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Thesis 1

THESIS DETAILS
Thesis Title: Tautology or Teleology? Towards an Understanding of Repetition in Franz Schubert's Instrumental Chamber Music
Degree Type: PhD
Degree Specialism: Analysis
Supervisor(s): Dr Nicholas Marston
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: August 2011
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: Other
Thesis Location / Link: University of Cambridge
THESIS CONTENT
Persons / Composers: Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven
Genres / Musical Instruments: Sonata form and variation form in Schubert's chamber music
Abstract: Schubertís success in the realm of instrumental composition was for a long time beset with criticisms of the music as prolix and repetitious. The extent of the attention granted to the lyric impulse of Schubertís idiom as the catalyst for such expansive forms contrasts sharply with the dearth of serious engagement hitherto in the literature with the concept of repetition in its own right as an equally vulnerable aspect of his style. Consequently, this thesis seeks to exploit this long-held criticism of Schubertís music as the stimulus for further analytical enquiry into how repetition functions, in terms of musical form, in Schubertís instrumental chamber music. In so doing, I aim to develop a theoretical framework that is better suited to the analysis of this music.
To this end, the thesis is in two parts. The first appraises the theoretical, musicological, and analytical contexts for the study by examining the precise features of Schubertís music which were most heavily criticised in the literature, most frequently omitted or curtailed in performance, and most blatantly cut in performersí editions of the mid-twentieth century, and analysing their effect on the form of the works in question. Part II presents a series of analytical case studies of works in sonata and variation form Ė two forms which are diametrically opposed in their treatment of repetition on a formal level Ė which most readily demonstrate the ramifications of Schubertís repetitive, and additive, techniques of composition on musical form. The analytical case studies of D46/i, D624, and D845/ii presented in Part II function also as critical engagements with two established methodologies: Sonata Theory (2006) and Schenkerian voice-leading analysis. My analyses of D804/i and D887/i incorporate conceptual frameworks from the work of Edward T. Cone, Jonathan Kramer, and Roland Jordan and Emma Kafalenos that have not previously been employed in analysing Schubertís music in order to present a new means by which we can interpret and analytically represent Schubertís sonata structures.
Collectively, these analyses highlight the challenge that Schubertís repetitive forms pose for our understanding of music as strictly uni-directional and linear. Ultimately, by placing these analytical studies in their broader historical context, this thesis aims to explore the possibility that Schubertís most apparently redundant formal designs Ė those founded on repetitive and additive processes Ė may in fact be understood as formally and historically auspicious.

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Current Institution Affiliation: King's College, University of Cambridge
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