development occurs primarily through repetition. His Celtic Mass, a compilation of individual works in both Latin and Gaelic, was analyzed to create a guide for the conductor’s preparation of this work. The analysis highlights the structure, motivic development, use of fifths, and treatment of modes. Examination of these items showed a tendency toward tonic-dominant opposition, both altered and unaltered, as well as a predominance of development through repetition. In addition, McGlynn often employs modes, modal mixtures, or combinations of modes that create new scales. Overall it was found that McGlynn does not rely on one compositional voice or formula, but rather a number of techniques and styles. This tendency creates an interesting diversity in his music and should make his output of interest to the choral world.



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Committee Chair

Fulton, Kenneth



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