EMS 09 - Abstract- Dodge’s In Celebration: The Composition and its Analysis

Dr. Margaret Schedel
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In Celebration, Charles Dodge’s electronic music realization of the 1973 poem by Mark Strand was realized at the Columbia University Center of Computing Activities and the Nevis Laboratories in 1975. The work belongs to Dodge’s Speech Song series, where he explored making music out of the nature of speech itself. The piece is well-documented in Dodge’s own article “In Celebration: The Composition and its Realization in Synthetic Speech.” While Dodge includes a score, and analyzes the speech synthesis and electronic music techniques extensively, he does not present a musical analysis of the work. This paper seeks to further Dodge’s analysis. This task was greatly simplified by the ability to reference Dodge’s musical score. Although it is not a perfect representation of the music, his notation does convey a great deal of information about the piece, and gives valuable insight into which aspects of the work's structural elements Dodge considered important. By building upon Judy Lochhead’s work in examining the musical object, evidence, subjectivity, representation, and goals of another of Dodge’s Speech Songs, Any Resemblance is Purely Coincidental, in her article "How Does it Work?": Challenges to Analytic Explanation,” this paper offers an complementary critical methodology for a musical analysis of In Celebration.

Dr. Margaret Schedel

Stony Brook University