Davis, Melissa Anne. Jamaican Composers in the Classical Tradition: Three Vocal Works by Dexter, Ashbourne, and Marshall. D.M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013.
Classical music has been present in the Jamaica since the 18 century. The country conquered by Britain in 1655, still bears its European influence in its current culture. With a history of many cultures sharing common ground on the island, Jamaicans have adopted a love for hybridization - the interweaving of elements from various cultures together. With the dominant influences of African and European culture in Jamaica, Jamaica’s art music composers have sought to create music that fuses the elements of each culture together in their compositions. The topic of this dissertation is an exploration of how hybridization in Jamaica has served the sociological purposes of preserving Jamaica’s rich culture, uniting the people and allowing the island’s folk culture to gain further exposure on international concert stages.
Jamaican art music composers, Noel Dexter (b.1938-), Peter Ashbourne (b.1950-), and Andrew Marshall (b.1982-), have fulfilled these functions of hybridization through their works and as a result, have aided in strengthening Jamaican culture.
With a plethora of cultural influences in Jamaica, and society questioning the definition of Jamaica’s true identity since the country’s independence in 1962, hybridization provides an answer to Jamaica’s obscured sense of identity in the syncretization of its cultures. This blending of cultures defines Jamaica as a country that values mixture and it is this fusion that aids in rectifying the country’s issues of the loss of its folk tradition, divisions of class and culture, and the country’s international impact. Hybridization has solved a host of social ills in Jamaica and is to be credited for being a significant factor in helping the nation to progress.
Thesis (PhD. Musical Arts Music)—University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Chapter I: Jamaica hybrid identity and colonialism in Jamaica – Chapter II: Folk and art music in Jamaica – Chapter III: Noel Dexter (b. 1938-) – Psalm 27 – Chapter IV: Peter Ashbourne (b. 1950-) – Fi Mi Love Have Lion Heart (2005; For High Voice & Piano) – Chapter V: Andrew Marshall (b. 1982-) – Hardtalk – Chapter VI: Summary and Conclusions – Appendix A: List of Composers Works -- Bibliography
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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