AuthorCesarz, Blake Edward
AdvisorBrobeck, John T.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe midtown aesthetic and culture, seen through the specific case of the group Musical Elements, reveals that the schism between uptown and downtown composers in New York in the 1970s is a critical construct that is an oversimplification of an infinitely more complex, dynamic and nuanced musical atmosphere. Furthermore, the hyper fixation on the uptown/downtown dichotomy as perpetuated by subsequent analysts has obscured the actual intersectional environment between uptown and downtown, in particular, the midtown aesthetic and culture, which is more accurately depicted as a transitional arena of cooperation and exchange operating successfully in between the perceptions of the polarized dichotomy. This thesis attempts to place Musical Elements as central to the development and promotion of a midtown culture, aesthetic, and sensibility. This is not to say that this ensemble represents the only ensemble or group of composers promoting a midtown culture. But a historiographical exploration of the so-called uptown/downtown schism, along with interviews with those affiliated with Musical Elements and analyses of works associated with the group, reveals how a midtown culture and philosophy helped bridge the gap between uptown and downtown.
Degree ProgramGraduate College