Dissertation Index

Author: Novak, John, K.

Title: The Programmatic Orchestral Works of Leos Janacek: Their Style And Their Musical and Extramusical Content

Institution: The University of Texas at Austin

Begun: May 1991

Completed: May 1994


This dissertation investigates the spectrum of meaning inherent in the three twentieth-century programmatic symphonic compositions by Leos Janacek: The Fiddler's Child (1912), Taras Bulba (1918) and The Ballad of Blanik (1919-20). The first part codifies Janacek's twentieth-century compositional style, first through an examination of its origins in folk music and speech-melody, then in the features of its melody, form, texture, instrumentation and key selection. It then examines harmony and tonality, addressing various types of suspended tonality. The second part presents an analysis of the three works. The analysis implements an analytical method based on a system devised by literary theorist Roland Barthes in his essay "S/Z," in which he traced the "codes" of meaning which run throughout a literary work. The present analysis consists of the examination of each musical works' musical elements, the affective and programmatic association of each section of the work, as well as the four narrative codes of Barthes: the hermeneutic code (which governs the proposing, sustaining and resolution of enigmas), the semic code of musical motives, the proairetic code (which contains the formal aspects of the piece), and the referential code (which draws on analogous passages from other pieces of music).

Keywords: Janacek, narrative theory, narrativity, Czech music, program music, affect, suspended tonality, Barthes, key association, emotion


Chapter 1 Truth and Music: Janacek the Expressive
Chapter 2 The Impact of Folk Music
Chapter 3 Special Elements of Janacek's Music
Chapter 4 Harmony in Janacek's Music
Chapter 5 Tonality in Janacek's Music
Chapter 6 Music And Narrative: A Technique For Analysis
Chapter 7 The Fiddler's Child
Chapter 8 Taras Bulba
Chapter 9 The Ballad of Blanik


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