Home > Voice + keyboard > Li’l’ Gal (Lyrics of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Set 1, no. 3)

Li’l’ Gal (Lyrics of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Set 1, no. 3)

Year of composition
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
3 minutes
Modern classical music
Voice + keyboard
Instrumental parts

Lyrics of Paul Laurence Dunbar is a musical setting of selected poems by African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) for baritone voice and piano with occasional obbligato instruments. The complete 11-part opus includes five dialect poems, five standard English poems, and one "bridge" poem with elements of both.

Set 1 interprets five of Dunbar’s Dialect poems in appropriate Black American music styles. Li’l’ Gal seeks to evoke a classic Blues feel with its thick harmonies, swing-like rhythms, and obbligato cornet. The germ of its principal melody comes from J. Rosamond Johnson’s setting of the same poem.

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