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Philosophische Fakultät - Jahrgang 2016


Titel That’s All One
A History of Theatre Music, Based on the Epilogue Song in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Autor Kathrin Behrendt
Publikationsform Dissertation
Abstract The study "A History of Theatre Music, Based on the Epilogue Song in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night" analyses the change of compositional structures of theatre music over a period of 111 years. In ending the play's action and releasing the audience into their own realities, the epilogue song serves as a link between the world of the play and the world of the audience. Feste, the play's fool, ends the play with a simple and timeless song with universal appeal which can be observed both on the textual and the musical level. The song sticks in the audience's minds after the performance and helps them to create their final judgement of the production. Therefore, the epilogue song uses music which comes from the world of the audience and can easily be understood by them.
The study is based on the Royal Shakespeare Company's compositions of "Twelfth Night"'s epilogue song from 1901 to 2012. These compositions are put in relation to the earliest existing composition of the song; Joseph Vernon's setting from 1763. Against the background of a current state of research in the field of music, song, and musical theory in Elizabethan and contemporary theatre, the compositions are analysed with regard to information on the year, composer, number of verses, instrumentation, key, time, tempo, range of the voice, general melodic shape, outstanding rhythmic or melodic motives, general harmonic progression, relation to Vernon's composition, and their most striking element. Originating in classical music composition, the analysis of 111 years of theatre music shows a movement towards popular music structures. The compositions of "Twelfth Night"'s epilogue song clearly mirror the musical surrounding of the time of their creation. While at the beginning of the twentieth century a regular cadenza scheme can be found in the accompaniment of the song, the most recent compositions mirror the singer/songwriter style of the twenty-first century. Simple repetitive structures with an element of surprise are found to be the most important characteristic of contemporary theatre music composition.
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© Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn | Veröffentlicht: 01.02.2016