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dc.contributor.advisorMurphy, Scott
dc.contributor.authorPurin, Peter Charles Landis
dc.date.accessioned2012-06-03T15:05:26Z
dc.date.available2012-06-03T15:05:26Z
dc.date.issued2011-12-31
dc.date.submitted2011
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/ku:10749
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/9764
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation offers a music-theoretic analysis of the musical style of Stephen Sondheim, as surveyed through his fourteen musicals that have appeared on Broadway. The analysis begins with dramatic concerns, where musico-dramatic intensity analysis graphs show the relationship between music and drama, and how one may affect the interpretation of events in the other. These graphs also show hierarchical recursion in both music and drama. The focus of the analysis then switches to how Sondheim uses traditional accompaniment schemata, but also stretches the schemata into patterns that are distinctly of his voice; particularly in the use of the waltz in four, developing accompaniment, and emerging meter. Sondheim shows his harmonic voice in how he juxtaposes treble and bass lines, creating diagonal dissonances. He also uses dramatically striking chords called effect harmonies in most of his musicals. He obtains middleground harmonic cohesion through the use of chromaticism and pedal points. Background cohesion comes by remaining in a single key, despite the monotonal excursions he takes that bring the characters and the music to places perceived as far away from where they started. The final approach of the analysis examines Sondheim's melodies, which are shown to share a number of properties with classical and popular Western melodic writing. However, he also defies melodic trends of step inertia and step declination. His use of motivic stops and melodic cadences often contains large intervals or outlines of large intervals not common in other composers. Prosody and drama affect his melodic writing, in that he writes short, motivic units that are often repeated for a dramatic effect, sometimes disrupting meter and hypermeter. He also writes melodies that are shared between actors in scored dialogue. These musical elements all play a part in the identification of Sondheim's style.
dc.format.extent238 pages
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsThis item is protected by copyright and unless otherwise specified the copyright of this thesis/dissertation is held by the author.
dc.subjectMusic
dc.subjectTheater
dc.subjectSondheim, Stephen
dc.subjectStyle
dc.subjectTheory
dc.title"I've a Voice, I've a Voice": Determining Stephen Sondheim's Compositional Style Through a Music-theoretic Analysis of His Theater Works
dc.typeDissertation
dc.contributor.cmtememberMcGee, Deron
dc.contributor.cmtememberLaird, Paul
dc.contributor.cmtememberEverett, William
dc.contributor.cmtememberStaniunas, John
dc.thesis.degreeDisciplineMusic
dc.thesis.degreeLevelPh.D.
kusw.oastatusna
kusw.oapolicyThis item does not meet KU Open Access policy criteria.
dc.rights.accessrightsopenAccess


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