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RECENT RESEARCH IN SINGING.

THE FOLLOWING LIST of recent research in singing is a brief sampling of articles, theses, and dissertations recently published. It is by no means comprehensive and reflects only a small fraction of the available documents.

If you have published recent research in singing, voice pedagogy, voice science, vocal repertoire, pedagogic methodology, or other topics of interest to the membership of NATS, please send citations and abstracts to Donald Simonson at drs@iastate.edu for review and possible inclusion in future columns.

Bastone, Danielle. "The Analysis of Musical Dramaturgy in Mozart's Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail." PhD Dissertation, City University of New York, 2017, 255 pages; ProQuest 10249043.

"It has long been recognized that the music of Mozart's Singspiels bears more dramatic weight than that of most eighteenth century German comic operas. Yet this view arises from a body of scholarship that heavily privileges Die Zauberflote at the expense of Mozart's other German-language operatic works, including Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (1782), which constituted Mozart's first big statement in Vienna and became easily the most popular of his operas during his lifetime. This is an analytical study of Mozart's Entfuhrung that examines form, phrase rhythm, and text-setting as agents of musical dramaturgy throughout the score. More specifically, it demonstrates how Mozart uses those musical dimensions towards characterization and in the depiction of the opera's most confrontational interactions.

"Chapters 1 and 2 situate the Entfuhrung in the greater contexts of the Viennese Singspiel and eighteenth-century comic opera. Chapter 1 also outlines the evolution of the Entfuhrung libretto, and provides an overview of the compositional order based on the Mozart correspondence and recent research. Chapter 3 surveys prosody and text-setting across all three acts to establish that Mozart and his libretto adaptor, Gottlieb Stephanie, use poetic meter to delineate their characters. Mozart also regularly calls upon certain rhythmic patterns to reflect recurring emotions and actions, including suffering, moments of hesitation, and displays of Turkish identity.

"Analyses of 'Martern aller Arten' and 'Wenn der Freude Thranen fliessen' occupy Chapters 4 and 5, respectively. A discussion of form is included in both chapters, with special attention paid to the dramatic significance of Mozart's structures. In Konstanze's aria, Mozart writes conflicting metrical patterns and metrical reinterpretations to depict her struggle and strength. In Belmonte's number, the reappearance of distinctive rhythmic patterns from his first-act arias helps to individualize his musical language. Two versions of this aria are assessed.

"Chapter 6 explores how Mozart uses irregular phrasing and phrase rhythm to depict antagonism. Most notably, unpredictable phrase lengths, suffixes, and the delayed establishment of hypermetric patterns represent Osmin's volatility throughout his solo and ensemble numbers. Chapter 7 features an analysis of the Act II Quartet, focusing on the opening measures of the 'jealousy episode,' in which Belmonte and Pedrillo begin to admit they harbor doubts about the women's fidelity. Mozart's periodic structures, repetitive text-setting, and fluid phrase rhythm simultaneously accommodate the protracted pace at which the men accuse their partners, and the increasingly urgent retorts of the curious women.

"The conclusion of this study reflects upon Mozart's strategic use of form, phrase rhythm, and text-setting to create nuanced characters and strikingly realistic interactions, and argues that the Entfuhrung deserves a more prominent place in the broader discussion of Mozart's musical dramaturgy." (Author/ProQuest Abstract)

Harte, Monica. "Solo Performance: An Extension of Vocal Pedagogy." DMA Dissertation, City University of New York, 2017, 398 pages; ProQuest 1868419213.

"In this study, I examine the significance of the solo performance opportunity in vocal pedagogy at the tertiary level. In order to discover tangible correlations between solo performing and applied lessons, I designed and implemented a case study that focused on fourteen subjects rehearsing, performing, and recording roles in the children's opera, Mambo. The findings stem from my theoretical analysis of substantive data collected through forty-one interviews and three months of observations. The data collected disclosed that whether the participants advanced within a particular performance practice (such as presentation), or developed a specific vocal technique (such as coloratura), Mambo became an extension of their private lessons and aided in developing vocal aptitudes that were previously missing or incomplete.

"The pedagogical tools acquired by the subjects during the Mambo production represent significant advances in their technical skillsets. Since these skills are typically addressed as part of applied lessons in universities and conservatories, we may conclude that the rehearsal-performance platform yields untold pedagogical tools for students studying vocal performance at the tertiary level." (Author/ProQuest Abstract)

Romriell, Mackenzie. "Classically Unsung: The Art Songs of Alec Wilder." DMA Dissertation, The University of Arizona, 2017, 77 pages; ProQuest 10254313.

"The compositions of American composer, Alec Wilder, span multiple, often disparate, genres within the classical and popular music styles. During his lifetime, much of Wilder's greatest success came from his popular songs. However, his body of work is much more vast, and some of his vocal work should be classified as art song. Wilder's formal training, aptitude for learning, and experiences with popular music provided him with a diverse artistic palette and a unique musical voice. This resultant style is eclectic and includes modality, rhythmic motives, melodic figures, extended harmonies, and text painting.

"Wilder scholars, David Demsey and Ronald Prather categorized one hundred and seventeen of Wilder's compositions as art songs. From this group, nine songs were selected and analyzed according to academically accepted characteristics of Art Song: poetry, harmony and melody, the relationship between the voice and the piano, text setting, phrasing and structure, form, and vocal demands in order to justify the songs' identification as art songs. Furthermore, this document contains brief biographical information on Alec Wilder's life, career, and varied musical endeavors as well as a concise discussion of scholarly literature concerning the composer and his oeuvre.

"Alec Wilder composed music within multiple genres and styles. His output is prolific, yet his art songs remain relatively unknown. It is hopeful that this document will bring new attention to Alec Wilder, and, specifically, his art songs." (Author/ProQuest Abstract)
A wandering minstrel I--
    A thing of shreds and patches,
    Of ballads, songs and snatches,
And dreamy lullaby!

My catalogue is long,
    Through every passion ranging,
    And to your humours changing
I tune my supple song!
                      Gilbert & Sullivan, The Mikado,
                                    Act I (Nanki-Poo)
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Title Annotation:The Analysis of Musical Dramaturgy in Mozart's Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail; Solo Performance: An Extension of Vocal Pedagogy; Classically Unsung: The Art Songs of Alec Wilder
Author:Simonson, Donald
Publication:Journal of Singing
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2017
Words:1037
Previous Article:A Conversation with Andrew Garland, Part 2.
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