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- Accessibility and Authenticity in Julia Smith's Cynthia Parker
- In 1939, composer Julia Smith's first opera Cynthia Parker dramatized the story of a Texas legend. Smith manipulated music, text, and visual images to make the opera accessible for the audience in accordance with compositional and institutional practices in American opera of the 1930s. Transparent musical themes and common Native Americans stereotypes are used to define characters. Folk music is presented as diegetic, creating a sense of authenticity that places the audience into the opera's Western setting. The opera is codified for the audience using popular idioms, resulting in initial but not lasting success.
- Asserting Identity in Wagner's Shadow: The Case of Engelbert Humperdinck's Königskinder (1897)
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Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921), who was considered a Wagnerian due to to his past work in Bayreuth and the Wagnerian traits of his Hänsel und Gretel, seems to have believed that to define himself as a composer, he had to engage somehow with that designation, whether through orthodox Wagner imitation or an assertion of his independence from Wagner's musical legacy. The latter kind of engagement can be seen in Humperdinck's Königskinder (1897), in which he developed a new kind of declamatory notation within the context of melodrama, thus fulfilling Wagnerian ideals as well as progressing beyond them. The effectiveness of Humperdinck's effort is seen in the ensuing critical reception, in which the realities of being heard as a Wagnerian composer are clarified.
- The "Beethoven Folksong Project" in the Reception of Beethoven and His Music
- Beethoven's folksong arrangements and variations have been coldly received in recent scholarship. Their melodic and harmonic simplicity, fusion of highbrow and lowbrow styles, seemingly diminished emphasis on originality, and the assorted nationalities of the tunes have caused them to be viewed as musical rubble within the heritage of Western art music. The canonic composer's relationship with the Scottish amateur folksong collector and publisher George Thomson, as well as with his audience, amateur music lovers, has been largely downplayed in the reception of Beethoven. I define Beethoven's engagement with folksongs and their audience as the "Beethoven Folksong Project," evaluating it in the history of Beethoven reception as well as within the cultural and ideological contexts of the British Isles and German-speaking lands at the turn of the nineteenth century. I broaden the image of Beethoven during his lifetime by demonstrating that he served as an ideal not only for highly educated listeners and performers but also for amateur music lovers in search of cultivation through music. I explore the repertory under consideration in relation to the idea of Bildung ("formation" or "education" of the self or of selves as a nation) that pervaded contemporary culture, manifesting itself in music as the tradition of Bildungsmusik ("music for self-improvement"). Drawing on both contemporary reviews and recent studies, I show that the music's demanding yet comprehensible nature involved a wide range of elements from folk, popular, and chamber music to Hausmusik ("house music"), Unterhaltungsmusik ("music for entertainment"), Alpenmusik ("music of the Alps"), and even Gassenhauer ("street music"). Within the tradition of Bildungsmusik, adaptation of folksongs for domestic music-making, recomposition of pre-existing materials, collaboration between professionals and amateurs, and incorporation of musics familiar to and popular with contemporaries served as significant means for the composer to communicate with a middle-class audience. The hybrid and flexible nature of the folksong settings was not an awkward mix of various kinds of "trivial" music but rather a reflection of political, cultural, and social phenomena in Europe at the turn of the nineteenth century.
- "Being" a Stickist: A Phenomenological Consideration of "Dwelling" in a Virtual Music Scene
- Musical instruments are not static, unchanging objects. They are, instead, things that materially evolve in symmetry with human practices. Alterations to an instrument's design often attend to its ergonomic or expressive capacity, but sometimes an innovator causes an entirely new instrument to arise. One such instrument is the Chapman Stick. This instrument's history is closely intertwined with global currents that have evolved into virtual, online scenes. Virtuality obfuscates embodiment, but the Stick's world, like any instrument's, is optimally related in intercorporeal exchanges. Stickists circumvent real and virtual obstacles to engage the Stick world. Using an organology informed by the work of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, this study examines how the Chapman Stick, as a material "thing," speaks in and through a virtual, representational environment.
- Belle Musique and Fin' Amour: Thibaut de Champagne, Gace Brulé, and an Aristocratic Trouvére Tradition
- Many consider Gace Brulé (c1160-c1213) and Thibaut IV, Count of Champagne, (1201-1253) to have been the greatest trouvères. Writers on this subject have not adequately examined this assumption, having focused their energies on such issues as tracking melodic variants of individual works as preserved in different song-books (or chansonniers), the interpretation of rhythm in performance, and creation of modern editions of these songs. This thesis examines the esteem enjoyed by Gace and Thibaut in both medieval and modern times which derives from their exemplarity of, rather than difference from their noble contemporaries.
- Beyond the Human Voice: Francis Poulenc's Psychological Drama La Voix humaine (1958)
- Francis Poulenc's one-character opera La Voix humaine (1958), a setting of the homonymous play by Jean Cocteau, explores the psychological complexities of an unnamed woman as she experiences the end of a romantic relationship. During the forty-minute work, she sings in a declamatory manner into a telephone, which serves as a sign of the unrevealed man at the other end. Poulenc uses musical motives to underscore the woman's changing emotional states as she recalls her past relationship. The musical dramaturgy in this work resignifies Debussy's impressionist symbolism by collapsing devices used in Pelléas et Mélisande in a language that shifts between octatonicism, chromaticism, harmonic and melodic whole tone passages, and diatonicism. This late work recontextualizes elements in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-56), and the end of the opera provides a theme for his Sonate pour Clarinet et Piano(1962), as Poulenc reflects on his youthful encounters with Cocteau, Erik Satie, and Les Six.
