Format Web Pages
Subjects Article
Choral Music
Lang, Margaret Ruthven
Parlor and Concert Stage
Progressive Era to New Era
Songs and Music
"The Old Man with a Beard (1907)" by Margaret Ruthven Lang
Subject Headings
-  Lang, Margaret Ruthven -- -- composer
-  Choral music
-  progressive era to new era (1900-1929)
-  songs and music
-  parlor and concert stage
-  articles
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Image: The Old Man with a Beard, [1907-1909]. Margaret Ruthven Lang, 1867-1972
The Old Man with a Beard, [1907-1909]. Margaret Ruthven Lang, 1867-1972. Holograph in pen. A. P. Schmidt Collection, box 148, folder 9. Music Division, Library of Congress

Margaret Ruthven Lang's father often conducted his daughter's works at his choral concerts. In 1890, his Apollo Club premiered her Jumblies, op. 5, an ambitious part-song on a humorous text by Edward Lear (1812-88) scored for men's chorus, baritone solo, and two pianos. She set at least eight of Lear's nonsense rhymes to music.

In Lang's setting of Lear's The Old Man with a Beard (1907), the piano part is filled with twittering figures to represent the two owls, one hen, four larks, and a wren who built their nests in the man's beard. He relates the problem, according to Lang's musical direction, "with anguish."