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 Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
 Degree Discipline: Musicology
Accessibility and Authenticity in Julia Smith's Cynthia Parker

Accessibility and Authenticity in Julia Smith's Cynthia Parker

Date: December 2007
Creator: Buehner, Katie R.
Description: 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.
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Asserting Identity in Wagner's Shadow: The Case of Engelbert Humperdinck's  Königskinder (1897)

Asserting Identity in Wagner's Shadow: The Case of Engelbert Humperdinck's Königskinder (1897)

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Date: August 2004
Creator: Kinnett, Forest Randolph
Description: 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.
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The "Beethoven Folksong Project" in the Reception of Beethoven and His Music

The "Beethoven Folksong Project" in the Reception of Beethoven and His Music

Date: December 2006
Creator: Lee, Hee Seung
Description: 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 ...
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"Being" a Stickist:  A Phenomenological Consideration of "Dwelling" in a Virtual Music Scene

"Being" a Stickist: A Phenomenological Consideration of "Dwelling" in a Virtual Music Scene

Date: May 2010
Creator: Hodges, Jeff
Description: 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.
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Belle Musique and Fin' Amour: Thibaut de Champagne, Gace Brulé, and an Aristocratic Trouvére Tradition

Belle Musique and Fin' Amour: Thibaut de Champagne, Gace Brulé, and an Aristocratic Trouvére Tradition

Date: December 2008
Creator: Bly, Emily
Description: 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.
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Beyond the Human Voice: Francis Poulenc's Psychological Drama La Voix humaine (1958)

Beyond the Human Voice: Francis Poulenc's Psychological Drama La Voix humaine (1958)

Date: May 2000
Creator: Beard, Cynthia C.
Description: 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.
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Beyond the "Year of Song": Text and Music in the Song Cycles of Robert Schumann after 1848

Beyond the "Year of Song": Text and Music in the Song Cycles of Robert Schumann after 1848

Date: May 2007
Creator: Ringer, Rebecca Scharlene
Description: 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 ...
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Busoni's Doktor Faust

Busoni's Doktor Faust

Date: August 1976
Creator: Harrison, Charles Scott
Description: It is the intent of this thesis to shed a new investigative light upon a musician whose importance as a creative personality and aesthetician has been sorely underestimated or at least unappreciated by fellow musicians and audiences of his own and succeeding generations, a musician who formulated a new musical aesthetic which involved the utilization of compositional techniques diametrically opposed to those which had held dominant influence over the musical world for more than half a century, a musician who attempted to fuse the Italian sense of form and clarity with Teutonic profundity, complexity, and symbolism. This musician was Ferruccio Busoni. This thesis will concentrate on the history of the Faust legend and Busoni's final work, his opera Doktor Faust (c. 1924), the creative problems opera imposed upon Busoni, and his attempt to solve them vis-a-vis his own personal aesthetic.
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Cadential Syntax and Mode in the Sixteenth-Century Motet: a Theory of Compositional Process and Structure from Gallus Dressler's Praecepta Musicae Poeticae

Cadential Syntax and Mode in the Sixteenth-Century Motet: a Theory of Compositional Process and Structure from Gallus Dressler's Praecepta Musicae Poeticae

Date: May 1996
Creator: Hamrick, David (David Russell)
Description: Though cadences have long been recognized as an aspect of modality, Gallus Dressler's treatise Praecepta musicae poeticae (1563) offers a new understanding of their relationship to mode and structure. Dressler's comments suggest that the cadences in the exordium and at articulations of the text are "principal" to the mode, shaping the tonal structure of the work. First, it is necessary to determine which cadences indicate which modes. A survey of sixteenth-century theorists uncovered a striking difference between Pietro Aron and his followers and many lesser-known theorists, including Dressier. The latter held that the repercussae of each mode were "principal cadences," contrary to Aron's expansive lists. Dressler's syntactical theory of cadence usage was tested by examining seventeen motets by Dressler and seventy-two motets by various early sixteenth-century composers. In approximately three-fourths of the motets in each group, cadences appeared on only two different pitches (with only infrequent exceptions) in their exordia and at text articulations. These pairs are the principal cadences of Dressler's list, and identify the mode of the motets. Observations and conclusions are offered regarding the ambiguities of individual modes, and the cadence-tone usage of individual composers.
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Carlo Milanuzzi's Quarto Scherzo and the Climate of Venetian Popular Music in the 1620s

Carlo Milanuzzi's Quarto Scherzo and the Climate of Venetian Popular Music in the 1620s

Date: August 2001
Creator: Gavito, Cory Michael
Description: 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.
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Caught Between Jazz and Pop: The Contested Origins, Criticism, Performance Practice, and Reception of Smooth Jazz.