- Beyond the "Year of Song": Text and Music in the Song Cycles of Robert Schumann after 1848
- In recent years scholars have begun to re-evaluate the works, writings, and life of Robert Schumann (1810-1856). One of the primary issues in this ongoing re-evaluation is a reassessment of the composer's late works (roughly defined as those written after 1845). Until recently, the last eight years of Schumann's creative life and the works he composed at that time either have been ignored or critiqued under an image of an illness that had caused periodic breakdowns. Schumann's late works show how his culture and the artists communicating within that culture were transformed from the beginning to the middle of the nineteenth century. These late works, therefore, should be viewed in the context of Schumann's output as a whole and in regard to their contributions to nineteenth-century society. Schumann's contributions, specifically to the genre of the song cycle from 1849 to 1852, are among his late compositional works that still await full reconsideration. A topical study, focusing on three themes of selections from his twenty-three late cycles, will provide a critical evaluation of Schumann's compositional output in the genre of the song cycle. First, Schumann's political voice will be examined. The political events that led to the mid-nineteenth-century revolutions inspired crucial changes in European life and the art produced at that time. Schumann took an active role through his artistic contributions in which he exercised his political voice in responding to these changing events. Second, Schumann's storytelling voice will be explored. In the nineteenth century, storytellers remembered past events in order to comment on social and political issues of their own day. Schumann's storytelling voice allowed him to embrace a change in his own musical style and message in several late cycles.ird, Schumann's (relational) feminist voice will be considered. In two late cycles Schumann featured historical women: Elisabeth Kulmann (1808-1825), a Russian poet, and Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-1587). In both of these cycles, Schumann closely associated these women's lives with their work and appreciated their strength and their abilities to transcend their earthly burdens. These late song cycles not only allow us to fully appreciate a large part of Schumann's late-compositional oeuvre, but they also provide us a better understanding of the mid-century German culture from this artist's perspective. The method by which Schumann communicated with his audiencesone so different from that of the 1840-songsis as significant as the messages he hoped to communicate. Schumann's experiences leading up to 1848 had changed him as a man and as a musician. Through his late song cycles, Schumann communicated his ideas about the transformation that happened within himself, his audiences, and the German culture and proposed ways to resolve the many conflicts that existed.
- Carlo Milanuzzi's Quarto Scherzo and the Climate of Venetian Popular Music in the 1620s
- Although music publishing in Italy was on the decline around the turn of the seventeenth century, Venice emerged as one of the most prolific publishing centers of secular song in Italy throughout the first three decades of the 1600s. Many Venetian song collections were printed with alfabeto, a chordal tablature designed to facilitate even the most untrained of musicians with the necessary tools for accompanying singers on the fashionable five-course Spanish guitar. Carlo Milanuzzi's Quarto Scherzo (1624) stands out among its contemporary Venetian song collections with alfabeto as an anthology of Venetian secular songs, including compositions by Miniscalchi, Berti, and Claudio and Francesco Monteverdi. Issues surrounding its publication, instrumentation, and musical and poetic style not only contribute to the understanding of Venetian Baroque monody, but also help to construe a repertory of vocal music with defining characteristics usually associated with popular music of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
- Caught Between Jazz and Pop: The Contested Origins, Criticism, Performance Practice, and Reception of Smooth Jazz.
- In Caught Between Jazz and Pop, I challenge the prevalent marginalization and malignment of smooth jazz in the standard jazz narrative. Furthermore, I question the assumption that smooth jazz is an unfortunate and unwelcomed evolutionary outcome of the jazz-fusion era. Instead, I argue that smooth jazz is a long-lived musical style that merits multi-disciplinary analyses of its origins, critical dialogues, performance practice, and reception. Chapter 1 begins with an examination of current misconceptions about the origins of smooth jazz. In many jazz histories, the origins of smooth jazz are defined as a product of the jazz-fusion era. I suggest that smooth jazz is a distinct jazz style that is not a direct outgrowth of any mainstream jazz style, but a hybrid of various popular and jazz styles. Chapters 2 through 4 contain eight case studies examining the performers of crossover jazz and smooth jazz. These performers have conceived and maintained distinct communicative connections between themselves and their audiences. In the following chapter, the unfair treatment of popular jazz styles is examined. Many early and influential jazz critics sought to elevate jazz to the status of art music by discrediting popular jazz styles. These critics used specific criteria and emphasized notions of anti-commerciality to support their theoretical positions. In Chapter 6, the studio recordings and live performances of smooth jazz are discussed. Critics frequently complain that most smooth jazz recordings feature glossy packaging and pristine studio editing, resulting in a too-perfect product. Although this aesthetic is the result of a unique series of interactions, recordings do not represent the complete musical nature of smooth jazz. Live performances contain important, but typically neglected aspects of smooth jazz. Live performances enable performers to extend solos, interact, and communicate directly to the audience. While recordings are a useful source for musical analysis, smooth jazz, like other styles of jazz, is an improvisatory music that utilizes multiple sites of production and cannot be accurately judged on recordings alone.
- Criticism of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics
- Critics who discuss Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony often write about aspects that run counter to their conception of what a symphony should be, such as this symphony’s static nature and its programmatic elements. In nineteenth-century Boston and London, criticism of the Pastoral Symphony reflects the opinions of a wide range of listeners, as critics variably adopted the views of the intellectual elite and general audience members. As a group, these critics acted as intermediaries between various realms of opinion regarding this piece. Their writing serves as a lens through which we can observe audiences’ acceptance of ideas common in contemporaneous musical thought, including the integrity of the artwork, the glorification of genius, and ideas about meaning in music.
- Don Gillis's Symphony No 5½: Music for the People
- Don Gillis wrote Symphony No. 5½ (1947) in order to reconcile the American public with modern art music. By synthesizing jazz (as well as other American folk idioms), singable melodies, and humor, and then couching them into symphonic language, Gillis produced a work that lay listeners could process and enjoy. The piece was an immediate success and was played by orchestras across the globe, but it did not retain this popularity and it eventually faded from relevancy. This study focuses on elements that contributed to the initial efficacy and ultimate decline of the work. Due to its pervasive popular influences, Symphony No. 5½ is a crystallized representation of time in which it was written, and it soon became dated. Don Gillis did not harbor the idea that Symphony No. 5½ would grant him great wealth or musical immortality; he had a more pragmatic goal in mind. He used every musical element at his disposal to write a symphonic work that would communicate directly with the American people via a musical language they would understand. He was successful in this regard, but the dialogue ended soon after mid-century.
- Eighteenth-Century French Oboes: A Comparative Study
- The oboe, which first came into being in the middle of the seventeenth century in France, underwent a number of changes throughout the following century. French instruments were influenced both by local practices and by the introduction of influences from other parts of Europe. The background of the makers of these instruments as well as the physical properties of the oboes help to illuminate the development of the instrument during this period. The examination of measurements, technical drawings, photographs, and biographical data clarify the development and dissemination of practices in oboe building throughout eighteenth-century France. This clarification provides new insight into a critical period of oboe development which has hitherto not been exclusively addressed.
