Dissertation Index

Author: Sheehan, Paul J.

Title: Twelve-Tone Enitities, Inquisitorial Mind, and the Network Model of the Multitude: Analyzing Luigi Dallapiccola's Il prigioniero

Institution: Columbia University

Begun: January 2004

Completed: November 2007


This dissertation examines Dallapiccolas Il prigioniero (19431948) in terms of its unusual twelve-tone procedures and its function as political critique. The opera is a platform from which the composer vents his indignation about the fascist regime in power when he began work on the opera, and with which he had become disillusioned. Responding to the numerous equivalence classes of twelve-tone rows circulating in the opera and the various ordering schemata they entail, the dissertation develops a new taxonomy of twelve-tone entities and takes a transformational approach to examining how some of them interact. An analogy is then posited between the multitude of twelve-tone entities in Il prigioniero and the network model of the multitude as expounded by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negris Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004). Shortly after Il prigionieros premire, Dallapiccola begins distancing himself from the operas pessimism in his prose writings, a move that subverts the potency of its message. More importantly, it betrays the fact that Dallapiccola suffers from exactly the sort of self-censorship that fascism habituates in its subjectswhat scholars of the Inquisition refer to as inquisitorial mind. The analogy between Il prigionieros multitude of twelve-tone set types, which the opera calls upon to help lament oppression, and Hardt and Negris political model of a multitude in which latent, radical democracy simmers, offers a remnant of hope not encountered in Dallapiccolas prose.

Keywords: Dallapiccola, twelve-tone theory, composition, Hardt and Negri, Il prigioniero, Spanish Inquisition, Don Giovanni, partial ordering, Philip II, transformation theory


Chapter 1 Introduction: Multiplicity, Ordering, Hugos Philip, and Dallapiccolas Mozart Study

Chapter 2 A Multitude of Twelve-Tone Entities

Chapter 3 Interaction among the Multitude

Chapter 4 Cujus regio, ejus religio

Chapter 5 Judgment


168-17 18th Ave., Fl. 2, Whitestone, NY 11357 pjs2003@columbia.edu

     Return to dissertations