Caught Between Jazz and Pop: The Contested Origins, Criticism, Performance Practice, and Reception of Smooth Jazz.

Date: December 2008
Creator: West, Aaron J.
Description: 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 ...
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The Christmas Cantatas of Christoph Graupner (1683-1760)

The Christmas Cantatas of Christoph Graupner (1683-1760)

Date: August 1992
Creator: Schmidt, René R.
Description: An assessment of the contributions of Christoph Graupner's 1,418 extant church cantatas is enhanced by a study of his fifty-five surviving Christmas cantatas, written for the feasts of Christmas, St. Stephen's, St. John's, and the Sunday after Christmas. Graupner's training in Kirchberg, Reichenbach and at the Thomas School in Leipzig is recounted as well as his subsequent tenures in Hamburg and Darmstadt.
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Criticism of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics

Criticism of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics

Date: December 2011
Creator: Cooper, Amy Nicole
Description: 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.
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Don Gillis's Symphony No 5½: Music for the People

Don Gillis's Symphony No 5½: Music for the People

Date: May 2013
Creator: Morrison, Sean
Description: 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.
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Dramatic Expression in Thirty Musical Settings of Goethe's "Der Erlkonig"

Dramatic Expression in Thirty Musical Settings of Goethe's "Der Erlkonig"

Date: May 1973
Creator: McDaniel, Mary Eileen
Description: This study is an investigation of the dramatic expression in thirty musical settings of Goethe's "Erlkonig," to attempt to determine why the works by Franz Schubert and Carl Loewe have achieved such popularity.
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Educating American Audiences: Claire Reis and the Development of Modern Music Institutions, 1912-1930

Educating American Audiences: Claire Reis and the Development of Modern Music Institutions, 1912-1930

Date: August 2013
Creator: Freeman, Cole
Description: The creation of institutions devoted to promoting and supporting modern music in the United States during the 1920s made it possible for American composers to develop an identity distinct from that of European modernists. These institutions were thus a critical part of the process of modernization that began in the United States during the early decades of the twentieth century. There is substantial scholarship on these musical institutions of modern music, such as the International Composers’ Guild and the League of Composers; but little to no work has been done on the progressive musical institutions of the 1910s, such as the Music League of the People’s Music Institute of New York, which was founded by Claire Reis. This thesis addresses the questions of how and why American musical modernism came to be as it was in the 1920s through an examination of the various stages of Reis’s career. The first chapter is an extensive study of primary source material gathered from the League of Composers/ISCM Records collection at the New York Public Library, which relates to Reis’s work with the PML in the 1910s. The second chapter uses the conclusions of the first chapter to shine new light on an ...
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Eighteenth-Century French Oboes: A Comparative Study

Eighteenth-Century French Oboes: A Comparative Study

Date: May 2001
Creator: Cleveland, Susannah
Description: 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.
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Elements of Shamanic Mythology in E. T. A. Hoffman's Romantic Conception of Music

Elements of Shamanic Mythology in E. T. A. Hoffman's Romantic Conception of Music

Date: December 1993
Creator: Miller, Harry A. W. (Harry Alfred Werner)
Description: The musicians in E. T. A. Hoffmann's tales and essays demonstrate traits remarkably similar to those of shamans. Hoffmann uses the same imagery to describe the journey of the composer into the "realm of dreams," where he receives inspiration, as the shaman uses to describe the spirit world to which he journeys via music. Hoffmann was a major force in changing the 18th-century view of music as an "innocent luxury" to the 19th-century idea of music as a higher art. As a German Romantic,author, he subscribed to the idea championed by the Schlegels that true poetry is based on myth. In this thesis, Hoffmann's writings are compared with shamanic mythology to demonstrate a similarity beyond mere coincidence, without drawing conclusions about influence.
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English Devotional Song of the Seventeenth Century in Printed Collections from 1638 to 1693: A Study of Music and Culture