- he Essercizii musici: A Study of the Late Baroque Sonata
- Telemann's Essercizii musici is a seminal publication of the 1730's representative of the state of the sonata in Germany at that time. Telemann's music has been largely viewed in negative terms, presumably because of its lack of originality, with the result that the collection's content has been treated in a perfunctory manner. This thesis presents a reappraisal of the Essercizii musici based on criteria presented in Quantz's Versuch. A major source of the period, the Versuch provides an analytical framework for a deeper understanding of the sonatas that comprise Telemann's last publication. A comparison of contemporary publications of similarly titled collections establishes an historical framework for assessing the importance of the Essercizii musici as part of a tradition of publications with didactic objectives that may be traced to the late 17th century.
- Expanded Perceptions of Identity in Benjamin Britten's Nocturne, Op. 60
- A concentrated reading of Benjamin Britten's Nocturne through details of the composer's biography can lead to new perspectives on the composer's identity. The method employed broadens current understandings of Britten's personality and its relationship to the music. After creating a context for this kind of work within Britten scholarship, each chapter explores a specific aspect of Britten's identity through the individual songs of the Nocturne. Chapter 2 focuses on how Britten used genres in a pastoral style to create his own British identity. Chapter 3 concentrates on the complex relationship between Britten's homosexuality and his pacifism. Chapter 4 aims to achieve a deeper understanding of Britten's idealization of innocence. The various aspects of Britten's personality are related to one another in the Conclusion.
- Finding the "Indian" in Amy Beach's Theme and Variations for Flute and String Quartet, op. 80.
- Music that is categorized as part of the Indianist movement in American music (ca. 1890-1925) typically evokes Native American culture, ritual, story, or song through compositional gestures. It may also incorporate Native American tunes. Amy Beach (1867-1944) is considered to have composed five Indianist works, but her Theme and Variations for Flute and String Quartet, op. 80 has not been included as one of them. This thesis rethinks categorization of the piece, seeking the "Indian" in it through examination of its gestures, instrumentation, and relationship to contemporary Indianist compositions.
- Form, Style, Function and Rhetoric in Gottlob Harrer's Sinfonias: A Case Study in the Early History of the Symphony
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Gottlob Harrer (1703-1755) composed at least twenty-seven sinfonias for his patron Count Heinrich von Bruhl in Dresden from 1731-1747, placing them among the earliest concert symphonies written. Harrer's mostly autograph sinfonia manuscripts are significant documents that provide us with a more thorough understanding of musical activities in and around Dresden. Several of the works indicate topical references, including dance, march, and hunt allusions, that comment on the Dresden social occasions for which Harrer composed these works. Harrer mixes topical references with other gestures in several of his sinfonias to create what I believe is an unrecognized affective language functioning in instrumental works of the time. An examination of the topical allusions in Harrer's works solidifies their connection to the social milieu for which he wrote them, and therefore better defines the genre of the concert sinfonia of the time. The first part of this study of Harrer's sinfonias addresses evidence about the composer, his patron, Dresden society, and the circumstances surrounding the first performances of several works, musical evidence of the composer's stylistic and formal approach to the genre, and the rhetorical meaning of topical gestures in the scores in ways not yet explored. In this dissertation, I demonstrate that the stylistic and formal characteristics of Harrer's sinfonias were often influenced by the function and context of their premieres. Part Two of the dissertation provides transcriptions of Harrer's sinfonias, making them available for performance and further study in the hope that such a holistic approach will enrich our appreciation of musical life in Dresden in the 1730s.
- The "Gypsy" style as extramusical reference: A historical and stylistic reassessment of Liszt's Book I "Swiss" of Années de pèlerinage.
- This study examines Liszt's use of the style hongrois in his Swiss book of Années de pèlerinage to reference certain sentiments he had experienced. The event that brought Liszt to Switzerland is discussed in Chapter 1 in order to establish an understanding of the personal difficulties facing Liszt during the period when the Swiss book took shape. Based on Jonathan Bellman's research of the style hongrois, Chapter 2 examines the Swiss pieces that exhibit musical gestures characteristic of this style. Bellman also introduced a second, metaphoric meaning of the style hongrois, which is discussed in Chapter 3 along with Liszt's accounts from his book Des Bohémien as well as the literary quotations that are included in the Swiss book. Together, the biographical facts, the accounts from Des Bohémien, and the literary quotations show that Liszt was using the style hongrois to substantiate the autobiographical significance of the Swiss book.
- In-between Music: The Musical Creation of Cholo Identity in Cochabamba, Bolivia
- Music and identity are inextricably linked. While a particular social or ethnic group's music may reflect characteristics of that group, it also functions in creating the identity of the group. In Andean Bolivia, the choloethnic group has very subjective and constantly changing boundaries. Cholo-ness is made possible through mediated cultural performances of all types, in which members actively choose elements from both criollo and Indian cultures. Music is one particularly effective way in which cholos create and maintain their identity. This thesis focuses on the ways in which cholos use music to create a hybrid identity in and around Cochabamba, Bolivia.
- It's Not Fusion: Hybridity in the Music of Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa
- This thesis concerns the performance of identity in the music of Indian American jazz musicians Rudresh Mahanthappa and Vijay Iyer. In combining the use of Indian classical music elements with jazz, Iyer and Mahanthappa create music that is inextricably tied to their multifaceted identities. Traditional musicological analysis is juxtaposed with a theoretical framework that draws on postcolonial theory and the history of Asian immigrant populations to the U.S. I chronicle the interactions between Indian and Western music and link it to larger issues of Asian American identity formation and activism through music. Through interviews and transcriptions of studio recordings, I identify specific compositional and improvisational strategies of the musicians. I emphasize the role of individual agency in the formation of second-generation identities, drawing attention to the distinct ways that Iyer and Mahanthappa approach their music. Finally, I connect this research to a larger discourse on Indian American artistic identity.
- Jean-Georges Kastner's Traité general d'instrumentation: A Translation and Commentary
- Georges Kastner's (b Strasbourg 9 March 1810; d Paris 19 December 1867) Traite général d'instrumentation (1837), an important contribution to instrumentation study, is often overlooked because of its chronological proximity to Berlioz's Grand traité d'instrumentation (1843). Kastner's complete and concise treatise discusses the standard orchestral instruments and several obscure and ancient instruments. Intended principally for young composers, it provides the most detailed descriptions of the standard wind instruments of his day and discusses recent developments like the ophicleide and valved brass instruments. After the publication of the Traité, Kastner released a supplement including Aldophe Sax's newest innovations, entitled Cours d'instrumentation, which included musical examples of principals discussed in the Traité. Both the Traité and the Cours were accepted by the Academy and adopted by the Paris Conservatoire.
