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Lieder and art song resource guide: History and literature

This guide is intended to assist in locating scores and materials about art songs and Lieder.
Last Updated: Apr 11, 2022 11:24 AM

History and literature

Books about the history or genre of art songs and Lieder may be found in the section with call numbers beginning with ML 2800 - ML 2851. A few selections:

  • Meister, Barbara. An Introduction to the Art Song. New York: Taplinger Publishing Company. 
    ML 2800 .M44

    Short chapters are organized around individual composers, and each chapter includes a discussion of stylistic and textual elements of a few selected works. The focus is a non-technical introduction, and a glossary is included.

  • Parsons, James, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Lied. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 
    ML 2829 .C36 2004

    Chapters by various authors emphasize the Lied in the 19th century, although the 18th and mid-20th century each receive a chapter. Chapters tend to have a historical focus, and many include musical examples as well. Most revolve around major figures in the genre: Franz Schubert, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss. A 14-page bibliography provides a resource for those wishing to do further research.

Books that focus on the more technical nature (musical features, harmonic analysis, music theory, detailed text-music analysis) of art may be found in the section with call numbers staring with MT 110. A few selections:

  • Meister, Barbara. Art Song: The Marriage of Music and Poetry. Wakefield, New Hampshire: Hollowbrook Publishing, 1992. 
    MT 110 .M44

    Discusses the interrelatedness of music and text in specific songs of Faure, Debussy, Auric, Brahms, Schubert and others; poets include Goethe, MÖlrike, Von Schack, Verlaine, and Baudelaire. Includes musical examples.

  • Perry, Beate Julia. Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Early Romantic Poetics: Fragmentation of Desire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 
    MT 121 .S38 P47 2002

    An example of the types of work in this section, this book includes discussion of Romantic form, the lyrics of Heinrich Heine, and a musico-poetic analysis of the song cycle.

Books about specific composers have call numbers starting with ML 410 and are in alphabetical order by composer's last name. For example:

  • Mc Kay, Elizabeth Norman. Schubert: A Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. 
    ML 410 .S3 M34