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Title: Gestus and music : the development of gestic music and its relevance to music theatre performance
Authors: Aleksovski, Nenad
Keywords: Gesture in music
Music -- Psychological aspects
Musical theatre
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This dissertation examines the phenomenon of gestic music including its nature, qualities, forms, and relevance to the development of contemporary performance practices. In view of the theatrical and musical dimensions which the phenomenon implies, my research is framed around an investigation of the relationships between gestus and music, and how out of these relationships gestic music develops. Theatre practice since the turn of the twentieth century has, in various instances, seen important links with music and musicality which often led to interesting and innovative approaches. The fundamentals of gestic music and its uses in theatre have their roots in these links and in the theoretical and practical strategies that emerge from them. In view of this, my study is structured around three main areas of investigation that will help me contextualise the notion and application of gestic music. These include: i. an analysis of the relations and interdependencies between music and theatre, ii. a discussion on gestus as one of the essential elements in the creation of gestic music, and iii. an outline of a specific historical retrospective in order to shed light on legacies leading to contemporary theories and practices related to gestic music. In the course of my analysis I refer to current scholarship in musicality and theatre in order to further support my theoretical framing of the concept of gestic music and its relevance to contemporary theatre making. This will be done via critical references to theoretical implications of the notions of theatricality and musicality and how these contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon. This theoretical underpinning will allow me to generate discussion on and analysis of the uses of gestic music as a valid tool for theatre makers in the development of new and alternative forms of performative expression. As David Roesner argues, ‘many legacies of musicality in directing, acting, training, writing and dramaturgy are continued, developed and reoriented in contemporary forms of theatre, from the so-called “regietheater” to devised and postdramatic practices’ (2014: 21). I will investigate Roesner’s claims, as well as the use of music as an aesthetic aspect of a theatre production in combination with gestus’ physical, social, and critical dimensions. As such, my research is based on analysis and investigation of the concept, function, and relevance of gestic music in relation to the contemporary aesthetics of new music theatre. In the process of my discussion I will refer to the work of various practitioners who used and developed gestic music in their theatre making including Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Heiner Goebbels, and Robert Wilson. More specifically I will use Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach and my own ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG! Europa as case studies to further support my theoretical analysis. The aim of my research is to shed light on the different uses of gestic music as an important element in the creation of new music theatre practices.
Description: M.A.THEATRE STUD.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - SchPA - 2017

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