English Devotional Song of the Seventeenth Century in Printed Collections from 1638 to 1693: A Study of Music and Culture

Date: May 1986
Creator: Treacy, Susan
Description: Seventeenth-century England witnessed profound historical, theological, and musical changes. A king was overthrown and executed; religion was practiced fervently and disputed hotly; and English musicians fell under the influence of the Italian stile nuovo. Many devotional songs were printed, among them those which reveal influences of this style. These English-texted sacred songs for one to three solo voices with continuo--not based upon a previously- composed hymn or psalm tune—are emphasized in this dissertation. Chapter One treats definitions, past neglect of the genre by scholars, and the problem of ambiguous terminology. Chapter Two is an examination of how religion and politics affected musical life, the hiatus from liturgical music from 1644 to 1660 causing composers to contribute to the flourishing of devotional music for home worship and recreation. Different modes of seventeenth-century devotional life are discussed in Chapter Three. Chapter Four provides documentation for use of devotional music, diaries and memoirs of the period revealing the use of several publications considered in this study. Baroque musical aesthetics applied to devotional song and its raising of the affections towards God are discussed in Chapter Five. Chapter Six traces the influence of Italian monody and sacred concerto on English devotional song. The earliest ...
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he Essercizii musici: A Study of the Late Baroque Sonata

he Essercizii musici: A Study of the Late Baroque Sonata

Date: May 2001
Creator: Volcansek, Frederick Wallace
Description: 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.
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Expanded Perceptions of Identity in Benjamin Britten's Nocturne, Op. 60

Expanded Perceptions of Identity in Benjamin Britten's Nocturne, Op. 60

Date: May 2008
Creator: Perkins, Anna Grace
Description: 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.
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Finding the "Indian" in Amy Beach's Theme and Variations for Flute and String Quartet, op. 80.

Finding the "Indian" in Amy Beach's Theme and Variations for Flute and String Quartet, op. 80.

Date: December 2007
Creator: Burgess, Stephanie J.
Description: 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.
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Foreignizing Mahler: Uri Caine’s Mahler Project As Intertraditional Musical Translation

Foreignizing Mahler: Uri Caine’s Mahler Project As Intertraditional Musical Translation

Date: August 2015
Creator: Ritchie, J. Cole
Description: The customary way to create jazz arrangements of the Western classical canon—informally called swingin’-the-classics—adapts the original composition to jazz conventions. Uri Caine (b.1956) has devised an alternative approach, most notably in his work with compositions by Gustav Mahler. He refracts Mahler’s compositions through an eclectic array of musical performance styles while also eschewing the use of traditional jazz structures in favor of stricter adherence to formal ideas in the original score than is usual in a jazz arrangement. These elements and the manner in which Caine incorporates them in his Mahler arrangements closely parallel the practices of a translator who chooses to create a “foreignizing” literary translation. The 19th-century philosopher and translation theorist Friedrich Schleiermacher explained that in a foreignizing translation “the translator leaves the writer alone as much as possible and moves the reader toward the writer.” Foreignizing translations accentuate the otherness of the original work, approximating the foreign text’s form and syntax in the receiving language and using an uncommon, heterogeneous vocabulary. The resulting translations, which challenge readers with their frequent defiance of the conventions of the receiving linguistic culture, create literal, exaggerated readings that better convey authors’ characteristic use of their own languages for a new audience. ...
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Form, Style, Function and Rhetoric in Gottlob Harrer's Sinfonias: A Case Study in the Early History of the Symphony

Form, Style, Function and Rhetoric in Gottlob Harrer's Sinfonias: A Case Study in the Early History of the Symphony

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Date: August 2003
Creator: Rober, Russell Todd
Description: 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 ...
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