Exploring pluralism and musical meaning in the compositions of Hans Roosenschoon

Fraser, Melissa Jane (2013-12)

Thesis (MMus)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this thesis, the term pluralism is used to refer to the different musical and non-musical aspects that form part of a musical composition. Hans Roosenschoon, whose work is the focus of this study, is open about the fact that there are many pluralistic elements in his compositions and he admits to borrowing from others in his music. The thesis provides a short overview of techniques used when borrowing music with the focus on techniques used after 1950. This initial section also includes a short biography of Hans Roosenschoon with a broad overview of his compositional techniques. In the next section, selected works of Roosenschoon are approached in two ways. First, an article by Christopher Ballantine on the compositions of Charles Ives serves to launch a discussion on meaning in borrowed music. When Ballantine wrote about the works of Ives, he focused on the meaning that quotations possess rather than on giving comprehensive analyses of the works. Consequently Ballantine’s focus on musical meaning in Ives’s works is compared to musical meaning generated in Roosenschoon’s work, bearing in mind that Ballantine focuses on Ives's collages, and the majority of Roosenschoon's compositions are technically not collages. Roosenschoon’s use of canonical works from Beethoven and Mozart and the subsequent construction of new musical contexts is explored. ‘New musical contexts’ are differentiated to include a discussion on the difference of borrowing music accompanied by text compared to music without text, using five different compositions as examples. In the third chapter pluralism is extended further to include non-musical influences, with specific focus on possible political undercurrents in Roosenschoon’s compositions. All examples of political impulses in Roosenschoon’s compositions and writings are based on specific text examples written by Roosenschoon as well as personal interviews, and not inferences. Three compositions serve as examples of potentially political works, although not all of the political gestures are visible in the music itself, but were discovered through documents and discussions with the composer.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie tesis word die term pluralisme gebruik word om te verwys na die verskillende musikale en nie-musikale aspekte wat deel vorm van 'n musikale komposisie. Hans Roosenschoon, wie se werk die fokus van hierdie studie is, is openhartig oor die feit dat daar baie pluralistiese elemente in sy komposisies is. Hy erken verder dat hy van ander komponiste se musiek gebruik maak in sy eie komposisies. Na 'n kort oorsig van die tegnieke wat gebruik word wanneer musiek geleen word, verskuif die fokus na die tegnieke wat gebruik is na 1950. Hierdie afdeling sluit ook 'n kort biografie van Hans Roosenschoon in met 'n breë oorsig van sy komposisietegnieke. In die volgende afdeling word geselekteerde werke van Roosenschoon op twee maniere benader. Eerstens dien 'n artikel deur Christopher Ballantine oor die komposisies van Charles Ives as beginpunt van 'n bespreking oor die betekenis wat geleende musiek moontlik inhou. Wanneer Ballantine skryf oor die komposisies van Ives, fokus hy op die betekenis van aangehaalde musiek eerder as op omvattende ontleding van die werke. Vervolgens word Ballantine se fokus op musikale betekenis in Ives se komposisies vergelyk met die musikale betekenis wat gegenereer word in Roosenschoon se werk, met die verstaan dat Ballantine gefokus het op Ives se collages, en die meerderheid van Roosenschoon se komposisies tegnies nie collages is nie. Roosenschoon se gebruik van die kanoniese werke van Beethoven en Mozart en die daaropvolgende konstruksie van nuwe musikale kontekste word ondersoek. In hierdie ondersoek word daar ‘n onderskeid getref wanneer teks by die musiek betrokke is en wanneer dit nie 'n faktor is nie. Vyf verskillende komposisies word in hierdie afdeling bespreek. In die derde hoofstuk word pluralisme verder uitgebrei om nie-musikale invloede in te sluit, met 'n spesifieke fokus op die moontlike politieke ondertone in Roosenschoon se komposisies. Alle voorbeelde van politieke impulse in Roosenschoon se komposisies en geskrifte word gebaseer op spesifieke tekste wat deur Roosenschoon geskryf is, sowel as persoonlike onderhoude, en nie blote afleidings nie. Drie komposisies dien as voorbeelde van potensiële politiese werke.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85770
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