Operans dubbla tidsförlopp: Musikdramaturgin i bilradiooperan Själens rening genom lek och skoj

Hans Gefors

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (artistic)

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Title: The Twofold Rhythm of Duration in Opera. The Musical Dramaturgy of the Car Radio Opera "Cleansing of the Soul through Fun and Games".
This thesis focuses on musical dramaturgy in operas with a story. I believe my own music is better when I write operas than instrumental music. The question is why? The aim of this thesis is to investigate the relationship between story and music and see how it affects the composing process. The point of departure of the study is the rhythm of duration (or continuous course) since story and music proceed side by side in time.
The artistic activity as such is made use of methodically to develop theories and tools. For this thesis I have written an opera specifically for the car radio and the opera is used to exemplify the discussion. Theoretically the genesis of this opera is understood as a creative act rather than one of causality or teleology. Beat analysis is a tool to uncover the interaction between story and music. Second-order melody gives
examples of formal thinking in rhythms of duration. The music can prolong any moment of the action in a drama. The aria, the most important element of opera brings out, when the action comes to a halt, a decisive statement of affect, which makes real presence possible. The composer has to indulge
in the timing of the rhythms of duration. In culminations, previously introduced music is combined resulting in a complex dramatic climax. The rhythmical continuity creates multi-layered patterns of waves that hold the piece together, even when the contrasts of the drama are reflected in the music. The twofold rhythm of duration in opera means that story and music implicate each other mutually, but only at specific beats. The articulation of contrasts in musical drama has influenced and developed my own personal, originally instrumental, concept of form.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Malmö Academy of Music
  • Lundström, Håkan, Supervisor
  • Wiklund, Anders, Supervisor, External person
  • Stenström, Johan, Supervisor
Award date2011 May 24
Place of PublicationMalmö
ISBN (Print)978-91-979584-2-4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2011-05-24
Time: 10:00
Place: Inter Arts Center, Bergsgatan 29, Malmö

External reviewer(s)

Name: Heiniö, Mikko
Title: professor
Affiliation: Professor of musicology at the University of Turku, composer-in-residence of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra


I den den publicerade avhandlingen finns libretto som appendix samt en CD med verket. I bokform finns allt att köpa på Musikhögskolans kansli (uppgifter finns i avhandlingen).

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Music


  • Opera
  • musical dramaturgy
  • duration
  • story
  • real presence
  • aria
  • affect
  • music to action
  • rhythmical continuity
  • timing
  • beat
  • artistic research
  • musikdramaturgi
  • fortvaro
  • absolut närvaro
  • affekt
  • musik till handling
  • rytmisk kontinuitet
  • tajming
  • steg
  • konstnärlig forskning
  • förlopp

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