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The University of California,
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Center for the
Study of Music

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Literature Panel

Sunday, January 17, 11:30am
Music Room 1145
Vincent Rone, chair

Literature Panel: Elizabeth Sallinger, Vincent Rone, and Matthew Young

Literature Panel: Elizabeth Sallinger, Vincent Rone (chair), and Matthew Young

"Sense and Solitary: Music in the Novels of Jane Austen"

Elizabeth Sallinger, Music Theory
Duquesne University

Music is a driving force in many works of literature, whether it appears as a character itself, a medium through which a character may expresses him or herself, or serves as some other facet of the plot or setting. The use of music within a novel can also serve to reinforce the idea of social versus solitary, or something many characters can do as a group rather than on their own. This study will focus on the impact music had on the characters and stories of Jane Austen, including music as a plot device, a tool to characterize the main figures of the books, and an everyday means of entertainment and expression for the characters. It will take a direct look at music as opposed to writing as a way of expression for the characters as well as a chance for women to express themselves in a world where their voices were generally secondary to men. The work will primarily focus on Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. This study will also examine the role of music in Jane Austen's personal life, where she chose writing over music as her expressive outlet and will determine parallels between reality and fiction.

"Musical Realization of Middle-earth: Tolkien's Culture in Shore's Score"

Matthew Young, Music Theory
University of Texas, Austin

When J.R.R. Tolkien penned his epic The Lord of the Rings, he not only created one of the greatest fantasy novels ever written, but succeeded in making a new world. Tolkien's Middle-earth was a world rich with different cultures, and a large part of The Lord of the Rings is spent explaining in detail the distinctive cultural traits of hobbits, dwarfs, elves, wizards, orcs, and men. Among the traits discussed, Tolkien describes the clothing, weaponry, government, education, history, recreation, musical instruments, and poetry of the inhabitants of Middle-earth. One is not surprised that the descriptions of those cultures played an enormous role in the construction and representation of Tolkien's Middle-earth in Peter Jackson's film adaptations of the novels.

While a large portion of Tolkien's world is represented by Jackson's screenplay and visual representations, still more information about Middle-earth is transferred to the audience not through dialogue, but through Howard Shore's musical score for the film. This paper examines the ways in which Shore's music is influenced by and represents Tolkien's novels through instrumentation, poetry, and the incorporation of musical topics which accurately reflect the various cultures found in Middle-earth. As such, Shore's score achieves more than a complementary role to the dialogue and visual aspects of Jackson's film; it plays a vital role in creating a more complete representation of culture as it is found in Tolkien's novels.

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