Note:This thesis is part of a research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the School of Music. The project also involved the preparation and performance of a recital of music related to the thesis topic.

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Title:Promiscuity, fetishes, and irrational functionality in Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face
Author(s):Shaw, Kyle
Advisor(s):Tharp, Reynold
Contributor(s):Tharp, Reynold; Carrillo, Carlos; Taylor, Stephen; Heiles, William
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Subject(s):Thomas Adès
Powder Her Face
Interval cycles
Musical borrowing
Abstract:While various scholars have identified Thomas Adès’s primary means of generating pitch material — various patterns of expanding intervals both linear and vertical — there remains a void in the commentary on how his distinct musical voice interacts with the unique demands of articulating a coherent musico-dramatic art form. After a brief synopsis of the plot, the present study adopts a three-pronged approach to accounting for Adès’s pitch structures in Powder Her Face: the first chapter is devoted to analyzing the role of musical borrowing — quotation, allusion, and the like. The second chapter summarizes Adès’s expanding interval techniques — his so-called “signature scale” and aligned interval cycles. Various elaborations on these techniques allow for the integration of borrowed material. The final chapter is devoted to a discussion of how Adès’s core techniques, among other aspects of his musical voice, enable certain intersections between his own musical thinking and modes of musical thinking commonly associated with tonality.
Issue Date:2018
Publisher:School of Music, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Kyle Shaw
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-04-17

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