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Title: Nordic incidental music : between modernity and modernism
Author: Broad, Leah
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 4098
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis argues for the centrality of incidental music in early twentieth-century music history, based on a study of Swedish and Finnish theatre music between 1908 and 1926. The central claims made are firstly, that incidental music is an integral part of music history in this period, supporting a narrative about modernity that does not focus exclusively on "high art" concert music. Second, the Nordic countries were part of a cross-continental discourse concerning modernity that did not revolve solely around, or stem from, central European capital cities such as Vienna or Paris. Third, dramatic literature was fundamental to the development of twentieth-century music in Sweden and Finland. Through an examination of productions with music by Jean Sibelius (Svanehvit, 1908, and Scaramouche, 1924), Wilhelm Stenhammar (As You Like It, 1920), and Ture Rangström (Till Damaskus III, 1926), the thesis demonstrates that the early 1900s in these countries were characterised by stylistic plurality. For the first two decades of the 1900s, when Sibelius composed the majority of his works, multiple modes of expression where referred to as 'modern' with no clear hierarchy between them. By the 1920s, however, 'modernism' was emerging as a term consistently used to refer to atonality and concurrent theatrical styles dominant in central Europe. Rather than adopt these stylistic languages, Stenhammar and Rangström used 'modernism' as a category to define themselves against, presenting themselves as modern but not modernist composers.
Supervisor: Grimley, Daniel Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Music ; Theatre Studies ; Nordic Studies ; Incidental music ; Scandinavia ; Modernism ; Music history ; Theatre