Karishmeh Felfeli-Crawford, Music Analysis: Erasure (1985-2020) and Beyond (PhD, University College Cork), in progress

These details defined Tue May 5 20:23:18 2020, last updated Wed Jan 13 21:34:31 2021  edit
 Author:  Felfeli-Crawford, Karishmeh 
 Title:  Music Analysis: Erasure (1985-2020) and Beyond  
 Degree, institution:  PhD, University College Cork 
 Status, year:  in progress 
 Supervisor(s):  Jonathan P.J. Stock and Alexander Khalil 
 General specialism:  Musicology: Analysis 
 Content, timeframe:  2015-2021 
 Content, key terms:  Concepts:
Genres, instruments: 
Music Analysis, Erasure, Popular Music, Schenkerian Analysis, IRiMaS, TIAALS Software
Vince Clarke and Andy Bell
UK, US, Canada, India, Pakistan, Ireland
University College Cork
Popular Music, Western art music, Indo-Pakistani Popular Music, Piano Performance, Music Theory
 Summary (provisional):  This thesis builds up on techniques of classical music analysis, which the author terms "elite music analysis", notably Schenkerian voice-leading analysis (Pankhurst 2008), as they pertain to Western music. The thesis relates examples from the classical canon (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, John Foulds, Glenn Gould) to the popular music of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell (who comprise the synthpop band Erasure), engaging with the band members themselves, as well as with key contexts to do with the white racial frame of academic music theory (Ewell 2020) which are presented as a dialogue with musicology, popular music studies and ethnomusicology. Focusing on the application of music theoretical paradigms (like Schenkerian voice-leading graphs) to popular music outside the canon (notably Erasure's songs, spanning over three decades), the author draws from a wide range of scholarly publications and perspectives (Theodor Adorno; Simon Frith; Allan F. Moore; Richard Middleton; Walter Everett; Philip Tagg; Julian Horton; Jonathan P.J. Stock; Katherine Meizel; Kofi Agawu; Michael Tenzer, Lee K. R. Marshall and many others) to outline the main argument, via case-studies also taken from pop forms like Indian Ocean's fusion hit "Kandisa" (2000) and Pakistani sufi rock band Junoon's 90s smash "Sayonee", to say nothing of examples from the 1990s - Backstreet Boys, Aqua, Ace of Base - and 2000s - One Direction. By remaining sensitive to classical precedents, and to the challenges of elite music analysis for popular music, the thesis presents a comprehensive criticism of Erasure's corpus, as a response to music analysis's provisionality, and its complex relationship to other forms of creativity and musicking, notably performance and composition. The extensive music analysis of Clarke and Bell's Erasure songs, bookended on either side with debates and supplementary music analyses of other bands and songs, presents an original effort by a minority, person of colour scholar (the author is Indian-Iranian) to engage with elite music analysis in Irish academia, as a dialogue with decolonisation, that relates various classical music competencies (piano performance, music theory and analysis, musicological writing and podcasting) to the creative practice of music analysis. Finally, the musical analysis of Erasure is prepared in consultation with band members Clarke and Bell, and in tandem with the author's ongoing association with the University of Huddersfield's cutting-edge Interactive Research in Music as Sound project, which facilitates the (re)presentation of Clarke and Bell's artistry through the progressive and powerful TIAALS software.
 Related publications:  https://doi.org/10.35561/JSMI14198