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"What A 'Thump' Means: Morton Feldman's Treatments of Samuel Beckett's Texts" and "This Report Must Be Signed By Your Parents" for orchestra

Livengood, Kerrith Joy Quigley (2012) "What A 'Thump' Means: Morton Feldman's Treatments of Samuel Beckett's Texts" and "This Report Must Be Signed By Your Parents" for orchestra. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Samuel Beckett provided the text for Morton Feldman’s “opera,” neither, in which the lack of characters, setting, definite plot or apparent musical development raises the question of whether such a piece can be considered “dramatic.” Feldman later collaborated with Beckett again on a very different project – composing the musical portion of a radio play, Words and Music, in which “Music” is a character, interacting with the other characters through musical “speeches.” While quite different in format from neither, there are not only stylistic similarities between the two works, but significant overlapping in techniques between Beckett and Feldman. Furthermore, the musical character in the radio play raises interesting questions about the possibility of reinterpreting drama in neither. In this paper I analyze both the Beckett/Feldman version of Words and Music and neither; I also compare techniques and philosophies of Beckett and Feldman to better understand the paradoxical nature of these collaborations.
The orchestra piece This Report Must Be Signed By Your Parents represents a personal evolution of style over several years. Both movements attempt to explore the aural space of the orchestra, each employing a different strategy for doing so. The movements are subtitled with areas marked as “needs improvement” on an old report card of mine from kindergarten – an ironic gesture at the long-anticipated conclusion of my formal education.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Livengood, Kerrith Joy Quigleykjl15@pitt.eduKJL15
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMoe, Ericemoe@pitt.eduEMOE
Committee MemberWilliams, Amyamywill@pitt.eduAMYWILL
Committee MemberRosenblum, Mathewrosenblu@pitt.eduROSENBLU
Committee MemberGeorge, Kathleengeorgeke@pitt.eduGEORGEKE
Date: 29 June 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 April 2012
Approval Date: 29 June 2012
Submission Date: 18 April 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 197
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Music
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: composition, collaboration, improvisation, radio, opera, drama, chamber music
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2012 13:47
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:57


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