Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Stephen E. Young

Committee Members

George F. DeVine


Walter Porter (1588 or 1595-1659) was an important composer as the dawn of the Baroque broke over England. A small amount of scholarly work concerning his life and music has already been done. Five pieces from Porter's Madrigales and Ayres (1632) have been published in modern transcriptions. The supplement to this thesis contains modern transcriptions of three additional works from Madrigales and Ayres.

The purpose of this thesis is to discuss at length and in detail some of the works in Madrigales and Ayres. Five selections--the three in the thesis supplement and two edited by Ian Spink--provide a broad representative base for such a detailed study.

Chapter I gives a biographical sketch of Porter, discusses general characteristics of, and Italian influence in, his works, and discusses Baroque performance practice apropos to Porter's Madrigales and Ayres. Chapter II gives a detailed stylistic analysis concerning these aspects of the five selections: relationship of text to music, form, harmony, melody, rhythm, instrumentation, and basso continuo.

Conclusions revealed in the thesis point out innovative Baroque characteristics, characteristics adopted by numerous followers of Porter in England, such as Henry Purcell (1659-1695).

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