Playing the Piper: A Narratological Interpretation of John Corigliano’s Pied Piper Fantasy (1982)
University of Kansas
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John Corigliano’s Pied Piper Fantasy is a rather unusual concerto in the flute world. Written for and premiered by James Galway in 1982, the piece tells the familiar tale of the Pied Piper in Hamelin. In addition to being technically challenging, the piece has a music-theatrical dimension, including a suggested costume and directions for how the soloist enters and exits the stage. Because of the significance of the fable to the piece, an analysis that addresses this specific aspect seems appropriate. Although other authors have addressed this topic in the music to some extent, there is room for a more thoroughly narrativized interpretation as a possible basis for performance. This study consists of four complementary chapters. Chapter One, “The Pied Piper Coming to the Stage,” presents a brief history of the piece and an understanding of Corigliano’s career and compositional style. Chapter One also addresses some of the other scholarship on the Pied Piper Fantasy. Chapter Two, “The Pied Piper Story in Literary History,” offers a short overview of the tale throughout history followed by a narrative analysis of the story of the Pied Piper. Chapter Three, “A Narratological Analysis of the Pied Piper Fantasy,” discusses the piece in relation to wider concepts of narrative organization. The staged aspect of the work is also addressed. The final chapter, “Enacting the Fable: The Pied Piper Fantasy in Performance,” addresses the practical application of the ideas explored throughout the previous chapters. Flutists who have performed the work were consulted with respect to the ways in which dramatic considerations influenced their performances.
- Dissertations 
- Music Dissertations and Theses 
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