- "Marvelous Accidents": The Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra of John Cage
- John Cages Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1950-51) holds a unique position within the composers oeuvre as the first work based in part on chance-derived compositional procedures. Cage entered into such practice gradually, incrementally abandoning subjective taste and personal expression through the course of the work. Drawing from the philosophical framework provided by Cages "Lecture on Nothing" (1950) and "Lecture on Something" (c. 1951-52), this thesis explores the aesthetic foundations of the concerto and examines Cages compositional methodology throughout its three movements. Special attention is paid to the procedure underlying the first movement, whose analysis is based largely on the composers manuscript materials for the work.
- Michael Nyman: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
- Composer Michael Nyman wrote the one-act, minimalist opera The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, based off the neurological case study written by Oliver Sacks under the same title. The opera is about a professional singer and professor whom suffers from visual agnosia. In chapter 1, the plot and history of the opera are discussed. Chapter 2 places The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat alongside a selection of minimalist operas from Philip Glass and John Adams. Chapter 3 contains a history of the Fluxus art movement and shows where Fluxus-like examples appear in the opera. Chapter 4 includes Nyman's usage of minimalism, vocal congruencies, and Robert Schumann as musical elements that convey the drama.
- Mus. Ms. 1511b: A Historical Review of a Lute Manuscript in the Herwarth Collection at the Bavarian Library, Munich
- The purpose of this paper is to create a modern transcription/edition and an historical study of Munich Mus. Ms. 1511b thereby helping to define the social and pedagogical ramifications of lute repertoire from the mid-sixteenth-century. Because of the amateurish nature of the compositions, the conclusion of this study is that a member of the Herwarth family probably used the manuscript for learning purposes. Dance, grounds and other related forms found in the manuscript are discussed. Also included is an incipit concordance that can be used as a cross-reference for further research.
- Musical Arrangements and Questions of Genre: A Study of Liszt's Interpretive Approaches
- Through his exceptional creative and performing abilities, Franz Liszt was able to transform compositions of many kinds into unified, intelligible, and pleasing arrangements for piano. Nineteenth-century definitions of "arrangement" and "Klavierauszug," which focus on the process of reworking a composition for a different medium, do not adequately describe Liszt's work in this area. His piano transcriptions of Schubert's songs, Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and the symphonies of Beethoven are not note-for-note transcriptions; rather, they reinterpret the originals in recasting them as compositions for solo piano. Writing about Liszt's versions of Schubert's songs, a Viennese critic identified as "Carlo" heralded Liszt as the creator of a new genre and declared him to have made Schubert's songs the property of cultured pianists. Moreover, Liszt himself designated his work with Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and the symphonies of Beethoven "Partitions de piano": literally, piano scores. As is well known, concepts of genre in general create problems for musicologists; musical arrangements add a new dimension of difficulty to the problem. Whereas Carl Dahlhaus identifies genre as a tool for interpreting composers' responses to the social dimension of music in the fabric of individual compositions, Jeffrey Kallberg perceives it as a "social phenomenon shared by composers and listeners alike." The latter concept provides a more suitable framework for discussing the genre of transcriptions, for their importance derives in large part from relationships between the original and the derivative works, both as constructed by Liszt and perceived by critics and audiences. During the nineteenth and early twentieth century's, Liszt's transcriptions of songs and symphonies were construed as both compositions for pianists and subsets of the originals. Consequently, these compositions should be studied for their own musical value as well as for the light that they shed on the original works. Liszt's transcriptions are derivative and at the same time created distinct genres.
- Myth in the Early Collaborations of Benjamin Britten and William Plomer
- Although the most well-known collaborations of William Plomer and Benjamin Britten are the three church parables (or church operas) - Curlew River, The Burning Fiery Furnace, and The Prodigal Son - by the time of the completion of Curlew River in 1964, the librettist and composer had been working together for well over a decade. During that time, they had completed the opera Gloriana and had considered collaborating on three other projects: one a children's opera on Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Mr. Tod, one on an original story of Plomer's called "Tyco the Vegan," and one on a Greek myth (possibly Arion, Daedalus and Icarus, or Phaëthon). Far from being footnotes to the parables, these early collaborations established Plomer and Britten's working relationship and brought to light their common interests as well as their independent ones. Their successive early collaborations, therefore, can be thought of as a conversation through creative expression. This metaphor of conversation can be applied both to successive collaborations and to the completed Gloriana, in that the libretto and the music can be seen as representing different interpretations of both major and minor characters in the opera, including Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. In Gloriana, Britten employed at least three specifically musical methods of challenging the meaning of the libretto: instrumental commentary, textural density, and dramatically significant referential pitches. Plomer and Britten's conversation, carried out through these early collaborations, touches on the function of art, activism, and modern morality, but it is best circumscribed by the concept of myth. Two divergent and very influential interpretations of myth - Matthew Arnold's "sweetness and light" and primal liberation (deduced from Nietzsche) - can be usefully applied to Plomer and Britten's unfolding conversation. The implications of Plomer and Britten's adoption of myth as the topic and language of their collaborative conversation are vast and must be considered in order to understand more fully their work together.
- Nobody's Fool: A Study of the Yrodivy in Boris Godunov
- Modest Musorgsky completed two versions of his opera Boris Godunov between 1869 and 1874, with significant changes in the second version. The second version adds a concluding lament by the fool character that serves as a warning to the people of Russia beyond the scope of the opera. The use of a fool is significant in Russian history and this connection is made between the opera and other arts of nineteenth-century Russia. These changes are, musically, rather small, but historically and socially, significant. The importance of the people as a functioning character in the opera has precedence in art and literature in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth-century and is related to the Populist movement. Most importantly, the change in endings between the two versions alters the entire meaning of the composition. This study suggests that this is a political statement on the part of the composer.
