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ItemFritz Bennicke Hart: an introduction to his life and musicTregear, Peter John ( 1993)This thesis presents a broad study of the life, times and creative output of the English born Australian composer Fritz Bennicke Hart (1874-1949) concentrating on the formative period of Australian cultural history in which he lived and contributed. It examines and evaluates Hart's particular personal achievements, relationships with his contemporaries, and his work for various Melbourne and Hawaiian musical institutions. It argues that the creative output of Hart, particularly that associated with the Celtic revival, reveals much about contemporary perceptions of Australian identity and culture. The thesis includes an introductory contextual examination of Hart's music. A comprehensive cross-referenced catalogue of all known manuscript sources of Hart's music, including a detailed description of the manuscript sources of his operas, is included as an Appendix.
ItemOrchestral, chamber, electronic and visual compositionsBurke, Brigid ( 1999)This folio of orchestral, chamber, electronic and visual compositions collectively document a research period based on experiences with performance, free and structured improvisations, technology and visual art practices. The technical and aesthetic diversity of the material arises from opportunities and resources afforded by the research program. Of the many ideas traversed in these works, the principle focus has been towards the use of extended techniques for wind instruments and experiences from live performances. In pursuing these objectives, this research charts multiple performance practices, and diverse compositional techniques through traditional acoustic music to studio electronic soundscapes. Although the ordering of the compositions in this folio suggest that the acoustic works were completed first, many of the electronic compositions were produced in between. Consequently, compositional processes tended to inform each other in complex and often subtle ways. The two orchestral works and the quintet represent instances where extended clarinet techniques have been reconceptulized and orchestrated for larger ensembles. These techniques have also found a place together with traditional styles and intuitive performance experience in the suite for clarinet and piano, the trio and the guitar solo work. The five remaining electroacoustic works represent a rethinking of acoustic sound and performance practices not found in the approaches taken with the traditional acoustic compositions. The studio enabled a focus on issues such as context and space that do not have pre-eminence in the composition phase of traditional instrumental music. This is evident in the fact that the sounds, existing as recordings, could be subject to processing and arrangements in ways that are physically impossible through traditional musical world. The sounds in the computer based context assert a need for a different compositional outlook to that presented in the previous compositions. Finally the inclusion of visual imagery is intended to convey another creative input into the process of each musical work.
ItemAspects of the creative process in Manuel de Falla's El retablo Maese Pedro and ConcertoCHRISTOFORIDIS, MICHAEL ( 1997)Manuel de Falla's output during the 1920s was a product of his conscious identification with elements of the Parisian avant-garde in order to create universal manifestations of Spanish musical nationalism. These ideals were pursued in El retablo de Maese Pedro (1918-23) and the Concerto (1923-26), works which were enthusiastically received in certain modernist circles despite their more limited appeal with the broader public. The extended period of gestation for both works allowed Falla to explore an ever increasing range of contemporary, historical and folk musical models, literary and historical sources, and religious, philosophical and aesthetic considerations, in an attempt to realise his aims. To a greater extent than in his earlier works, El retablo and the Concerto reflect Falla's preoccupation with innovation and resulted from a more pronounced interdependence of poetic, evocative, structural and technical parameters. His attempts to theorise his procedures at this time, however, unsystematic, were also symptomatic of an increasingly conscious, analytical, synthetic and at times articulated approach to composition. Through a detailed study of the material held at the Archivo Manuel de Falla, this dissertation examines the ideas that Falla explored and brought to the composition of El retablo and the Concerto, and attempts to contextualise them within his aesthetic, cultural and personal framework. The conception and evolution of these works is outlined and this discussion is informed by an examination of the musical and extra-musical sources studied by Falla, biographical documentation of the composer and his works, and reference to compositional sketch material. While El retablo and the Concerto formed the principal focus of his creative activity between 1919 and 1926, his overall literary and compositional activity throughout this period is taken into consideration as it relates to the two works in question. The evolution of his musical language during this period is also examined in relation to contemporary developments within his artistic milieu, and through an overview of stylistic precursors to this new style in Falla's own output to 1919.
ItemThe guitar in nineteenth-century Buenos Aires: towards a cultural history of an Argentine musical emblemPLESCH, MELANIE ( 1998)This study examines the role of the guitar in Argentine culture through an in-depth analysis of historical, musical, pictorial and literary documentation from nineteenth-century Buenos Aires. Esteemed as an instrument of art music and simultaneously stigmatised by its relationship with the gaucho during the first half of the nineteenth century, the guitar was promoted, towards the 1880s, to the status of "national instrument." However, at the same time that it was celebrated as the musical emblem of the nation, the prestige of the classic guitar diminished, and it was relegated to a peripheral position within mainstream art music. This apparent paradox, it is argued, is deeply entrenched in the process of identity construction and nation-building that took place in Argentina during that period and is the result of discursive practices that present and represent the instrument (as well as Argentine culture) in an endless play of binary oppositions. The monolithic image of a unified "Argentine guitar" is questioned, and it is proposed that the physical object that we call guitar was regarded as at least two different cultural artefacts between which a continual slippage of meaning occurred. Accordingly, the binary opposition "classic guitar/popular guitar," is considered analogous to the forceful antinomy "civilisation/barbarism," a well-known dichotomy that has had a profound influence on Argentine and Latin American thought since it was coined in 1845 by Domingo F. Sarmiento in his influential Civilizacion y Barbarie. This dissertation is organised in two sections. The first examines the situation of the guitar from the revolution of May 25, 1810 until the end of Juan Manuel de Rosas's government in 1852. Chapter 1 provides a brief overview of the social map and the political history of this period, addresses the ideological agenda of the elite groups that came to power after the May revolution and presents the dichotomy civilisation/barbarism. Chapter 2 focuses on the gaucho guitar. Literary and pictorial representations are scrutinised in three levels, focusing on their role in the elite's construction of the Self and the Other, their importance in the genesis of a dominant discourse on the gaucho, and assessing the actual information about the gaucho's musical practices that they convey. Chapter 3 explores the classic guitar tradition in Buenos Aires during the first half of the nineteenth century in the form of a documentary history, demonstrating the presence of the guitar in the music-making of the upper-classes and its prestige and esteem within the porteno musical world. Critical biographies of the major guitarists and guitarist-composers of the period are provided, and the extant music composed in the area is described and analysed. The second section of the study is concerned with the guitar from the fall of Rosas up to the centennial of the May revolution in 1910. Chapter 4 sets out the historical and theoretical background for this period, focusing on the nation-building process and the debate on "Argentineness" generated by the unwanted effects of mass immigration and the rapid modernisation of the country. This situation gave rise to the so-called "resurrection" of the gaucho and the appropriation of his cultural universe as the essence of Argentine identity. The role played by representations of the guitar in this process is examined in Chapter 5, drawing attention to their most salient characteristics: distancing and nostalgia. The images of the gaucho guitar in literature, visual arts, advertisements and piano music are analysed and it is argued that the manner in which the guitar was incorporated into these discourses discloses the ideological agenda of the nation-building project. Chapter 6 concentrates on the classic guitar tradition during this period and, in that respect, it can be regarded as a mirror of Chapter 3. Although the instrument was still cultivated by the middle and upper-classes, it experienced a substantial loss of prestige, and it was no longer deemed at the same level as other art music instruments. As in Chapter 3, the spaces for performance are explored, critical biographies of the main guitarists of the period are offered, and the extant repertory is described and analysed. A catalogue of the guitar music composed in Buenos Aires during the nineteenth century is presented in the Appendix, providing a thematic index, publishing data, and location of copies where available.