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The use of parody in Peter Maxwell Davies' Taverner and related works.

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Parody is a concept central to much of the work of Peter Maxwell Davies. In this study the First Fantasia on an In Nomine by John Taverner, the Seven In Nomine, the Second Fantasia on an In Nomine by John Taverner and the opera Taverner are used as case studies of Davies' use of parody. Three categories of parody are discerned: parody in its pre-Baroque sense which entails the use of musical material from pre-existing compositions; parody in its modern sense whereby a particular work or style is imitated in such a manner that the source is ridiculed or satirized; and the non-satirical parody of compositional devices, forms or other features characteristic of a particular musical period. All four works examined in this study use the 'In nomine' by the sixteenth-century composer John Taverner as a source of pre-compositional musical material. Each of Davies' In Nomine works is examined in detail and the composer's use of the device and its function in each instance is discussed. The chronological consideration of the In Nomine compositions, and of Taverner in particular, reveals a gradual change in the manner in which Davies employed parody in his compositions. Attention is thus given to the transition from the emphasis on parody in the Renaissance sense to the emphasis on parody in its modern sense and it is shown. that this transition clearly parallels the change that was taking place within Davies' general compositional style during the sixties. In conclusion, some reasons for the predominant role played by parody in Davies' output and the preoccupation with musical materials derived from the pre-Baroque are suggested, in order to show the relevance of Davies' use of parody within a twentieth-century context.


Thesis (M.Mus.)-University of Natal, Durban, 1990.


Davies, Peter Maxwell, 1934., Davies, Peter Maxwell, 1934. Taverner., Theses--Music., Parody (Music)