Phase II consisted of the analysis of extracts from the thirteen extant operettas Sullivan wrote with W.S. Gilbert, with particular emphasis on the types of pieces I would be emulating in Phase III, composition.
I figure I’m quite long overdue for a post, but as Professor Griffioen told me, most “decent research is behind its ideal timetable.” For those of you who are just ‘tuning in,’ I am examining the compositional style of Sir Arthur Sullivan in his operatic collaborations with the Victorian playwright Sir William Schwenck Gilbert. In the intervening 135 years since the duo’s first work, Sullivan has been largely dismissed by the musicological community as “the idle singer of an empty evening” (Ernest Walker), the “English Offenbach” (Sir George Macfarren), or worse. As a result, the minds most qualified to analyze his artistry have generally steered clear of it. The object of this project is not to fashion a musicological defense or condemnation of Sullivan; but rather to emulate his ‘Savoy style’ in composition. So, without further ado…
After madcap hours of typing, typing, typing, and scouring the MLA Handbook for some help with properly citing poetry, I am officially done. It feels fantastic. I’m staring at 4500 words of literary analysis, now safely backed up to my flash drive, and I feel a profound sense of accomplishment.
This is long overdue, but there is a lot of progress to be noted. There never was any sort of response from my adviser, but life goes on. I simply have continued with the information available. The biggest piece of progress is a spreadsheet I have made that looks very complicated with all the numbers it contains. It keeps track of all the coding I’ve done on Emily Brontë using my own personal copy of Wuthering Heights (: P) and makes all the necessary calculations used in interpreting her personality. As you may or may not remember, the TAT (Thematic Apperception Test) usually measures personality using three main “needs,” which are nAch (need for achievement), nAff (need for affiliation), and nPow (need for power). Sneak peek: So far, Brontë’s lowest need is consistently nAch. This is to be expected by the logic of the test, because this need is temporarily met by the act of writing the novel.