The evolution and utilization of Sprechstimme and "Extended Vocalism" as applied to the historical characterization of King George III in Eight Songs for Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies
AuthorSchweizer, Mark G.
AdvisorDay, Larry J.
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 Eight Songs for a Mad King lends itself very nicely to the analysis of the various Sprechstimme and "extended vocalism" techniques. Peter Maxwell Davies uses all the conventional Sprechstimme techniques as well as vocal sounds and notation of his own design. By explaining and illustrating these techniques before the performance of the work, the audience can gain additional insight into and understanding of the performance. The historical aspect of the text used in the Mad King is also of interest to the listener. The poems were inspired by a small mechanical organ supposedly once owned by King George III and which played eight tunes. A scrap of paper sold with the organ explains that "This organ was George the third for Birds to sing". The songs are understood to be his monologue while listening to his birds perform. The text incorporates many sentences actually spoken by George III in both his sane and insane moments.
Degree ProgramGraduate College