- "Now His Time Really Seems to Have Come": Ideas about Mahler's Music in Late Imperial and First Republic Vienna
- In Vienna from about 1918 until the 1930s, contemporaries perceived a high point in the music-historical significance of Mahler's works, with regard to both the history of compositional style and the social history of music. The ideas and meanings that became attached to Mahler's works in this milieu are tied inextricably to the city's political and cultural life. Although the performances of Mahler's works under the auspices of Vienna's Social Democrats are sometimes construed today as mere acts of political appropriation, David Josef Bach's writings suggest that the innovative and controversial aspects of Mahler's works held social value in line with the ideal of Arbeiterbildung. Richard Specht, Arnold Schoenberg, and Theodor Adorno embraced oft-criticized features in Mahler's music, regarding the composer as a prophetic artist whose compositional style was the epitome of faithful adherence to one's inner artistic vision, regardless of its popularity. While all three critics addressed the relationship between detail and whole in Mahler's music, Adorno construed it as an act of subversion. Mahler's popularity also affected Viennese composers during this time in obvious and subtle ways. The formal structure and thematic construction of Berg's Chamber Concerto suggest a compositional approach close to what his student Adorno described a few years later regarding Mahler's music.
- Le Nuove Musiche: Giovanni Battista Bovicelli?
- This thesis is a comparative study on the late 16th century manuals of ornamentation by Girolamo Dalla Casa, Giovanni Bassano, Riccardo Rognoni, and Giovanni Battista Bovicelli. The study demonstrates that the latest Renaissance manual should be given more credit for the innovative ornamentation style that was to come in the Early Baroque era. Bovicelli's use of sequence, dissonances, and less moving notes for more rhythmic varieties are features most often associated in the style of the Baroque. Unfortunately, the topic of ornamentation in the late Renaissance is most commonly discussed as a group of different entities writing in the same style. The research for this paper is intended to separate the manuals of the late Renaissance, focusing on the separate styles that led to the work of Giovanni Battista Bovicelli.
- Opera at the Threshold of a Revolution: Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-1956)
- Francis Poulenc’s three-act opera Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-1956) depicts the struggles of the novice nun Blanche de la Force during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution. The use of Latin liturgical music at critical points in the opera conveys the ritualistic nature of Catholic worship. The spiritual message of mystical substitution, along with the closely related notion of vicarious suffering, imbue the opera with a spirituality that offers a sharp contrast to earlier operatic settings of Catholic texts, particularly during the age of grand opera. Marian devotion also plays an important role in the opera. The final tableau of the opera stages the execution of Blanche and her sisters, complete with the sound of a guillotine, with the nuns singing the Salve Regina as they proceed to the scaffold. The multivalence of the final tableau highlights the importance of voice and its absence. While the nuns, onstage spectators, and the guillotine are audibly present in the scene, the priest participates solely through gesture. The surfacing of the Lacanian Real in the silent moment of traumatic shock that follows the guillotine’s first fall allows for intertextual references to the opera in Poulenc’s Sonate pour Flûte et Piano (1957) to function as a work of remembrance.
- Patronage, Connoisseurship and Antiquarianism in Georgian England: The Fitzwilliam Music Collection (1763-1815)
- In eighteenth-century Britain, many aristocrats studied music, participated as amateurs in musical clubs, and patronized London’s burgeoning concert life. Richard Fitzwilliam, Seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion and Thorncastle (1745-1816), was one such patron and amateur. Fitzwilliam shaped his activities – participation, patronage, and collecting – in a unique way that illustrates his specialized tastes and interests. While as an amateur musician he sang in the Noblemen’s and Gentlemen’s Catch Club (the premiere social club dedicated to musical performance), he rose to the highest level of patronage by spearheading the Handel Commemoration Festival of 1784 and serving for many years as a Director of the Concert of Antient Music, the most prestigious concert series in Georgian Britain. His lasting legacy, however, was his bequest to Cambridge University of his extensive collection of art, books and music, as well as sufficient funds to establish the Fitzwilliam Museum. At the time of his death, Fitzwilliam’s collection of music was the best in the land, save that in the Royal Library. Thus, his collection is ideally suited for examination as proof of his activities, taste and connoisseurship. Moreover, the music in Fitzwilliam’s collection shows his participation in the contemporary musicological debate, evidenced by his advocacy for ancient music, his agreement with the views of Charles Avison and his support for the music of Domenico Scarlatti. On one side of this debate were proponents of learned, ancient music, such as Fitzwilliam and Avison, whose Essay on Musical Expression of 1752 was a milestone in musical criticism. On the other side of the discussion were advocates for the more modern, “classical” style and genres, led by historian Charles Burney.
- Poetry and Patronage: Alessandro Scarlatti, The Accademia Degli Arcadia, and the Development of the Conversazione Cantata in Rome 1700-1710
- The special relationship of patrons, librettists, and composers, in the Accademia degli'Arcadia in Rome from 1700-1710 appears in Alessandro Scarlatti's settings of Antonio Ottoboni's cantata librettos in the anthology GB Lbm. Add. 34056. An examination of Arcadian cantatas and their texts reveals the nature of their audience, function, and their place within the historical development of the genre. The conversazione cantata did not exist outside of Rome and was popular for only a brief period in the early eighteenth century. Critical examination of primary sources, including minutes from the Arcadian Academy meetings as well as household documents regarding the Cardinals Ottoboni and Pamphili, Prince Ruspoli, and other noble families, sheds light on the culture of the Arcadian Academy and the cantata within it, broader study clarifies the individuality of the conversazione cantata within Rome, and closer study of the contribution of the greatest cantata composer 1700-1710, Alessandro Scarlatti.
- Reading Handel: A Textual and Musical Analysis of Handel's Acis and Galatea (1708, 1718)
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The purpose of this dissertation is two-fold: one is to analyze the narratives of Acis and Galatea written by Ovid, and the two libretti by Handel's librettists including Nicola Giuvo (1708) and John Gay (1718) with John Hughes and Alexander Pope; the other is to correlate this textual analysis within the musical languages. A 1732 pastiche version is excluded because its bilingual texts are not suitable for the study of relationships between meaning and words. For this purpose, the study uses the structural theory- -mainly that of Gérard Genette--as a theoretical framework for the analysis of the texts. Narrative analysis of Acis and Galatea proves that the creative process of writing the libretto is a product of a conscious acknowledgement of its structure by composer and librettists. They put the major events of the story into recitative and ensemble. By examining the texts of both Handel's work, I explore several structural layers from the libretti: the change of the characterization to accommodate a specific occasion and the composer's response to contemporary English demand for pastoral drama with parodistic elements, alluding to the low and high class of society. Further, Polyphemus is examined in terms of relationships with culture corresponding to his recurrent pattern of appearance.
