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

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 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 ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Lee, Hee Seung

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

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 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 ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Ringer, Rebecca Scharlene

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

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 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, ...
Date: December 2008
Creator: West, Aaron J.

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.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Rober, Russell Todd

Myth in the Early Collaborations of Benjamin Britten and William Plomer

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Salfen, Kevin McGregor

"Now His Time Really Seems to Have Come": Ideas about Mahler's Music in Late Imperial and First Republic Vienna

Description: 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.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Kinnett, Forest Randolph

Poetry and Patronage: Alessandro Scarlatti, The Accademia Degli Arcadia, and the Development of the Conversazione Cantata in Rome 1700-1710

Description: 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.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Hale Harris, Kimberly Coulter

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.
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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.
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Date: December 2004
Creator: Chung, Kyung-Young

Reconstructing Convention: Ensemble Forms in the Operas of Jules Massenet

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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Straughn, Gregory

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

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.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Hellner, Jean Marie

The Sounds of the Dystopian Future: Music for Science Fiction Films of the New Hollywood Era, 1966-1976

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: McGinney, William Lawrence

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