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What a difficult task it is for music to fulfil the demands of an epic theatre: a discussion of the role of epic music in Bertolt Brecht's plays

Rambo-Hood, Markee H. (2009) What a difficult task it is for music to fulfil the demands of an epic theatre: a discussion of the role of epic music in Bertolt Brecht's plays. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Music is an essential component of theatre. Music was crucial for the early Greek plays, to the height of Italian opera and up to our current theatre. The writer and director Bertolt Brecht recognized the impact music had in the theatre and incorporated music into his extensive Epic Theatre theories. At the same time though, I have encountered discontinuity between Theatre and Music Studies, as the two rarely overlap. In this thesis I look to ascertain the exact role that music plays within Brecht’s Epic Theatre theories. I will also discuss if Brecht’s theories operate in the same format for all of my case studies and lastly, I will conclude if Brecht’s theories were static or if they developed over time. With this I hope to determine if Brecht’s Epic Music is an achievable theatrical device. To do this, I will first define Epic Theatre and Epic Music. From this I will formulate a structure against which to place the plays The Threepenny Opera, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1930) and The Mother (1932). I will then analyse my three case studies against this structure to determine how the music functions within each play. From this point I aim to determine the exact role that music plays within Brecht’s theories in order to give proper weight and significance to an essential component of Epic Theatre and to determine if Epic Music is a viable theory.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Epic Music, Epic Theatre, Brecht, Kurt Weill, Threepenny Opera, The Mother, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Heinrich, Dr. Anselm and Price, Dr. Victoria
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Ms Markee H Rambo-Hood
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-2298
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:53
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2298

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