An art song is a genre of classical music traditionally written for piano and voice while setting the text of a poem. The art song has long been considered by scholars to be a look into the cultural and historical context of its originating country; extensive research has been done on the settings of Goethe by Schubert and Schumann (German lied) or the settings of Verlaine by Debussy and Fauré (French chanson). However, the contemporary American art song lacks the same attention. The Natural Association of Teachers of Singing features a competition every year dedicated to the performance of art song and requires singers to perform at least one selection in English, and it also features a separate competition for the composition of the contemporary art song. However, despite the growing interest in the survival and development of the American art song, the most recent books in the Northwestern music library whose focus is the research and identity of American song refer to ‘contemporary’ as the 1970s or 80s; while research has been done on Charles Ives and Aaron Copland and their settings of Emily Dickinson, little research extends beyond the middle of the 20th century. For eight weeks, inspired by the research which has already been done on centuries-old art song in Germany and France, I will spearhead an interdisciplinary study of contemporary American song by focusing on text settings of perhaps the greatest and most accessible American avant-garde poet, e.e. cummings, in order to develop an understanding of this under researched music and its place in music history as a representative of American culture, art, and performance practice. In hoping to make a career in the performance of this repertoire, it is particularly important to me not only to have a concrete understanding of American musical aesthetics and performance practices, but also to encourage the study and performance of these works on a broader scale.