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Title: Faith in listening : passion music and the construction of meaning in listening communities
Author: Fay, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 6056 7340
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is about music, meaning and listening. It attempts to address the question of how music means to listeners by situating listeners at the centre of music analysis, examining the meanings that they construct when they experience musical situations. In its first chapter, the concept of meaning is interrogated and a model for understanding meaning, and how it is generated, is developed. My meaning-relations model proposes a conception of meaning as fundamentally subjective, relational and context-dependant, whilst arguing that shared human experiences can give rise to intersubjective meanings within communities. Using this model, I then analyse three musical situations, and the listening communities that experienced them, for the shared meanings that may have been generated therein. Each of these three analytical case studies focuses on a different community from different historical periods, but they are linked by the theme of the Passion of Christ, which is central to each of the musical situations in question. The first examines the Passions of J.S. Bach and the eighteenth-century Lutheran congregation that first experienced them as part of the Good Friday Vespers service, performed in the principal churches of Leipzig. The second explores the Anglo-Saxon monastic community in mid-eleventh- century Worcester, and the music and liturgy of the Veneration of the Cross ceremony practised there annually, also on Good Friday. The third focuses on the English National Opera's 2014 production of John Adams and Peter Sellars's The Gospel according to the Other Mary and its audience. The purpose of these case studies is to test whether the methodological exigencies of the meaning-relations model can be fruitfully applied to music analysis, in order to establish a style of analysis that focuses on listeners and the meanings they might construct from real-life experiences of music.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available