Melodic embellishment in Mozart

Bandy, Dorian Komanoff (2019) Melodic embellishment in Mozart. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This dissertation presents a general account of embellishment in Mozart’s oeuvre. Chapter 1 lays the theoretical groundwork, distinguishing embellishment from the related techniques of variation, diminution, and structural elaboration. It also examines the various epistemological barriers involved in studying centuries-old improvisations, and situates the project within the culture of historical performance. Chapter 2 examines the relationship between Mozart’s compositional process and his piano technique, arguing that studies of his notated works can, if handled judiciously, shed light on his performing practices. Building upon this unification, Chapter 3 focuses the methods by which embellishment gestures can be discerned in Mozart’s notated works. Chapter 4 examines Mozart’s embellishment protocols, from local gestures such as trills and turns, to large-scale pacing, relating these procedures to broader issues including instrumental technique, operatic characterisation, and the compositional process. Chapter 5 compares Mozart’s embellishments with those by his contemporaries (Vogler, Haydn), students (Ployer, Hummel), and successors (Beethoven). Finally, Chapter 6 considers the role of embellishment in Mozart’s musical aesthetic as a whole. It argues that embellishment provides a lens through which to re-evaluate not only Mozart’s works, but the evolution of musical style, the relationship between analysis and performance, and the role of explanation in musical interpretation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Mozart, embellishment, improvisation, performance, historical performance, epistemology, aesthetics, interpretation.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Music
Supervisor's Name: Butt, Prof. John
Date of Award: 2019
Embargo Date: 31 May 2023
Depositing User: Dorian K Bandy
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-73009
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 09:25
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 08:26
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.73009

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