Dissertation Index

Author: Hare, Belva Jean

Title: The Uses and Aesthetics of Musical Borrowing in Erik Satie’s Humoristic Piano Suites, 1913-1917

Institution: University of Texas at Austin

Begun: January 2004

Completed: December 2005


By positioning well-known existing pieces in new and sometimes contradictory musical surroundings, Erik Satie’s musical borrowings offer a fresh perspective on traditions and stereotypes in society and in music. While previous authors have discovered and classified the various sources of Satie's musical borrowings, the treatment and usage of these borrowings has not been thoroughly categorized before. Utilizing J. Peter Burkholder's taxonomy of Charles Ives' musical borrowings from All Made of Tunes: Charles Ives and the Uses of Musical Borrowing (Yale University Press, 1995) as a model, I explore four significant borrowing types in Satie’s piano suites of 1913-1917, also identifying previously unrecognized instances of borrowing within them. I adapt Burkholder’s definition of collage to “Españaña,” identifying it as a unique compositional procedure in Satie’s output, encompassing a variety of his borrowing methods in a single work. Then I extend Burkholder’s exploration of extended paraphrase to borrowings of entire pieces in Embryons desséchés and Sonatine bureaucratique. I show how extended paraphrase not only informs the structure of Satie’s works, but also allows him to critique the musical conventions inherent in the sources. In following chapters, I define two borrowing types unique to Satie in Chapitres tournés en tous sens, Vieux sequins et vieilles cuirasses, “Sur une lanterne” from Descriptions automatiques, and “de Podopthalma” from Embryons desséchés. Periodic settings and reiterative settings rely on repetition of borrowed phrases, their distinction lying in the function of the borrowed tune and the formal structure of the new work. Periodic settings have straightforward programmatic functions, while reiterative settings create very complex forms that reflect musically Satie’s interest in the aesthetic of simultaneity. By analyzing how Satie engaged with and used existing music in his own works, this study assists understanding of his musical aesthetics as well as his attitudes toward music of the past and contemporary musical styles.

Keywords: Satie, borrowing, simultaneity, Burkholder, extended paraphrase, collage, periodic setting, reiterative setting, aesthetics, quotation


Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Extended Paraphrase
Chapter 3: Periodic Setting
Chapter 4: Reiterative Setting
Chapter 5: Conclusion


Jean Hare
1327 Sapphire Bay Court
Houston, TX 77094


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