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 Degree Discipline: Musicology
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The Prologue in the Seventeenth-Century Venetian Operatic Libretto: its Dramatic Purpose and the Function of its Characters

The Prologue in the Seventeenth-Century Venetian Operatic Libretto: its Dramatic Purpose and the Function of its Characters

Date: August 1998
Creator: Miller, Robin A. (Robin Annette)
Description: The Italian seicento has been considered a dead century by many literary scholars. As this study demonstrates, such a conclusion ignores important literary developments in the field of librettology. Indeed, the seventeenth-century operatic libretto stands as a monument to literary invention. Critical to the development of this new literary genre was the prologue, which provided writers with a context in which to experiment and achieve literary transcendence. This study identifies approximately 260 dramatic works written in Venice between the years 1637 and 1682, drawn together for the first time from three sources: librettos in the Drammaturgia di Leone Allacci accresciuta e continuata fino all'anno MCDDLV; the musical manuscripts listed in the Codici Musicali Contariniani; and a chronological list of seventeenth-century Venetian operas found in Cristoforo Ivanovich's Minerva al Tavolino. Of the 260 Venetian works identified, over 98 begin with self-contained prologues. This discovery alone warrants a reconsideration of the seventeenth-century Italian libretto and the emergence of the dramatic prologue as a new and important literary genre.
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Reading Handel: A Textual and Musical Analysis of Handel's Acis and Galatea (1708, 1718)

Reading Handel: A Textual and Musical Analysis of Handel's Acis and Galatea (1708, 1718)

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Date: August 2005
Creator: Chang, Young-Shim
Description: 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 ...
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Reconsidering the Lament: Form, Content, and Genre in Italian Chamber Recitative Laments: 1600-1640

Reconsidering the Lament: Form, Content, and Genre in Italian Chamber Recitative Laments: 1600-1640

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Chung, Kyung-Young
Description: 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 ...
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Reconstructing Convention: Ensemble Forms in the Operas of Jules Massenet

Reconstructing Convention: Ensemble Forms in the Operas of Jules Massenet

Date: December 2004
Creator: Straughn, Gregory
Description: 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.
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The Recorder Tutors in 't Uitnement Kabinet

The Recorder Tutors in 't Uitnement Kabinet

Date: August 2005
Creator: Carpenter, Jennifer
Description: 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.
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Repetition and Difference: Parodic Narration in Kander and Ebb's "The Scottsboro Boys"

Repetition and Difference: Parodic Narration in Kander and Ebb's "The Scottsboro Boys"

Date: August 2013
Creator: Wolski, Kristin Anne
Description: The American musical team John Kander and Fred Ebb created many celebrated works, yet musicologists have carried out little research on those works. This study examines the role of music in the parodic narration of Kander and Ebb's final collaboration, The Scottsboro Boys. Kander and Ebb use minstrelsy to tell the story of the historic Scottsboro Boys trials with actors portraying the Scottsboro Boys as minstrels; at the same time, they employ a number of devices to subvert minstrelsy stereotypes and thereby comment on racism. Drawing on African American literary theory, sociolinguistics, and Bakhtin's dialogism, this study illuminates how Signifyin(g), a rhetorical tradition used to encode messages in some African American communities, is the primary way the actors playing the Scottsboro Boys subvert through minstrelsy. This study not only contributes to the discussion of Signifyin(g) in African American musicals and theatre as a tool of subversion, but also provides an example of non-African American creators—Kander and Ebb—using Signifyin(g) devices. They use these in the music and the book; in particular, Kander and Ebb do some Signifyin(g) on Stephen Foster's plantation melodies.
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The Resurrexit from Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle (1825): A Case Study in Self-Borrowing

The Resurrexit from Hector Berlioz's Messe solennelle (1825): A Case Study in Self-Borrowing

Date: December 1999
Creator: Gill, Sarah M.
Description: 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.
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Robert Schumann's Symphony in D Minor, Op. 120: A Critical Study of Interpretation in the Nineteenth-Century German Symphony

Robert Schumann's Symphony in D Minor, Op. 120: A Critical Study of Interpretation in the Nineteenth-Century German Symphony

Date: May 2003
Creator: Hellner, Jean Marie
Description: 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.
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"Schattenhaft" in Mahler's Seventh and Ninth Symphonies: An Examination of a Passage in Adorno's Mahler: A Musical Physiognomy

"Schattenhaft" in Mahler's Seventh and Ninth Symphonies: An Examination of a Passage in Adorno's Mahler: A Musical Physiognomy

Date: December 2007
Creator: Houser, Krista Lea
Description: 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.
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Scoring for the Specter: Dualities in the Music of the Ghost Scene in Four Film Adaptations of Hamlet

Scoring for the Specter: Dualities in the Music of the Ghost Scene in Four Film Adaptations of Hamlet

Date: August 2002
Creator: Dunn, John T.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries