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Title: Music, place, and mobility in Erik Satie's Paris
Author: Hicks, Jonathan Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 2012 2750
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Erik Satie (1866-1925) lived, worked, walked, and died in Paris. The key locations of his career – all within a single urban region – are well known and well researched. Yet he has often been presented as an eccentric individualist far removed from any social or geographical context. This thesis seeks to address – and redress – the decontextualisation of Satie’s career by re-imagining his music and biography in terms of the places and mobilities of turn-of-the-century Paris. To that end, it draws on a range of documentary and fictional material, including journalistic and scholarly reception texts, illustrated musical scores, chanson collections, contemporary visual culture, and cinematic representations of the people, place(s), and period(s) in question. These diverse primary and secondary sources are discussed and interpreted via a set of on-going debates at the intersection of historical musicology, cultural history, and urban geography. Some of these debates can be traced through existing research on the geography of music. Others are more local to this project and derive their value from suggesting alternative approaches to familiar problems in the study of French musical modernism. The main aim throughout is to develop a better understanding of the relations existing between Satie’s musical life, his compositional strategies, and the changing urban environment in which he plied his trade. Chapters One and Two focus on the working-class suburb of Arcueil and the ‘bohemian’ enclave of Montmartre. Chapters Three and Four are organised thematically around issues of musical humour and everyday life. By using the particular example of Satie’s Paris, the thesis proposes that more general avenues of enquiry are opened up into music and the city, thus demonstrating the potential benefits of incorporating the urban-geographic imagination into historical musicology more broadly, and bringing musicological thinking to bear on inter-disciplinary discussions about space, place, and mobility.
Supervisor: Franklin, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: 20th Century music ; 19th Century music ; Visual art and representation ; Europe ; History of art and visual culture ; Erik Satie ; Paris ; bohemia ; urban geography