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

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.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Kinnett, Forest Randolph

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

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 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.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Rober, Russell Todd

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

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 his recurrent pattern of appearance.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Chang, Young-Shim

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

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 the first four decade of the seventeenth century.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Chung, Kyung-Young

Selected Lute Music from Paris, Rés. Vmd. Ms. 27 from the Bibliothèque Nationale: Reconstruction, Edition, and Commentary

Description: 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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Sequera, Héctor J.

Still life in black and white: An intertextual interpretation of William Grant Still's "symphonic trilogy."

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Lamb, Earnest