Abstract: This thesis is a cross-disciplinary investigation of how music and theatre interact and proposes a framework of terms for the analysis of music within the theatrical misè-en-scene (Chapter Two). As original research, this framework is proposed as appropriate for two scholarship disciplines, theatrical performance studies and performed music, as these relate both to reception and to artistic intention. The framework is also proposed as a practical means of communication between these two artistic practices. Within this framework, music is analyzed according to four broad processes: music as structure; music as intervention; cinematic music; and music as engagement. Drawing on scholarship in film music (e.g. Gorbman 1987), performance studies (e.g. Auslander 2006; McAuley 2000) and cultural and theoretical musicology (e.g. Scruton 1999; Frith 1996), it identifies and discusses the common uses of music in theatre, arguing that there are six frames under which the function of music can be considered: emotional, diegetic, metadiegetic, temporal, spatial and formal. The elements of music contributing to this framing (tonal content, formal structure, timbre, signal processing, improvisation and genre) are also considered. The framework of terms (abbreviated to how, what, why) is applied in reception of script-based performance (Chapter Three), within the physical text of circus performance (Chapter Four) and, by contrast, in one artistic process of production (Chapter Five). The "visual object" of music is also discussed, examining how the musician in performance can be theorized within the theatrical context (Chapter Six). While genres such as opera and musical theatre are commonly studied, there is less scholarship considering theatre in which music is "incidental" (Savage 2001; Pavis 1998). But in the hybrid practices of contemporary performance that encompass both the script-driven play and the complex set of practices that can be considered as "physical theatre", the analysis of the role of music should be considered integral, rather than "incidental".
Submission note: A thesis submitted in total fulfilment for the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy [to the School of Communications, Arts and Critical Enquiry], Faculty of Huminities and Socical Sciences, La Trobe University, Bundoora.
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