Lamont Colloquium

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November 17

2:30pm - 4:00pm

Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Room 229, Classroom

Audience: Alumni,  Current Student,  Faculty,  Families,  Neighbor or Friend,  Prospective Student,  Staff

Lamont Colloquium is an opportunity for all Lamont community members – students, faculty, and professional staff – to share scholarship projects with the broader Lamont community in a scholarly communication forum modeled after conference presentation.

Free admission

Hybrid attendance will be available over Zoom: Link.

We will have two presenters:

Ash Mach: Timbre and Orchestraton in Debussy’s Trio Sonata: When Claude Debussy conceived of his Trio Sonata in 1915, he intended the instrumentation to be for flute, oboe, and harp, but swapped the oboe with the viola to “better blend with the pure flute timbre,” making this the first well-known composition for this instrumentation. Despite the then-novel instrumentation, there has been little analytical attention given to the piece’s orchestration or timbre. Thus, utilizing the orchestral grouping framework in the article “A Taxonomy of Orchestral Grouping Effects” by McAdams, Goodchild, and Soden (2022), as well as close listening and sinusoidal analyses, this paper will analyze the first movement of Debussy’s Trio Sonata from a timbre and orchestration lens, arguing that the combination of the flute, viola, and harp has the capacity to ebb and flow between fusion and segregation due to Debussy’s manipulation of the instruments’ individual and composite timbres. This paper will have three sections: “Timbral Fusion,” exemplifying various degrees of perceptual blend, “Segmental Grouping and Degrees of Segregation,” demonstrating textural hierarchy through layers of foreground and background, and “Form,” conceptualizing the global structure of this movement using Kaija Saariaho’s “sound/noise axis” as an analogy to fusion/segregation. By bringing timbre into the foreground of this analysis, this paper makes the case that Debussy’s choice of instruments was an intentional decision, setting the precedent for similar trio sonatas in years to come.

Christa Noe: Analyzing the Music and Story of Green Day’s “Jesus of Suburbia”: In 2004, the band Green Day released a concept album titled American Idiot. Their goal was to create a rock opera, and it became one of their bestselling albums. The album follows Jesus of Suburbia and his journey to the city after leaving his home. “Jesus of Suburbia” is the second song on the album, following the title track “American Idiot”, and it is the exposition to the story that the rest of the album tells. To analyze this piece, I look at the form, lyrics, and harmony to show how these elements support the story being told within the song, and the album. In the first part of this essay, I look at the form of the song as a whole and then each of its constituent parts. I apply a more classical system of analyzing form as well as considering a more popular musical analysis of songs. For lyrical analysis, I take into account the analysis of Lisa Chuang and John Hart in their paper “Suburban American Punks and the Musical Rhetoric of Green Day's ‘Jesus of Suburbia’”. Finally, in harmonic analysis, I apply roman numeral analysis and show a home-away relationship in the chords.