"A thousand nuances of movement" : the intersection of gesture, narrative, and temporality in selected mazurkas of Chopin

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"A thousand nuances of movement" : the intersection of gesture, narrative, and temporality in selected mazurkas of Chopin

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dc.contributor.advisor Hatten, Robert S.
dc.creator Fons, Margaret Ann
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-20T14:35:50Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-20T14:35:50Z
dc.date.created 2012-05
dc.date.issued 2012-08-20
dc.date.submitted May 2012
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2152/ETD-UT-2012-05-5451
dc.description.abstract It is no secret that Frédéric Chopin was fond of dance music. Dance genres—including the mazurka, polonaise, and waltz—dominate his oeuvre. According to the Henle Urtext edition, Chopin penned fifty-seven mazurkas during his lifetime, writing in this genre more than any other. It is interesting, then, that the mazurkas seem to be one of Chopin’s most historically misunderstood genres. In their haste to point out the mazurkas’ seeming irregularities of rhythm, harmony, mode, accent pattern, and such, critics both of Chopin’s time and in more recent history often ignore two equally fundamental issues: (1) the relationship between Chopin’s mazurkas and the dance of the same name, and (2) the manner in which that relationship might inform hermeneutic readings of the mazurkas. Surely, the perceived “irregularities” were not employed haphazardly, but rather for specific expressive purposes. This essay aims to construct a model for embodied musical meaning as it pertains to Chopin’s mazurkas by examining the intersection of gesture, narrative, and temporal theories. Drawing on Robert S. Hatten’s (2004) and Alexandra Pierce’s (2007) work on musical gesture, I will relate the steps of the danced mazurka to their abstract musical counterparts in Chopin’s solo piano works and examine the affective connection between the physical steps and the musical gestures. I will then call upon the narrative theories of Michael Klein (2004) and Byron Almén (2008) and the temporal theories put forth by Jonathan D. Kramer (1973, 1996) and Judy Lochhead (1979) to construct a framework in which the musical gestures (and the expressive states they imply) interact to produce emergent meanings. Finally, I will present a gestural/narrative reading of Chopin’s Mazurka in C# minor, op. 50, no. 3, which aims to demonstrate both the utility of my proposed theoretical model and the necessity of going back to the dance to grapple with issues of musical meaning in the mazurkas.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject Chopin
dc.subject Mazurkas
dc.subject Gesture
dc.subject Narrative
dc.subject Musical meaning
dc.subject Dance-music relations
dc.title "A thousand nuances of movement" : the intersection of gesture, narrative, and temporality in selected mazurkas of Chopin
dc.title.alternative Intersection of gesture, narrative, and temporality in selected mazurkas of Chopin
dc.date.updated 2012-08-20T14:36:08Z
dc.identifier.slug 2152/ETD-UT-2012-05-5451
dc.contributor.committeeMember Wheeldon, Marianne
dc.description.department Music
dc.type.genre thesis
dc.type.material text
thesis.degree.department Music
thesis.degree.discipline Music
thesis.degree.grantor University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.level Masters
thesis.degree.name Master of Music

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