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The representation of space in musical numbers

The representation of space in musical numbers
The representation of space in musical numbers
My area of research is best described as the promotion of a new methodological approach to the study of film. It is an approach that is founded upon a spatial reading, based on an exploration into abstract aesthetics and pays particular attention to the interactions between sound and image. Whilst this methodological approach can be utilised to read any film, this thesis looks particularly at the musical genre and, more specifically, the musical number and its representation of space. The need to delimit my study notwithstanding, the musical has been taken as a case study in order to demonstrate how this spatial methodology should pay attention to, and be aware of, the peculiarities and idiosyncrasies that genres encapsulate. My thesis challenges the dominance of cognitive theory by providing an approach based upon gestalt theory, making use of ‘forensic’ analysis to remove aesthetics from their narrative context. Theorists such as Rick Altman (1989, 1999) and Jane Feuer (1993) have long discussed the structural qualities of the musical genre in an attempt to delimit the musical number from that which surrounds it. A different representation of space emerges in the musical number, one that permits a deeper exploration into the negotiated relationship between sound and image. In this thesis I examine this space closely utilising a range of innovative analytical techniques including virtual reconstruction and diagrammatic notation. This ‘forensic’ analysis is considered within the overarching framework of gestalt theory: that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. This thesis studies film as an audio-visual medium and considers a range of different spatial realms in order to best understand the complex negotiations between sound and image. Previous scholars of the musical genre have largely focused upon narrative readings of either new or canonical filmic texts. I argue that these narrative readings, whilst
4
providing significant contributions to the field, are ultimately deficient as they fail to adequately explore the finer qualities of film language.
Carroll, Elizabeth
8ca211f4-611c-40b6-aa51-f7636420c3bc
Carroll, Elizabeth
8ca211f4-611c-40b6-aa51-f7636420c3bc
Donnelly, Kevin
b31cebde-a9cf-48c9-a573-97782cd2a5c0
Williams, Michael
fdd5b778-38f1-4529-b99c-9d41ab749576

Carroll, Elizabeth (2014) The representation of space in musical numbers. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 285pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

My area of research is best described as the promotion of a new methodological approach to the study of film. It is an approach that is founded upon a spatial reading, based on an exploration into abstract aesthetics and pays particular attention to the interactions between sound and image. Whilst this methodological approach can be utilised to read any film, this thesis looks particularly at the musical genre and, more specifically, the musical number and its representation of space. The need to delimit my study notwithstanding, the musical has been taken as a case study in order to demonstrate how this spatial methodology should pay attention to, and be aware of, the peculiarities and idiosyncrasies that genres encapsulate. My thesis challenges the dominance of cognitive theory by providing an approach based upon gestalt theory, making use of ‘forensic’ analysis to remove aesthetics from their narrative context. Theorists such as Rick Altman (1989, 1999) and Jane Feuer (1993) have long discussed the structural qualities of the musical genre in an attempt to delimit the musical number from that which surrounds it. A different representation of space emerges in the musical number, one that permits a deeper exploration into the negotiated relationship between sound and image. In this thesis I examine this space closely utilising a range of innovative analytical techniques including virtual reconstruction and diagrammatic notation. This ‘forensic’ analysis is considered within the overarching framework of gestalt theory: that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. This thesis studies film as an audio-visual medium and considers a range of different spatial realms in order to best understand the complex negotiations between sound and image. Previous scholars of the musical genre have largely focused upon narrative readings of either new or canonical filmic texts. I argue that these narrative readings, whilst
4
providing significant contributions to the field, are ultimately deficient as they fail to adequately explore the finer qualities of film language.

Text
Elizabeth Carroll Thesis.pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 May 2020.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Video
VR1_ Fancy Free Virtual Animation.mp4 - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 May 2020.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Video
VR2_ Mechanics Scene.mp4 - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 May 2020.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Video
VR3_ Supersonic Sams Cosmic Cafe.mp4 - Version of Record
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
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More information

Published date: April 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Film

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374396
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374396
PURE UUID: 84bd622e-a1f1-4ca6-bc72-025993efa878

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Feb 2015 13:32
Last modified: 22 May 2019 04:02

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Contributors

Author: Elizabeth Carroll
Thesis advisor: Kevin Donnelly
Thesis advisor: Michael Williams

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