Theses and Dissertations (Music)

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    "You don't get to sing a song when you have nothing to say" : Oliver Mtukudzi's music as a vehicle for socio-political commentary.
    (2004) Sibanda, Silindiwe
    This paper analyses the music of Oliver Mtukudzi in order to ascertain how he uses his music as a means of addressing the socio-political issues in Zimbabwe. Mtukudzi's music has, for decades now, been thought to reflect and voice the realities of life in Zimbabwe. Particular emphasis has been placed on the lyrics because they contain the messages of the songs. An evaluation of the music and its addressivity in conjunction with the lyrics is also examined to determine how Mtukudzi uses them both as ways of enhancing the message in the songs. Using the theory of addressivity the paper looks at the nature of this address within the songs chosen for evaluation within the paper. Similarly the virtual audience, as distinguishable from real audiences, of Mtukudzi' s address is taken cognisance of in order to, not only verify the addressivity already discussed, but also to assess how extensive the audience's influence is in determining the songs that the artist writes. Using songs from recordings from the last five years I look specifically at how he deals with themes about women, children, HIV/AIDS and politics in his music and how this is used to address and reflect the social realities of Zimbabwe.
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    "... as far as words can give:" Romantic poetry as displaced mystical experience in William Wordsworth's Prelude
    (2011-11-28) Kallenbach, Bradley Dean
    This dissertation investigates the ways in which a broad and perennial problem – ‘the problem of dualism’ - is approached by three areas of inquiry, namely, English Romanticism, mysticism and contemporary studies of consciousness. By comparative analysis of key passages in Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria, Huxley’s survey of mystical traditions in the Perennial Philosophy and work by contemporary philosopher Colin McGinn on the ‘mind-body problem,’ I explain how each discipline proposes an ideal state of ‘synthesis’ or ‘coalescence’ between the subjective and objective as a solution to ‘the problem of dualism.’ In turn, each discipline discerns a faculty or means towards such a synthesis. These are the ‘Imagination,’ ‘Third Eye,’ and ‘Bridging Principle’ respectively. Thus, this dissertation has three additional aims. First, I argue that the Romantic ‘Imagination’ and mystical ‘Third Eye’ faculty are conceptually similar in an attempt to show that certain Romantic poets (primarily Wordsworth, Coleridge and Shelley) sought access to a super-sensuous realm via the ‘Imagination.’ However, seminal texts such as Coleridge’s Biographia, Shelley’s Defence of Poetry and Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy imply that the Romantic poet, unlike the mystic, is thwarted from voluntary and veridical access to these realms: the Imagination reaches an impassable threshold which the mystical ‘Third Eye’ traverses. This condition, coupled with an inability to convey mystical experience in language with greater acuity, I argue, may account for the presence of melancholy in key Romantic works such as Wordsworth’s Prelude and Immortality Ode. I thus seek to enhance our understanding of the critical commonplace referred to as “Romantic melancholy.” Second, I aim to illustrate this view by analysis of key passages in Wordsworth’s Prelude and Immortality Ode. Finally, I aim to show that the early Coleridgean understanding of ‘the problem of dualism’ as highlighted in the Biographia can be further elucidated by contemporary theories of consciousness on the ‘mind-body’ problem.
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    The sublime in interactive digital installation: an analysis of three artworks: Listening Post, Translator II: Grower and The Cloud Harp
    (2009-02-27T10:28:32Z) Bristow, Tegan
    This examines the notion of the sublime in interactive digital installation art, with the primary aim of showing the methods and devices used to evoke the sublime through interactive digital installation. The evocation of the sublime which is largely associated with nature is an appealing aesthetic in these technology driven artworks. This paper follows the history of the notion of the sublime in the arts and philosophy from Dioynisus Longinus to Jean-François Lyotard, with an emphasis on Romanticism and Postmodernism. Three case studies of interactive digital installations art are presented and addressed: Ben Rubin and Mark Hansen’s Listening Post (2001-2003), Sabrina Raaf’s Translator II: Grower (2004) and the NXIO GESTATIO Design Lab’s The Cloud Harp (1997). These are addressed not only in regards to the histories of the notion but to a contemporary adaptation of the notion, influenced by the technology age and the Postmodern sentiments of Jean Francois Lyotard.