Date of Award
Doctor of Musical Arts
AbstractThe purpose of this dissertation is to identify gaps in existing literature and records of Cajun folksongs, and to validate art song arrangements of this repertoire as a significant contribution to the canon of Cajun music. Though it continues to evolve and thrive as a commercial music genre, Cajun folk music is underrepresented in notated form. Transcription is vital to the preservation of folk music; however, previously published collections of these folksongs offer incomplete analysis. Composer Costas Dafnis arrangements of these songs for voice and piano have the potential to increase their exposure with classical musicians in professional and academic settings, and also to ameliorate existing collections of these songs. Art songs serve as ideal vessels for disseminating folk music. Through the arranging process, a strict lens of analysis isolates rhythmic structure, individual components of melody, and harmonic function in a manner which may illuminate previously unexamined style traits. This process of analysis is its own contribution to the literature of folk traditions, and offers a further contribution by introducing this rich song tradition to a new audience of performers and scholars who are custodians of historical music.The title of this dissertation makes reference to the eradication of the French language from Louisiana schools during the 20th century. Students who used French in spoken or written form were sternly punished and famously asked to write one hundred lines of: I will not speak French in school. Songs became the primary vehicle for oral tradition during and following this French language moratorium.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest
Carey, Nancy, "Je ne vais pas parler franais l'cole: Preservation of Cajun Culture Through Song" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2889.