Solo Violin in Gustav Mahler's Symphonic Works as a Musical Sign

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Noted for both vocal and symphonic output, Gustav Mahler's musical sophistication constantly puzzled scholars in the past decades. In his symphonic works, the mixed forms and styles in combination with the vocal influence make it abstruse for listeners to detect the meaning of the use of traditional instruments. The solo violin, which has an extensive history of appearing in symphonic compositions since the Baroque era, is an instance of a traditional instrument given an unusual function. For instance, Mahler's violin solos do not tend to showcase the virtuosity of the instrument as they normally do in orchestral music. In order ... continued below

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Yang, Qiyao December 2017.

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  • Yang, Qiyao

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Noted for both vocal and symphonic output, Gustav Mahler's musical sophistication constantly puzzled scholars in the past decades. In his symphonic works, the mixed forms and styles in combination with the vocal influence make it abstruse for listeners to detect the meaning of the use of traditional instruments. The solo violin, which has an extensive history of appearing in symphonic compositions since the Baroque era, is an instance of a traditional instrument given an unusual function. For instance, Mahler's violin solos do not tend to showcase the virtuosity of the instrument as they normally do in orchestral music. In order to closely examine the role of the solo violin, I rely on aspects relating to introversive semiosis such as harmonies, rhythms, textures, phrase structures, and forms; then my focus shifts to extroversive semiosis, specifically to topics and contextual factors. By considering the violin as a musical sign, listeners can comprehend the instrument's structure, syntax, and ultimately the complex logic of Mahler's musical discourse.

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  • December 2017

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  • Jan. 27, 2018, 7:36 a.m.

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Yang, Qiyao. Solo Violin in Gustav Mahler's Symphonic Works as a Musical Sign, dissertation, December 2017; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1062824/: accessed May 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .