Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


School of Music



First Advisor

Larry Wyatt


This paper brings to the forefront the interesting ways that Jean Belmont Ford (JBF) chooses her texts and how she uses music to illuminate the text for the listener. JBF has very imaginative ways of choosing and setting her texts, which set her apart from her contemporaries. Her music is becoming well known amongst choral musicians and deserves the examination provided within this document.

Chapter one is an introduction discussing the need and purpose for this study along with related literature and methodology. Chapter two focuses on her choices of texts and how she chooses to manipulate those texts to highlight what she feels are the important elements. Chapter three examines the various kinds of text painting contained in JBF's pieces. Chapter four discusses four of her major works and the choices she makes within them regarding themes, instrumentations, and musical form. Chapter five highlights her unusual feelings towards traditional time and key signatures, as well as examines her general compositional approach. Finally chapter six is a conclusion. A bibliography, transcription of an interview with JBF, transcription of an interview with Charles Bruffy, who premieres much of her music, and a list of the texts from the studied works are included as appendices.