- Reconsidering the Lament: Form, Content, and Genre in Italian Chamber Recitative Laments: 1600-1640
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Scholars have considered Italian chamber recitative laments only a transitional phenomenon between madrigal laments and laments organized on the descending tetrachord bass. However, the recitative lament is distinguished from them by its characteristic attitude toward the relationship between music and text. Composer of Italian chamber recitative laments attempted to express more subtle, refined and sometimes complicated emotion in their music. For that purpose, they intentionally created discrepancies between text and music. Sometimes they even destroy the original structure of text in order to clearly deliver the composer's own voice. The basic syntactic structure is deconstructed and reconstructed along with their reading and according to their intention. The discrepancy between text and music is, however, expectable and natural phenomena since text cannot be completely translated or transformed to music and vice versa. The composers of Italian chamber recitative laments utilized their innate heterogeneity between two materials (music and text) as a metaphor that represents the semantic essence of the genre, the conflict. In this context, Italian chamber recitative laments were a real embodiment of the so-called seconda prattica and through the study of them, finally, we more fully able to understand how the spirit of late Renaissance flourished in Italy in the first four decade of the seventeenth century.
- Reconstructing Convention: Ensemble Forms in the Operas of Jules Massenet
- Over the last quarter-century, scholars have taken a unified approach in discussing form in Italian and French opera of the nineteenth century. This approach centers around the four-part aria and duet form begun by Bellini, codified by Rossini, modified by Verdi, and dissolved by Puccini. A similar trajectory can be seen in French opera in the works of Meyerbeer, Gounod, and Massenet; however, only Meyerbeer and Gounod have received significant critical attention. This is in part due to Massenet's reception as a "composer for the people," a title ill fitting and ripe for reconsideration. This dissertation will examine duet forms in Massenet's oeuvre and will focus on the gradual change in style manifest in his twenty-five operas. Massenet's output can be divided into three distinct periods delineated by his approach to form. Representative works from each period will show how he inherited, interpreted, thwarted, and ultimately rewrote the standard formal conventions of his time and in doing so, created a dramaturgical approach to opera that unified the formerly separate number-based elements. Massenet's longevity and popular appeal make him the quintessential French opera composer of the fin de siècle and the natural choice for examining reconstructed conventions.
- The Recorder Tutors in 't Uitnement Kabinet
- Paulus Matthysz, a prominent music printer in Amsterdam during the seventeenth century, published Jacob van Eyck's Der Fluyten Lust-hof and a collection entitled 't Uitnement Kabinet. Three extant copies of Lust-hof include a tutor Vertoninge...op de Handt-fluit, presumably by Matthysz, and a tutor by Gerband van Blanckenburgh, Onderwyzinge...op deHandt-Fluyt. Their content is not correlated with Lust-hof, and they were presumably designed for inclusion in the Kabinet II. Confusion over the tutors' conception has led to published misinformation jeopardizing their historical worth. The casual generalizations regarding the two tutors can be refuted by reestablishing the interrelationship between the tutors and the two collections. This paper employs a comprehensive study into their origins in order to rectify how the tutors are referenced in the twenty-first century.
- The Resurrexit from Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle (1825): A Case Study in Self-Borrowing
- Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle, his first publicly performed work, was important to his establishment in Paris as a composer. Although he later destroyed the Mass, he reused parts of the Resurrexit movement in three of his later works: Benvenuto Cellini (1836), the Grand messe des morts (1837), and the Te Deum (1849). This study examines the Resurrexit and its subsequent borrowings. In each instance that Berlioz borrowed from the Resurrexit, he extracted large sections and placed them in the context of later works. Each time that borrowing occurred, Berlioz constructed the surrounding music so that portions from the Resurrexit would fit stylistically and a seamlessly into the texture. In each borrowing, he left the melody unaltered, changing harmony and orchestration instead. This pattern of borrowing demonstrates that Berlioz developed his concept of melody early in his career, and that his method of self-borrowing was consistent in each subsequent use of the Resurrexit.
- Robert Schumann's Symphony in D Minor, Op. 120: A Critical Study of Interpretation in the Nineteenth-Century German Symphony
- Robert Schumann's D-minor Symphony endured harsh criticism during the second half of the nineteenth century because of misunderstandings regarding his compositional approach to the genre of the symphony; changes in performance practices amplified the problems, leading to charges that Schumann was an inept orchestrator. Editions published by Clara Schumann and Alfred Dörffel as well as performing editions prepared by Woldemar Bargiel and Gustav Mahler reflect ideals of the late nineteenth century that differ markedly from those Schumann advanced in his 1851 autograph and in the Symphony's first publication in 1853. An examination of the manuscript sources and the editions authorized by Schumann reveals that he imbued the Symphony with what he called a "special meaning" in the form of an implied narrative. Although Schumann provided no written account of this narrative, it is revealed in orchestrational devices, particularly orchestration, dynamics, and articulation, many of which have been either altered or suppressed by later editors. A reconsideration of these devices as they are transmitted through the authorized sources permits a rediscovery of the work's special meaning and rectifies long-standing misperceptions that have become entrenched in the general literature concerning Schumann in general and the D-minor Symphony in particular.
- "Schattenhaft" in Mahler's Seventh and Ninth Symphonies: An Examination of a Passage in Adorno's Mahler: A Musical Physiognomy
- The expressive marking "schattenhaft" appears twice in Gustav Mahler's symphonies: at the beginning of the scherzo in the Seventh and within the first movement of the Ninth. Theodor Adorno's observations regarding Mahler's use of this marking, which connect it to Schopenhauer and Romantic aesthetics, provide the framework for an examination of possible meanings of these two passages in Mahler. Drawing also on references elsewhere in Adorno's book to stylistic and formal features peculiar to Mahler's music, and especially on the comparison he makes between the experiences of reading novels and listening to Mahler's symphonies, this thesis demonstrates that close analysis of the "schattenhaft" passages offers a valuable point of entry into the thinking of both Adorno and Mahler.
- Scoring for the Specter: Dualities in the Music of the Ghost Scene in Four Film Adaptations of Hamlet
- This document's purpose is to analyze dualities found in different films of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Each version brings different ideas to it. By analyzing each version and focusing on the Ghost Scene, comparisons of the scene's symbolism are made between the musical scores. The beginning chapters provide a history of film, film music, the play, and events up to the ghost scene. After these chapters come analyses of the scene itself. Each version uses different parts of the play for its own purposes, but there are many commonalities between them. The score for each version of the Ghost Scene will be analyzed independently of each other. This work will contribute to musicology, film research, Shakespeare studies, and English scholarship.
