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Research Interests

Bryan A. Whitelaw BMus (Hons) MPhil LRSM 

Bryan is a current PhD Researcher in Musicology at Queen's University Belfast. His interests lie in the theory and analysis of 19th–century repertoire and works with allusions to literary or narrative figures, particularly in the music of Franz Liszt.

 

Society for Musicology in Ireland

Bryan is the current Student Representative and a council member of the Society for Musicology in Ireland:

 

http://www.musicologyireland.com/

 

Similarly, he is a member of both the Royal Musical Association and the Society for Music Analysis.

 

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

After completing his Bachelor of Music degree in 2015 with first-class honours, Bryan was awarded a School of Arts, English and Languages funding scholarship for his MPhil research project on the Piano Sonata in B minor (1853), by Franz Liszt.

 

The MPhil thesis focuses on the contextual, theoretical, and hermeneutic analysis of the Liszt Sonata, and provides the first Sonata Theory analysis of this work. The thesis additionally explores a hermeneutic reading of the sonata in poetic terms, based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust (1808), and a typological comparison with Liszt's other Faustian works; the Mephisto Waltzes and A Faust Symphony, for example.

 

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Bryan's PhD research focuses on the interplay between Franz Liszt's literary and cultural influences, and their impact in his compositional output during the Weimar period; ca. 1848–1861.  The research is based on the development of a narratographic music theory which attempts to bridge the divide between historically- and culturally-contextual scholarship, on the one hand, and the theoretically-rigorous application of formal theory on the other. The work thus adopts aspects of narratology, hermeneutics, and semiotics, alongside theoretical interests such as Hepokoski and Darcy's Sonata Theory, William Caplin's theory of formal functions, and neo-riemannian theory.

The thesis explores a conextual history of Liszt's time as kappelmeister in the Weimar Court Theatre, while situating his reception history within the lineage of Weimar Classicism. After setting up a theoretical methodology, the thesis chapters provide case-study analyses of several symphonic poems, the Faust Symphony, Dante Sonata, and the Piano Sonata in B Minor. A final chapter outlines the broader strategy Liszt employed as a compositional archetype for sonata-form works, before drawing some conclusions for the future analysis of Liszt's oeuvre.

 

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Franz Liszt Arts & Humanities
Composer Arts & Humanities
Sonata Form Arts & Humanities
Thematic Arts & Humanities
Harmony Arts & Humanities
Hermeneutics Arts & Humanities
Tonality Arts & Humanities
Tonal Arts & Humanities

Research Output 2016 2019

Franz Liszt and the Post-Classical Sonata Deformation

Whitelaw, B., 28 Jun 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Franz Liszt
Postclassical
Composer
Sonata Form
Discourse

Franz Liszt and the Sonata Narrative: The Lament and Triumph of Torquato Tasso

Whitelaw, B., 12 Sep 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Franz Liszt
Torquato Tasso
Lament
Composer
Formal Analysis

Franz Liszt's Heroic Narratives: Towards a Lisztian Formenlehre

Whitelaw, B., 30 Jul 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Franz Liszt
Sonata Form
Formal Analysis
Neglect
Discourse

The Implied Narrator: Literary Inspiration and Musical Narratives

Whitelaw, B., 11 Jan 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Narrator
Musicology
Hermeneutics
Music
Formal Analysis

Franz Liszt's Piano Sonata in B Minor: Thematic Typology and Hermeneutic Narrative

Whitelaw, B., 18 Jun 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Hermeneutics
Franz Liszt
Thematic
Magnum Opus
Genesis

Activities 2016 2019

  • 10 Participation in conference
  • 5 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 2 Invited or keynote talk at national or international conference
  • 1 Invited talk

2019 SMI Careers Forum

Bryan Whitelaw (Advisor)
11 Jan 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

File

Promoting Yourself and Your Research

Bryan Whitelaw (Participant)
23 Jan 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Be Heard

Bryan Whitelaw (Participant)
08 Jan 201809 Jan 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Yoga and Mindfulness for Academic Stress Response

Bryan Whitelaw (Invited speaker)
17 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

2018 BFE/RMA Research Students Conference

Bryan Whitelaw (Chair)
05 Jan 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Thesis

Franz Liszt's Piano Sonata in B Minor: Context, Analysis and Hermeneutics

Author: Whitelaw, B., 2017

Supervisor: Thomson, A. (External person) (Supervisor) & Tomita, Y. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMasters