Award details

Elizabeth Gerow

Department: Music

Faculty supervisor: Dr. Harald Krebs


"The German composer Josephine Lang (1815-80) wrote over 300 songs, only about half of which were published.  I am proposing to select two or three of her songs that have never appeared in print or been performed publicly, and to prepare an edition of them and perform them. Preparing an edition involves deciphering all existing sketches and drafts of a song (both its music and its German text), determining the latest version, and creating a readable copy using computer software. Dr. Harald Krebs, who has written a book on the composer (Oxford, 2007), has copies of all of Lang’s song manuscripts, and will guide me in making my selection and in the editorial process. Prof. Susan Young, my voice instructor, will supervise the preparation of the performance. During the editing process, I will learn to read the 19th-century script in which the poetic text is written; to make editorial decisions in ambiguous situations, based on my knowledge of music theory; and to use Sibelius notation software. I will also learn about Lang’s life, musical style, and personality (immersion in a composer’s manuscripts provides many insights into the latter!). I shall prepare a short talk about the songs, including some background about the composer, the music, and the poetry, but focusing mainly on the challenges of the editing process. I shall present the talk, and shall perform the songs at the Research Fair on March 9, 2016."