Bryan Whitelaw

    Mr Bryan Whitelaw

    Postgraduate research student

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    Research Interests

    Bryan Whitelaw BMus (Hons) MPhil LRSM is a current PhD Researcher in Musicology, with interests in 19th–Century repertoire and particularly the music of Franz Liszt.

    Bryan is also Student Representative and Council Member of the Society for Musicology in Ireland:




    After completing his Bachelor of Music degree in 2015 with first-class honours, Bryan was awarded one of only two school-wide funding scholarships for his masters research project on the Piano Sonata in B minor (1853), by Franz Liszt.



    His MPhil thesis focused 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.



    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. 1849–1861.  The research is based on the development of a narratographic musical theory which adopts aspects of Narratology, Hermeneutics, and Semiotics. Theoretical interests include Hepokoski and Darcy's Sonata Theory, William Caplin's Theory of Formal Functions, Formenlehre, and Neo-Riemannian Theory.

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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 17326296