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Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department/Program



Orland Johnson, Tilford Brooks, Patricia Shehan


English (en)

Date of Award

Spring 5-15-1986

Degree Type

Restricted Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The main objective of the paper is the study of the choral music of Lena Johnson McLin, a black female composer. The subsidiary purpose is to contribute to scholarly writings about a class of composers often overlooked by music scholars, i.e. black composers.

Lena McLin is one of the most published Black American composers. The published choral works number over 45, including two full liturgical masses and several cyclic works. In addition to her choral activity she has published a history book and several educational films concerning black music. Her outstanding contribution to repertoire for high school, college and church choirs make her an ideal subject for study.

Since each composer's style is based largely on factors other than musical (such as sociological changes, economic influences), such areas were considered in choosing the particular field of emphasis. McLin's music and religious convictions are difficult to separate. Thirty of her forty-eight published choral works are based on religious texts. Ten others deal with love, peace and brotherhood. Consequently, this study concentrates on her sacred works.

The Appendices contain a catalogue of choral pieces, a recommended listening guide for spirituals and gospel songs, and the printed scores of analyzed pieces. Also included in the Appendices is an extensive interview with Lena McLin.



Permanent URL: Print version available in library catalog at Call #: LD5791.8 PhD86 C68