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Abstract

This dissertation presents an experience-oriented analytical approach to Stravinsky’s neoclassical music. The project has three main goals: first, to find and provide historical context for written responses by audience members at early performances of Stravinsky’s neoclassicism; second, to use these contextualized reports to direct neoclassical music analysis toward methods that can illuminate the experiences these listeners relate; and third, to explore the methodological challenges inherent in any endeavor to develop an analytical practice that is relevant to contemporaneous listeners.,In connecting analysis to historical experiences, an important part of the project involves reconstruction of past performances and the experiences associated with them. Most of this information is not available simply in a score. I contextualize these experiences using historical context and text analysis techniques, including quantitative techniques borrowed from the digital humanities. Building on work by music theorists Robert Gjerdingen and Vasili Byros, who work on determining schematic musical formulae that were “in the air” in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, one strategy in my analytical chapters is to determine how Stravinsky uses such schemata and alters them to strategic effect. These analyses allow for additional, new ways of experiencing a piece of music that, while not necessarily being more “authentic,” may provide new insight for present-day listeners into Stravinsky’s music and its historical context.

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