Event Title

“O! My Son”: Musical Interpretations of a Father’s Grief in the Age of Jacobean Rhetoric

Graduation Year

2015

Location

Room C101, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

18-4-2015 10:00 AM

End Date

18-4-2015 11:00 AM

Description

This study presents an analysis of musical rhetorical strategies found in four early seventeenth century settings of II Samuel 18:33. Composers Weelkes, Tomkins, Dering, and Ramsey transform this simple yet powerful text, developing uniquely persuasive renditions of David’s lament for Absalom. As their illustrative techniques reveal the exceptionally close connection between words and music in Jacobean England, differences in dramatic emphasis place these settings within the evolving emotional rhetoric of the period. Dramatic innovations and intensification in pathos set Weelkes’s and Tomkins’s interpretations apart, and their progressive strategies create cohesive stories of David’s journey through the grieving process. In joining the contemporary scholarly discussion of these settings’ interpretative considerations and compositional intent, this paper seeks to explore the implications of these different musical rhetorical approaches to ‘When David heard.’

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Apr 18th, 10:00 AM Apr 18th, 11:00 AM

“O! My Son”: Musical Interpretations of a Father’s Grief in the Age of Jacobean Rhetoric

Room C101, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

This study presents an analysis of musical rhetorical strategies found in four early seventeenth century settings of II Samuel 18:33. Composers Weelkes, Tomkins, Dering, and Ramsey transform this simple yet powerful text, developing uniquely persuasive renditions of David’s lament for Absalom. As their illustrative techniques reveal the exceptionally close connection between words and music in Jacobean England, differences in dramatic emphasis place these settings within the evolving emotional rhetoric of the period. Dramatic innovations and intensification in pathos set Weelkes’s and Tomkins’s interpretations apart, and their progressive strategies create cohesive stories of David’s journey through the grieving process. In joining the contemporary scholarly discussion of these settings’ interpretative considerations and compositional intent, this paper seeks to explore the implications of these different musical rhetorical approaches to ‘When David heard.’