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Stylistic Fusion in a Postmodern Context

Swindells, Rachel Justine (1999) Stylistic Fusion in a Postmodern Context. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the links between postmodernism and music ‘fusing’ what are commonly described as popular and classical styles. Much postmodern theory has discussed the relationship between ‘high’ and ‘low' and recognised eclecticism within art, but how does fusion connect with this? An investigation of terminology and definitions together with a discussion of historical precedents for contemporary cross-influences provides a base from which to explore fusion and the postmodern. A framework oulining postmodernism’s background and its relevance to music is used in conjunction with an analysis of works by Talk Talk, Mike Oldfield and Graham Fitkin. Developing the concept of what might constitute the postmodern in music, theargument moves beyond the consideration of inherent traits which may or may not suggest postmodernism. A broader concept based on a sense of postmodern spirit is developed, recognising the importance of the roles of context and aesthetic as well as characteristics within the text. A detailed analysis of various works by the chosen artists allows exploration of both the concept of fused music and the application of postmodern theory. It will be suggested that, although these musicians produce music which displays a number of traits which are considered by many to reflect postmodernism, the music in question does not necessarily represent a postmodern aesthetic: the most postmodern of the works considered is also the least fused. It will be argued that the characteristics of music itself cause considerable problems in the application of postmodern theory, and that fusion, by its very definition and because of the connotative qualities that specific musical references often carry, does not correlate to concepts of the postmodern.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Music (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.634244
Depositing User: Digitisation Studio Leeds
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2015 15:08
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7849

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