Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses
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ItemMusic and eating disordersTaylor, Hannah Mathilda ( 2022)This thesis investigates how people with eating disorders experience and engage with music. Eating disorders are severe mental health conditions that present through a distorted body image, a pre-occupation with body weight and an unhealthy relationship with food. Although eating disorders are rising in prevalence and have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, attempts to understand their aetiology and develop effective interventions continue. A systematic literature review concluded that there have been few studies of rigorous design that directly investigate how this population use and/or experience music. An investigation of the literature revealed that music therapy is available as a treatment to eating disorder patients despite limited research to draw upon. The purpose of this thesis was to consider musical engagement in a population with eating disorders, and to examine the impact of two commonly co-occurring conditions on the musical experience: alexithymia (an inability to recognise emotions) and anhedonia (lack of pleasure). A synthesis of literature is essential for understanding possible benefits or risks of music use in this population. Findings demonstrate the potential for future research to explore how music is used by people with eating disorders and to provide more sophisticated explanations of how music is experienced by these individuals. Such information may have diagnostic implications and will be helpful in subsequently devising appropriate interventions.
ItemHow does a critical analysis of the literature inform recommendations for writing about mindfulness in music therapy practice?Tanhane, Anja Franziska ( 2019)Mindfulness Based Therapies have become widespread in clinical work, but so far the literature on integrating mindfulness into music therapy has been limited. The thesis presents the results of a critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) investigating the use of mindfulness in music therapy. The CIS of eight published articles examines how music therapists describe the use of mindfulness in their clinical work. A critical examination of the literature presented in the CIS finds that the use of mindfulness is described under the categories of mindfulness-based, Buddhist-influenced, or mindfulness, and discusses some of the difficulties in describing music therapy processes in this way. Based on the findings from the CIS, and drawing on research from the mindfulness literature as well as my experience as a mindfulness teacher, practising Buddhist, and registered music therapist, the thesis then offers recommendations for music therapists who are interested in using mindfulness-influenced practices in their clinical work and research. The word ‘mindfulness’ has become widespread, and can describe almost anything from relaxation to in-depth therapeutic work to the path to spiritual enlightenment. This broad use of the term can lead to a lack of clarity in how the use of mindfulness is described. The thesis will explore the use of language, including the challenges of adapting concepts from other cultures and belief systems. Research into the adverse effects of meditation is discussed, and the thesis argues that due to these possible harmful effects, music therapists using mindfulness in their work might consider additional training, ensuring they understand the theoretical basis, the benefits and the contra-indications of mindfulness-based therapies. There are also indications in the current literature on mindfulness and music therapy that music therapy processes can at times cultivate mindful states in both therapist and client. This could be an exciting area for further research, potentially leading to the development of a new theoretical model of mindfulness arising from within the creative processes of music therapy.
ItemFolio of worksLyon, May Catherine ( 2019)Master of Music Composition - Folio of Compositions Six original compositions, written from 2016 to 2019, comprising of: - 'On the Inside' for flute, clarinet, cello, and piano. Recording duration of 9 minutes 34 seconds - 'Ode to Damascus' for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. Recording duration of 9 minutes 15 seconds - 'The Fate of Phaethon' for soprano, horn, and string quartet. Recording duration of 15 minutes 51 seconds - 'Echo' for soprano and horn. Video recording duration of 4 minutes three seconds - 'Phosphorus' for solo percussion. Video recording duration of 10 minutes 26 seconds - 'Ignition' for orchestra. Recording duration of 9 minutes 47 seconds
Item‘Darling Kath’: Benjamin Britten’s music for Kathleen FerrierMathew, Alexandra ( 2018)This thesis examines the career of contralto Kathleen Ferrier (1912–1953), and her collaborations with composer Benjamin Britten (1913–1976). In the late 1940s, Kathleen Ferrier was among the most famous classical singers of her day. Britten was the pre-eminent composer in Britain, composing solos for Ferrier in three major works: the title role in The Rape of Lucretia (1946), the contralto solos in Spring Symphony (1949), and the part of Isaac in Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac (1952). Although their collaboration ceased with Ferrier’s untimely death, Britten’s work with Ferrier was musically and personally significant, and proved influential for the course of Britten’s career and for shaping Ferrier’s legacy. Drawing on diaries, correspondence, and recordings, this thesis examines Britten’s intricate understanding of Ferrier’s voice and ability, the unusual way in which he exploited them, and how Ferrier in turn interpreted and created the premiere performances. In addition, with reference to the writings of J.P.E. Harper-Scott and Carolyn Abbate, this thesis evaluates the nature of the relationship between an influential male composer and the woman who gives voice to a work or role, to address the vexed question whether it is the composer or interpreter who creates that role.
