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Seventeenth-century musical fantasy : origins of freedom and irrationality

Park, Yoon Kyung (2008) Seventeenth-century musical fantasy : origins of freedom and irrationality. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The essence of seventeenth-century musical fantasy lies in the contemporary notion of freedom. Contemporary fantasy genres and verbal descriptions of fantasy highlight freedom from given tonal, harmonic, and temporal frameworks. This freedom assumes the composer's ingenuity (freedom to command the rules of counterpoint) and spontaneity (freedom to breach the rules and conventional expectations), both important sources to understand the distinctiveness of seventeenth-century musical fantasy. Given that a manifestation of freedom could be perceived as either fantastic or 'irrational', I survey the cultural and intellectual background concerning an assumed norm and the contemporary notion of 'rationality' through differing views on reason and the senses. In order to clarify the environment in which musical fantasy was sensed and defined, I turn to the analogy between music and its sister arts: imitation (philosophical mimesis and rhetorical imitatio as key concepts of artistic representation) and empirical thought (the growing interest in the role of the senses and imagination in aesthetic experience) are taken as bases for contemporary artists' understanding of nature and art. To discern the freedom that seventeenth-century musicians exercised in their representation of nature, I trace the varied properties and fantastic aspects of expressive resources in dramatic and improvisatory genres by exploring three metaphorical subjects: lament, melancholy, and humour. In all, this study focuses on how fantasy was musically represented and perceived in the era, and elucidates the distinctive and universal aspects of fantasy in the seventeenth-century context through an interdisciplinary approach that combines the historical, the philosophical, and the musical.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Music
Supervisor's Name: Butt, Professor John A.
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-476
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2008
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2013 15:00
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/476

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