Theses Doctoral

Body as Music: Mauricio Kagel’s Repertoire from Staatstheater and Marina Rosenfeld’s My Body

Younge, Bethany

As more composers consciously incorporate the body into their musical works, so too should musical analyses probe these works through the lens of the body. Drawing upon Mauricio Kagel’s Repertoire from his opera Staatstheater (1970) and Marina Rosenfeld’s My Body (2019) for Rosenfeld herself and Yarn | Wire, this dissertation looks at the ways in which the body can be inextricably tied to music.

In Chapter 1, I pursue a corporeal analysis of Repertoire from the perspective of disability studies. Oppressive aesthetic decrees, disability studies concepts, operas involving disabled characters, and freak shows are discussed and related to Kagel’s Repertoire. In the analysis of Rosenfeld’s My Body in Chapter 2, I examine the ways bodies sensually interact with other living and nonliving bodies through touch.

By taxonomizing touch between human and dubplate as well as human and human, I show how My Body uses connection to collapse the boundaries between subject and object identifiers. In neither example can music exist in a vacuum; I demonstrate that the sound must either be seen or felt in order to be fully appreciated. Both works summon the use of the sixth sense, proprioception, in their total body approach to music-making and musical appreciation.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Lewis, George E.
D.M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
July 5, 2023