ItemOpera, publicity, disability: a case study of the public persona of Marjorie LawrenceLincoln-Hyde, Ellan A. ( 2018)This thesis is an investigation of the public life of the Australian dramatic soprano Marjorie Florence Lawrence (b. Deans Marsh, Victoria 1907 – d. Little Rock, Arkansas 1979). Lawrence, who begun her professional stage career in Monte Carlo in 1932, was permanently paralysed from the waist down in 1941 after contracting poliomyelitis (at the time better known as infantile paralysis, now commonly referred to as polio). Despite the considerable challenges facing performers with disability in the pre-disability right era, Lawrence continued to perform in staged operas, concerts, and troop tours around the world. Lawrence published her autobiography in 1949, several decades before the end of her performing career and several years before the beginning of her first teaching position. Given that the basic biography of the singer is still relatively unknown the thesis starts with a brief outline of Lawrence’s biography, focusing on the years leading up to her paralysis. Chapter 1 examines her position as a role model and ambassador for people with a disability in the United States in the wake of several polio epidemics and an influx of returned servicemen with war injuries. Her affiliation with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is also explored in conjunction with an analysis the solutions Lawrence used to enable her return to the stage. Chapter 2 focuses on the complexity of her public persona and behaviours in the context of the ‘prima donna’ and ‘diva’ categorisations often used in literature concerning the biography of female opera singers. To investigate this, a case study of Lawrence’s interactions with high ranking military and civilian officials during her 1944 troop is used. Chapter 3 is a documentation and reflection on the previously under-researched topic of Lawrence’s role as a university professor at Southern Illinois University, particularly regarding the production of Joplin’s Treemonisha. Research in this thesis is based on archival documents, historical news sources and on new interviews with colleagues and students of Lawrence and family members. This research, conducted in situ across Australia and the United States, allows a more-rounded perspective on perceptions of Lawrence’s career, teaching and personal interactions and introduces Lawrence’s own voice through her letters.
ItemHurdy-gurdy: new articulationsNowotnik, Piotr ( 2016)The purpose of this thesis is to expand existing literature concerning the hurdy-gurdy as a contemporary musical instrument. Notably, it addresses the lack of hurdy-gurdy literature in the context of contemporary composition and performance. Research into this subject has been triggered by the author’s experience as a hurdy-gurdy performer and composer and the importance of investigating and documenting the hurdy-gurdy as an instrument capable of performing well outside the idioms of traditional music. This thesis consists of a collection of new works for hurdy-gurdy and investigation of existing literature including reference to the author’s personal experience as a hurdy-gurdy composer and performer. It will catalogue and systematically document a selection of hurdy-gurdy techniques and extended performance techniques, and demonstrate these within the practical context of new music compositions created by the author. This creative work and technique investigation and documentation is a valuable resource for those seeking deeper practical and academic understanding of the hurdy-gurdy within the context of contemporary music making.
ItemFolio of CompositionsBakrnchev, Michael Arthur ( 2016)Folio of compositions comprising of two orchestral works and three chamber works, composed by Michael Bakrnchev.
ItemFolio of compositionsSullivan, Catherine ( 2014)A folio of compositions including orchestral, choral and solo instrumental works. The music eschews overtly dramatic structures based on narrative, focusing rather on subtle explorations of colour, harmony and mood, with the concision and detailing of miniature forms as a touchstone.
ItemFolio of compositionsHUGHES, ELLIOTT ( 2015)Elliott Hughes completed this folio of compositions including works for orchestra, large jazz ensemble, trombone choir and instrumental duo. A distinct voice is created through a hybridity of contemporary classical and jazz styles, building small (sometimes borrowed) musical fragments back into multiple larger structures, conceived to affect body and mind.
ItemFolio of compositionsHumphries, Alice ( 2015)My thesis consists of a folio six musical compositions and subsequent recordings of those compositions amounting to 55 minutes of music. Across my masters candidature I have been focused on developing musical compositions with cohesive and engaging sound worlds and exploring the musical possibilities inherent in placing limits on the compositional process. The folio includes two orchestral pieces for varying orchestral forces, a work for clarinet quartet, a duet for trumpet and trombone, a duet for cello and piano, and a trio for flute, cor anglais and piano.
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