Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Maria Cristina Fava, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Chair Lauron Kehrer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kimberly Dunn Adams, D.M.A.


Choral music, Hearne, religion, sexual violence, trauma, voice

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis considers Ted Hearne’s sixteen-voice choral composition Consent as a demonstration of gender-based violence and rape. Scholars have observed the relationships between trauma, identity, sound, and performance; however, few have explored the effects of cross-generational violence in a choral setting. The author primarily focuses on the origins of the composer’s selection of the religious and primary-source texts, where he defines the rhetoric that either incites and/or justifies sexual violence using historical and theological contexts. This thesis contains interviews with members of the professional chamber choir that brought the piece critical acclaim, The Crossing, where participants shared their musical experience and relationship to rape culture. To rationalize these experiences, the author draws on psycho-musicological research that details the bodily manifestations of trauma during a performance. Proven by historical context, musical prose of insidious rhetoric, and firsthand accounts, Ted Hearne’s Consent acts as both a mirror and magnifying glass to our patriarchal society that sustains rape culture.