Teatermusikaliska ljudhändelser. Ett bidrag till studiet av musik och angränsande ljudobjekt i talteater och opera
Sammanfattning: This dissertation focuses primarily on the following aspects concerning music in theatre: 1) its experienced peculiarity – ontologically grounded, 2) its sounding scope, and 3) its various kinds of functions. I argue that the difference between spoken theatre and opera is a question of degree rather than essence, and consider such an assertion being especially valid for the music of these genres. This is one reason why by the noun theatre-music (as alternative to more common, but also more limited terms) I understand all kinds of music connected with scenic-created fictional events. It ought to be mentioned that I regard recitatives and other variants of speech-song as stylized talking, not as theatrical music in a strict sense. There are two principally different categories of theatre-music, one belonging inside, and the other outside the characters’ fictive world, categories which some scholars call ‘diegetic’ and ‘non-diegetic music’ respectively, a terminology, however, that I myself question. A distinctive feature of music within scenic-created fictions (the ‘diegetic music’) is that it gives an impression of unreality. This I try to explain by means of a perception-psychological hypothesis, though not excluding cognitive aspects. A particularly intricate perceptual problem occurs when items of diegetic and non-diegetic music sound simultaneously. Another characteristic of theatre-music is that it is almost impossible to mark off from adjacent categories of sound-events, such as sound effects and instrumental signalling, but also recitatives and speech-song, cf. above. Because of this, I also introduce a wider concept, which I label “theatre-musical sound-events”. The third and most spacious of the main issues concerns the functions of theatrical sound-events, functions considered partly from the characters’ point of view, partly vis-à-vis the audience. One of the conclusions drawn in this dissertation – though maybe not very revolutionary – is that music, under certain circumstances, and particularly in opera, may threaten the possibility of perceiving fictitious reality by more or less changing the event from a theatrical one to a kind of concert performance. Another conclusion, or perhaps rather an expansion of the former, is that many musical items which are considered high-quality products as “autonomous” music, may very well be inefficient as theatre-music (e.g. as “functional” music), and the reverse.
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