Music, Image, and Text: A Multi-Domain Analytical Approach to Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Gades, Andrew (author)
Shaftel, Matthew (professor directing dissertation)
Gerber, Larry (university representative)
Broyles, Michael (committee member)
Buchler, Michael (committee member)
Jones, Evan Allan (committee member)
College of Music (degree granting department)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
This dissertation explores three aspects of Songs of Innocence and of Experience: the contrary states of Innocence and Experience, the diverse stylistic juxtapositions, and the interaction of the music, text, and visual elements. An analysis of the entire song cycle is far too ambitious for a project of this scope, so the dissertation focuses on a few select songs, contextualizing them within the work as a whole. The identification of coherent subgroupings of songs will demonstrate continuity despite the apparent stylistic disjunctions. The analysis of oppositional pairs of songs both within and across sections reveals Bolcom's approach to the underlying dichotomy of the contrary states as well as the musical connections between songs, even when they are placed far apart within the work. Incorporating the three domains of music, text, and image allows an exploration of emergent meanings. Although the precise nature of the analytical endeavor is dependent on the style of the individual song, the analyses will be accompanied by an interpretation of cross-domain mappings. The method of relating the different domains to one another will remain dynamic, and I will examine conceptual metaphors, conceptual integration networks, and the various expansions of these models as found in the literature. Additionally, the postmodern intertextual music of the latter half of the twentieth century has received little analytical attention. Much of the literature on this music focuses on the collage music by George Rochberg, Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Zorn, and even the use of quotation by Charles Ives. William Bolcom, however, is not typically categorized with this group of composers, but instead is better known for his rags or cabaret songs. It is true that Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and of Experience does not directly quote pre-existing musical material in the same way as Rochberg's collage works, for instance, but its stylistic allusion places it in the same postmodern aesthetic as defined by Catherine Losada. One purpose of this project, then, is to add to the existing literature on postmodern music by examining selected songs from Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Additionally, this song cycle, a setting of Blake's collection of illuminated poetry of the same name, requires a multi-domain analytical approach that addresses the music, poetry, and illuminations. In the first chapter, I review several models for multi-domain or multimedia analysis, including models by Nicholas Cook and Sean Atkinson. Additionally, I consider analytical methods for music and text, music and drama, or image and text developed by Edward T. Cone, Carolyn Abbate, Matthew Shaftel, Roland Barthes, and Kofi Agawu. Particular attention is given to the primary methodology used for my analyses, the conceptual integration networks developed by Fauconnier and Turner and utilized within the field of music theory by both Lawrence Zbikowski and Juan Chattah. The analytical chapters fall into two categories: Chapters 2 and 3 examine paired songs that exemplify Blake's contrary states, while Chapters 4 and 5 consider larger groups of consecutive songs. In the final chapter, I note the impact that Bolcom's music has on the cycle's interpretation, as well as suggesting directions for future study.
Multi-Domain Analysis, Music Analysis, Postmodern Music, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, William Blake, William Bolcom
March 1, 2013.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Matthew Shaftel, Professor Directing Dissertation; Larry Gerber, University Representative; Michael Broyles, Committee Member; Michael Buchler, Committee Member; Evan Allan Jones, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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