Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Irina Voro


Kingdom of the Heart’s Content, Op. 11 is a selection of twelve sketches written between 1952 and 1956. In this work, Joseph Baber draws inspiration from his childhood memories and a variety of locations in Richmond, Virginia, using his unique blend of folk idioms, traditional forms and harmonies, and capricious metric changes to bring these vignettes to life. Kingdom of the Heart’s Content is comprised of twelve movements with the programmatic titles: Introduction: Stick Horses, Walk to Monroe Park, Charlie Short, Tag, Monument Avenue, Battle Abbey, Cycling, Sleighbells, Park Avenue Triangle, Goblins, Spring, and Finale: West End Farewell.

The purposes of this DMA project are 1) to provide pianists and teachers with insight into Joseph Baber’s life, compositional style, and musical philosophy, 2) to provide a descriptive analysis and a brief performance suggestion of Kingdom of the Heart’s Content.

This document will introduce the selected piano work by Joseph Baber to students and teachers; provide biographical information about Joseph Baber’s life, education, and career; and examine his compositions in the context of his personal narrative.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)