Lulu's Canzonetta: a Twentieth-Century Leitmotiv

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dc.contributor.advisor Keiler, Allan Dewees, Kelly 2011-05-23T18:20:35Z 2011-05-23T18:20:35Z 2011
dc.description.abstract Of all the composers who famously used Schoenberg’s twelve-tone method of composition, Alban Berg stands out for his manipulation of the system for his own, often very expressive ends. Berg’s opera Lulu proves to be an effective example of this compositional technique as Berg clearly uses the dodecaphonic system as a basis for the work, though his use of multiple rows often depicting different characters and his lack of consistency in always using these rows point towards one of Berg’s great achievements in Lulu: his detailed and comprehensive depiction of characters’ emotions, psychological states, dramatic actions, past and future events, and inner thoughts through a careful combination of libretto and music. \tLulu’s Canzonetta is one of the many sections of music that convey these subtle but effective meanings. Though deceptively simple-sounding, lyrical music, Berg uses the music of the Canzonetta in complex ways to not only reveal Lulu’s inner psychological world in the context of her reaction to death, but also to link different parts of the opera together structurally. A close examination of the structural qualities of the music in combination with interpretive reflection on meaning and consequence for the work as a whole yields intriguing insight into Berg’s care and skill in the composition of this work. \tThis paper attempts such an interpretation, beginning with a detailed account of musical structure, followed by a reading of meaning based on these musical characteristics. Various authors concerned with discerning meaning in music, especially opera, are consulted, but though their methods prove to be insightful, the interpretation is also intuitive and does not ascribe to any theory in particular. All together, this examination of music and meaning in Lulu’s Canzonetta provides a layer of depth in understanding Lulu and her actions and relationships with others in the opera, and also gives insight into Berg’s wonderful care in composition.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Kelly Dewees 2011
dc.subject Alban Berg
dc.subject canzonetta
dc.subject Lulu
dc.title Lulu's Canzonetta: a Twentieth-Century Leitmotiv
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Music MA Masters Music Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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