- Selected Lute Music from Paris, Rés. Vmd. Ms. 27 from the Bibliothèque Nationale: Reconstruction, Edition, and Commentary
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Paris . Rés. Vmd. Ms. 27, known as Tl.1, or the Thibault Manuscript, is one of the earliest extant sources of lute music, containing twenty-four solos and eighty-six accompaniments for vocal compositions. The manuscript was copied in Italian lute tablature lacking rhythm signs, which makes it inaccessible for modern performance. Each selection contains a full score of the four-part vocal concordance, and the reconstructed lute part in both the original notation and keyboard transcription. The introductory study elaborates upon the creation dates for Tl.1 (ca. 1502-1512) through its relationship with the sources of the time and with the older unwritten tradition of Italian secular music that is apparent in the formal treatment of the music.
- Singing Songs of Social Significance: Children's Music and Leftist Pedagogy in 1930s America
- In their shared goal of communicating left-wing principles to children through music, Marc Blitzstein's Worker's Kids of the World (1935), Aaron Copland's The Second Hurricane (1937), and Alex North's The Hither and Thither of Danny Dither (1941) exhibit a fundamental unity of purpose that binds them both to each other and to the extensive leftist pedagogical efforts of their time. By observing the parallel relationship among these three children's works and contemporary youth organizations, summer camps, and children's literature, their cultural objectives and stylistic idiosyncrasies emerge as expressions of a continuously evolving educational tradition. Whereas Worker's Kids comes out of the revolutionary Communist aesthetics of the Composers' Collective and the militant activism of The Young Pioneers, The Second Hurricane and Danny Dither reflect the increasingly accommodating educational efforts of the American Popular Front.
- Singing the Republic: Polychoral Culture at San Marco in Venice (1550-1615)
- During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Venetian society and politics could be considered as a "polychoral culture." The imagination of the republic rested upon a shared set of social attitudes and beliefs. The political structure included several social groups that functioned as identifiable entities; republican ideologies construed them together as parts of a single harmonious whole. Venice furthermore employed notions of the republic to bolster political and religious independence, in particular from Rome. As is well known, music often contributes to the production and transmission of ideology, and polychoral music in Venice was no exception. Multi-choir music often accompanied religious and civic celebrations in the basilica of San Marco and elsewhere that emphasized the so-called "myth of Venice," the city's complex of religious beliefs and historical heritage. These myths were shared among Venetians and transformed through annual rituals into communal knowledge of the republic. Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli and other Venetian composers wrote polychoral pieces that were structurally homologous with the imagination of the republic. Through its internal structures, polychoral music projected the local ideology of group harmony. Pieces used interaction among hierarchical choirs - their alternation in dialogue and repetition - as rhetorical means, first to create the impression of collaboration or competition, and then to bring them together at the end, as if resolving discord into concord. Furthermore, Giovanni Gabrieli experimented with the integration of instrumental choirs and recitative within predominantly vocal multi-choir textures, elevating music to the category of a theatrical religious spectacle. He also adopted and developed richer tonal procedures belonging to the so-called "hexachordal tonality" to underscore rhetorical text delivery. If multi-choir music remained the central religious repertory of the city, contemporary single-choir pieces favored typical polychoral procedures that involve dialogue and repetition among vocal subgroups. Both repertories adopted clear rhetorical means of emphasizing religious notions of particular political significance at the surface level. Venetian music performed in religious and civic rituals worked in conjunction with the myth of the city to project and reinforce the imagination of the republic, promoting a glorious image of greatness for La Serenissima.
- The sixteenth-century basse de violon: fact or fiction? Identification of the bass violin (1535-1635).
- Research on the origins of the violoncello reveals considerable dispute concerning the existence and identity of its ancestor, the bass violin. This study focuses on the classification of the sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century bass violin by means of the following criteria: construction, early history and development, role due the social status of builders and players, use within the violin band, performing positions, and defining terminology. Accounts of inventories, organological treatises, music theoretical writings, lists of households and royal courts, descriptions of feasts, reports of choreographies and iconographical examples confirm the bass violin's presence in the late sixteenth century and beyond. Three of the earliest unchanged extant organological examples embody, complement and corroborate the bass violin's identification, and conclude the essay.
- Social Discourse in the Savoy Theatre's Productions of The Nautch Girl (1891) and Utopia Limited (1893): Exoticism and Victorian Self-Reflection
- As a consequence to Gilbert and Sullivan's famed Carpet Quarrel, two operettas with decidedly "exotic" themes, The Nautch Girl; or, The Rajah of Chutneypore, and Utopia Limited; or, The Flowers of Progress were presented to London audiences. Neither has been accepted as part of the larger Savoy canon. This thesis considers the conspicuous business atmosphere of their originally performed contexts to understand why this situation arose. Critical social theory makes it possible to read the two documents as overt reflections on British imperialism. Examined more closely, however, the operettas reveal a great deal more about the highly introverted nature of exotic representation and the ambiguous dialogue between race and class hierarchies in late nineteenth-century British society.
- “Sounds for Adventurous Listeners”: Willis Conover, the Voice of America, and the International Reception of Avant-garde Jazz in the 1960S
- In “Sounds for Adventurous Listeners,” I argue that Conover’s role in the dissemination of jazz through the Music USA Jazz Hour was more influential on an educational level than what literature on Conover currently provides. Chapter 2 begins with an examination of current studies regarding the role of jazz in Cold War diplomacy, the sociopolitical implications of avant-garde jazz and race, the convergence of fandom and propaganda, the promoter as facilitator of musical trends, and the influence of international radio during the Cold War. In chapter 3 I introduce the Friends of Music USA Newsletter and explain its function as a record of overseas jazz reception and a document that cohered a global network of fans. I then focus on avant-garde debates of the 1960s and discuss Conover’s role overseas and in the United States. Chapter 4 engages social purpose and jazz criticism in the 1960s. I discuss Conover’s philosophy on social responsibility, and how his contributions intersected with other relevant discourses on race on the eve of the civil rights movement. I argue that Conover embodied two personas: one as jazz critic and promoter in the United States, and the other as an international intermediary. In chapter 5 I discuss how Conover presented the avant-garde to his overseas audience. I argue that through his efforts to broadcast jazz impartially, he legitimized avant-garde and emphasized its qualities as art music. In chapter 6 I explore fandom studies as they apply to the formation of Music USA as a global fan network. I discuss the early roots of Conover’s interest in science fiction fandom as a motivation for the implementation of the Friends of Music USA (FOMUSA) groups. Chapter 7 concludes in a discussion of the deification of Conover though the medium of radio in the midst of the Cold War. I argue that, through manipulation of sound resources, Conover composed his broadcasts in a way that allowed him to improvise creatively. Finally, I discuss the effect of a radio personality on crowds and the impact of Conover’s music programming in light of studies concerning deejays as objects of devotion.
