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Master of Music (M.M.)
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The srdc is a four-part phrase pattern in popular music consisting of four formal functions: statement (s), restatement (r), departure (d), and conclusion (c). In recent scholarship, the applicability and scope of the four-part pattern has been vigorously debated. The question of whether entire song forms, such as the AABA and verse–prechorus–chorus song forms, can be interpreted as large-scale SRDC patterns has become a primary topic of interest among popular music scholars. In this thesis, I seek to further the argument for the large-scale SRDC reading of the AABA song form by demonstrating the recursive potential of srdc structures in Golden Age musical theater songs. To do so, I survey the characteristic properties of 8- and 16- bar srdc patterns and 32- and 64-bar AABA song forms as they were observed in a corpus study of 89 songs. By highlighting the similar ways in which the srdc’s formal functions are expressed at multiple levels of structure within the surveyed 32- and 64-bar AABA song forms, I demonstrate why these song forms can be interpreted as large-scale SRDC patterns.
Chapter 1 introduces this thesis’s primary research question and surveys the relevant literature on the srdc and other related topics. Chapter 2 outlines the steps taken to assemble the corpus of 89 songs and assesses the srdc patterns and AABA song forms contained therein. Chapter 3 then discusses the results of the corpus study. Chapter 4 examines the structural correspondences between the surveyed srdc patterns and AABA song forms, using a model AABA song form that contains three nested srdc patterns. To conclude this thesis, Chapter 4 closes by discussing some avenues for future research.
Markel, Morgan, "Recursive Properties of srdc Structures in Golden Age Musical Theater Songs" (2017). Masters Theses. 561.
Available for download on Thursday, March 01, 2018