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Title:Compositional Design Elements and Stylistic Influences in Benjamin Britten's "A Boy Was Born
Author(s):Sieck, Stephen Michael
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Stoltzfus, Fred
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) composed A Boy Was Born at the Royal College of Music during his third and final year of study, 1932-1933. This choral work is constructed as a theme and six variations, lasting approximately 30 minutes. The work has received little treatment in Britten scholarship. This dissertation aims to provide a substantial analysis of the work that demonstrates the consistent presence of the following compositional design elements: pentatonic collections, ostinato, non-tertian harmony, the creation and manipulation of musical motives and cells, discrete use of 'stillness', and the layering of multiple elements. The dissertation will put the composition in the context of Britten's first nineteen years, both from his public and private narratives. The dissertation also examines other compositions that were stylistic influences, namely Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols, and Stravinsky's Petrushka, and compares the compositional design elements in A Boy Was Born to later Britten works, namely Hymn to St. Cecilia, A Ceremony of Carols, Peter Grimes, and War Requiem. .
Issue Date:2006
Description:195 p.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3242993
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2006

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