Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery


Generally remembered as the composer of one or two relatively famous orchestral works, Charles Tomlinson Griffes made a lasting contribution in the field of vocal solo literature. In a brief composing career, basically 1906 to 1918, Griffes completed fifty-nine art songs. Thirty-eight of them have been published to date.

Although Griffes's composing career was short, a wide variety of styles are encountered throughout his art songs. To aid, therefore, in the delineation of Griffes's style, his songs have been grouped into three categories according to the following factors: influences from other sources, possible purposes for their composition, and potential impact on the history of American art song.

Analysis of Griffes's song style begins with discussion of the composer's selection of texts. Four chapters succeeding this discussion are devoted to each of the basic musical elements— melody, harmony, form, and rhythm. Additional chapters deal with piano-voice relations and functions, and with Griffes and the public.

There has been considerable debate concerning Griffes's susceptibility to stylistic influences and his position in the history of American song. The concluding chapter presents several opinions by musical scholars on these questions and pinpoints solutions on the basis of trends developed in the preceding chapters.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, Illinois State University

Ch 00 Title, Table of Contents_rev.pdf (187 kB)
Title, Table of Contents

Ch 01 Introduction.pdf (215 kB)
Chapter 1, Introduction

Ch 02 Griffes and His Texts.pdf (226 kB)
Chapter 2, Griffes and His Texts

Ch 03 Melody in Griffes's Songs.pdf (431 kB)
Chapter 3, Melody in Griffes's Songs

Ch 04 Harmony in Griffes's Songs.pdf (450 kB)
Chapter 4, Harmony in Griffes's Songs

Ch 05 Form in Griffes's Songs.pdf (413 kB)
Chapter 5, Form in Griffes's Songs

Ch 06 Rhythm in Griffes's Songs.pdf (281 kB)
Chapter 6, Rhythm in Griffes's Songs

Ch 07 Voice and Piano in Griffes's Songs.pdf (284 kB)
Chapter 7, Voice and Piano in Griffes's Songs

Ch 08 Griffes and the Public.pdf (235 kB)
Chapter 8, Griffes and the Public

Ch 09 Conclusion.pdf (299 kB)
Chapter 9, Conclusion

Ch 10 Music Examples.pdf (2620 kB)
Chapter 10, Music Examples

Ch 11 Bibliography.pdf (146 kB)
Chapter 11, Bibliography

Ch 12 Appendix.pdf (1904 kB)
Chapter 12, Appendix