Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Larry Wyatt


George Herbert’s poetry is among the greatest religious poetry written in the English language. His introspective and nuanced understanding of the human soul and his beautiful style of writing have earned him his place among the great poets. His catalogue is filled with poems ready to be set to music, and dozens of them have been. However, there is no document that seeks to gather an annotated list of these compositions in one place. Further, while a few of these compositions are performed often, there are dozens of other worthy compositions that should be heard on a more wide and regular basis. By providing a guide to Herbert’s life, writings, and choral settings of his English poetry, this document seeks to address these issues. A brief biography provides conductors with an understanding of Herbert’s family background, education, and career. Attention is given to the metaphysical poets, Herbert’s place among them, and to the breadth of his writings. Finally, an extensive guide to the choral literature based on Herbert’s English poetry is provided. This guide will serve as a resource to the choral community and allow choral directors to easily identify individual works that will be appropriate for their context and ensemble – resulting in a greater breadth of these fine compositions being heard.


© 2014, Benjamin Todd Ebner

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