Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music



First Advisor

Larry Wyatt


The purpose of this document is to highlight the fundamental musical features J.A.C. Redford employs to create characterizations within his oratorio The Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp. Analysis of melody, harmony, texture and rhythm demonstrates Redford’s methods of underscoring the principles of good and evil while demonstrating a Christian worldview.

An examination of each character reveals unique music that highlights specific aspects of their individual personalities. Redford employs a variety of techniques to accomplish the diverse personae. These techniques also illuminate elements of his compositional style. Special features include melodies with natural speech rhythms and inflections, extended tertian harmonies, and rhythmic and melodic motifs woven throughout the work. There are numerous quotes from the composer on his thought processes in creating the piece. The final chapter includes performance considerations that will be particularly useful to the conductor.

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