Strange Tales from Appalachia: Pammanottus

Adkins, Joseph, Music - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Coffey, Ted, Department of Music, University of Virginia

This essay presents my dissertation project Strange Tales from Appalachia: Pammanottus (a multi-media musical drama based on re-imagined Appalachian Folktales) and situates it in the context of key related works and compositional practices. I include my analyses of selected pieces that involve varied personal interpretations of ‘musical borrowing’, by which I mean the incorporation of indigenous music in Western concert music. Through close readings of Bartòk’s String Quartet No. 5, Ives’ Symphony No. 4 (Movements 1&2), and Crumb’s Unto the Hills, I examine three techniques: Stylistic Abstraction, Cumulative Form/Collage, and Setting. Informed by this research, I discuss the process of creating my multi-media work. Finally, I present a detailed musical analysis of Crumb’s Unto the Hills focused primarily on compositional technique. I also offer some personal reflections on the compositional issues involved in creating such hybrid music.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Appalachian Folktales, Musical Drama, American Roots Music
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