- The Sounds of the Dystopian Future: Music for Science Fiction Films of the New Hollywood Era, 1966-1976
- From 1966 to1976, science fiction films tended to depict civilizations of the future that had become intrinsically antagonistic to their inhabitants as a result of some internal or external cataclysm. This dystopian turn in science fiction films, following a similar move in science fiction literature, reflected concerns about social and ecological changes occurring during the late 1960s and early 1970s and their future implications. In these films, "dystopian" conditions are indicated as such by music incorporating distinctly modernist sounds and techniques reminiscent of twentieth-century concert works that abandon the common practice. In contrast, music associated with the protagonists is generally more accessible, often using common practice harmonies and traditional instrumentation. These films appeared during a period referred to as the "New Hollywood," which saw younger American filmmakers responding to developments in European cinema, notably the French New Wave. New Hollywood filmmakers treated their films as cinematic "statements" reflecting the filmmaker's artistic vision. Often, this encouraged an idiosyncratic use of music to enhance the perceived artistic nature of their films. This study examines the scores of ten science fiction films produced between 1966 and 1976: Fahrenheit 451, Planet of the Apes, 2001: A Space Odyssey, THX-1138, A Clockwork Orange, Silent Running, Soylent Green, Zardoz, Rollerball, and Logan's Run. Each is set in a dystopian environment of the future and each reflects the New Hollywood's aspirations to artistic seriousness and social relevance. The music accompanying these films connoted an image of technological and human progress at odds with the critical notions informing similar music for the concert hall. These film scores emphasized the extrapolated consequences of developments occurring during the 1950s and 1960s that social activists, science fiction writers, and even filmmakers regarded as worrisome trends. Filmmakers drew on the popular perceptions of these musical sounds to reinforce pessimistic visions of the future, thereby imbuing these sounds with new meanings for listeners of the contemporaneous present.
- Still life in black and white: An intertextual interpretation of William Grant Still's "symphonic trilogy."
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William Grant Still's musical achievements are legion. Because he was the first African American to break the color line in America's concert halls, Still earned the sobriquet "Dean of Negro Composers." Paradoxically, Still's reception suffers from this list of "firsts." The unintended consequence of cataloging his achievements venerates his position as an iconoclast while detracting critical attention from his music. Conversely, if we ignore the social context in which Still produced his music, we risk misinterpreting his compositional choices or trivializing the significance of his accomplishments prior to the Civil Rights Movement in America. Still's so-called symphonic trilogy-Africa, Symphony No. 1 ("Afro-American"), and Symphony No. 2 ("Song of a New Race")-is the subject of an intertextual analysis that demonstrates how extra-musical concerns, such as race, and musical elements can be brought into alignment. Chapter one discusses black music scholarship in general and Still scholarship in particular by tracing the development of black music historiography. The second chapter explores one of the various modes of inquiry used to study black music-intertextuality. The context for Still's self-titled racial and universal periods is the subject of chapter three. For the first time, arguments from both sides of the racial divide are reconsidered in the debate about what constitutes American music. The fourth chapter is devoted to an intertextual interpretation of Still's symphonic trilogy. Each work is subjected to an anterior, interior, and posterior intertextual reading. An anterior reading takes into account how context determines perception. The interior reading examines the inter-play of topics and texts that are created as the work is experienced. The posterior reading is concerned with the relationship between the work and its audiences and any new texts that are generated from this interaction. The final chapter challenges the notion that the three works discussed form a trilogy. In the process, the differences between criticism and interpretation are reconsidered.
- Voice and Genre in Beethoven's Deux Grandes Sonates pour le Clavecin ou Piano-Forte avec un Violoncelle obligé, Op. 5
- This paper examines the generic aspect of Beethoven's Opus 5 Cello Sonatas (1796) from structuralist and post-structuralist perspectives, and explores the works from these viewpoints in order to gain insights into how the sonatas function as autonomous musical texts rather than historiographic documents of Beethoven's biography or transitional contributions in the development of the genre of the solo sonata as it was later cultivated. The insights offered by these perspectives argue for a reconsideration of the conventional notions of "work" and "text," which underscore the doctrine of work-immanence. This perspective also offers insights that have proven elusive when the works are considered primarily in the context of the historical-biographical construct of Beethoven's three style-periods. By applying the aesthetic practice of expressive doubling prevalent at the turn of the nineteenth century to Beethoven's Opus 5 Sonatas, a deeper understanding of the constellation of the duo sonatas in accompanied keyboard literature will be attained. Also, by illuminating the relational nature of meaning realized within a textual framework, this study attempts to enlarge the restricted scope of interpretation conventionally imposed on the Opus 5 sonatas.
- The Waning of Victorian Imperialism: Stylistic Dualism in Gustav Holst's One-Act Opera Sāvitri (1908-9)
- Gustav Holst's one-act opera Sāvitri (1908-9) represents a turning point in his compositional style, which came at a significant time in British history. Holst combines a simpler style informed by his work with English folksong with the Wagnerian style that permeated his earlier compositions. Although influenced by a British imperialist view of the world, Sāvitri renders Hindu-Indian culture in positive terms without relying on the purely exotic, offers a perspective on gender relationships that does not depend solely on convention, and presents the commoner as the British ideal rather than romanticizing the aristocracy. The result is an opera subtle in its complexity, approaching the profound themes of love, death, and spirituality with emotional restraint and self-control.
- The Whole as a Result of Its Parts: Assembly in Aaron Copland's Score for The Red Pony
- Aaron Copland's music for The Red Pony (1948-49), based on John Steinbeck's story collection, is probably the best known of his film scores. The effectiveness of The Red Pony score stems from Copland's belief that film music should be subordinate to the film it accompanies. Copland composed The Red Pony score using his self-described method of "assembly," augmenting this process with devices to synchronize the music with the picture. Examination of archival sources shows how the score reflects the acknowledged influence of Igor Stravinsky, the needs of the film medium, and the plot of The Red Pony specifically. Despite Copland's modern style characteristics, the music functions much like a conventional Hollywood film score.