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Victoria Wei-Tseng Chang, Ph.D. candidate (Musicology): Dissertation Defense - NEW TIME!
Musical Modernism and the Search for Second-Person Lyric
Why and how did lyric persist in the seemingly hostile conditions of musical modernism? While modernism is often accused of turning its back on human relationality, certain modernist works hinge on lyric moments in which we hear, if only in flashes, a voice trying to initiate second-person address. In my defense talk, I will focus on two such works: Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire (premiered in 1912) and Alban Berg’s Wozzeck (premiered in 1925). Showing how early-20th-century music culture tended to ground lyric in the concept of integration, I’ll argue that these works call for a new way of hearing lyric — and a new way of understanding the with-ness of being human. This new way is what I call lyric in the second person.
Note: This event has been rescheduled from 12:10 P.M.