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Music regularly accompanies dance performances, but the relationship of sound and movement has been under-investigated in academic circles. This neglect may be a reflection of the opinion that music created for dance is not serious. The lack of communication between music and dance scholars may also be a contributing factor. Neither side speaks the other's language. This thesis seeks to address that situation by considering two works by Vivian Fine, The Race of Life (1937) and Alcestis (1960). These pieces were composed for modern dance choreographers Doris Humphrey and Martha Graham respectively and represent two different approaches to creating American modern dance. For The Race of Life Fine composed for an existing dance text, while for Alcestis, she provided music to which the dance would be set. The influence of the order of composition and choreography in inspiring these very different scores is impossible to determine without clear documentation from Fine, which does not exist. Nevertheless, the two scores provide the opportunity to evaluate her musical thinking and values as they relate to dance in works separated by more than twenty years.
Alcestis, Doris Humphrey, Martha Graham, Race of Life, Vivian Fine
Date of Defense
March 25, 2013.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Denise Von Glahn, Professor Directing Thesis; Michael Broyles, Committee Member; Tricia Young, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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