A long sell: the disproportionate appeal of Frank Bridge's musicto familiar listeners, and its impact upon his reception, 1912-36

Weber, David (2016) A long sell: the disproportionate appeal of Frank Bridge's musicto familiar listeners, and its impact upon his reception, 1912-36. Doctoral thesis, University of West London.

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Abstract

The thesis of this research project is that the music of Frank Bridge (1879-1941) is characterised by
recurring effects that are disproportionately appealing to familiar listeners, and that these effects
have had a significant impact on the shape of his critical reception. Two types of effect are
described, which arise respectively out of genre and hierarchical structure, and are suggested by
selected reviews of Bridge’s music.
The composer’s treatment of genre is presented as subtle, complex, and misleading, creating what
this thesis defines as generic misdirection, suggestions of genre within a musical work that act to
veil a more fundamental and counter-generic aesthetic. These features are linked to the historical
generic sensitivities of interwar British listeners, and potential effects on the listening experience
are described. Similarly, the musical structures of Bridge’s later works are shown to be deceptively
simple, partially veiled behind an appearance of complexity that arises out of surface features of
lesser importance. This effect is argued to possess an ongoing significance for listeners, a likely
influence on the experiences of present-day hearers of Bridge’s music.
These effects are presented as an important part of understanding Bridge’s history and music,
relevant to its dissemination and scholarly understanding. They also provide valuable new insights
into the role of genre and structure in music listening, reception, and composition, and for the
developing relationship between criticism and new music.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Music
Depositing User: Marzena Dybkowska
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2016 10:13
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2016 13:43
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2948

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