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PUCCINI'S USE OF JAPANESE MELODIES IN MADAMA BUTTERFLY
HARA, KUNIO

2003, MM, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music : Clarinet.
One of the more striking aspects of exoticism in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is the extent to which the composer incorporated Japanese musical material in his score. From the earliest discussion of the work, musicologists have identified many Japanese melodies and musical characteristics that Puccini used in this work. Some have argued that this approach indicates Puccini’s preoccupation with creating an authentic Japanese setting within his opera; others have maintained that Puccini wanted to produce an exotic atmosphere rather than an accurate musical portrayal of Japan; still others have regarded Puccini’s use of Japanese melodies as a manifestation of musical orientalism, a Western, privileged depiction of musically and culturally foreign and inferior Others. Although these studies represent important contributions to Puccini scholarship, many of them fail to acknowledge the exceptional conditions of music production in Japan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The goal of this study is to rectify this situation by providing a reassessment, both cultural and analytic, of Puccini’s use of Japanese melodies that takes into account the specific historic and cultural contexts in which these melodies emerged and traveled to the composer’s hands. First, I will survey the existing research in order to outline the current comprehension and evaluation of Puccini’s adoption of Japanese music. Second, I will provide my own analyses of Puccini’s score in relation to contemporaneous musical activities in Japan in an attempt to situate the work within a larger cultural and historical phenomenon of the musical exchange between Japan and the West. My analyses consist of three chapters, each concerning Puccini’s use of a particular song or a collection of pieces in Madama Butterfly. They are "Miyasan," a popular Japanese military song from the early Meiji Era, "Kimigayo," the Japanese national anthem, and Nippon Gakufu, two volumes of piano arrangements of Japanese melodies by Rudolf Dittrich. Through this reassessment, I intend to direct critical attention to the intricate web of cultural connections that link Puccini’s opera to music of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Japan.
Dr. Hilary Poriss (Advisor)
120 p.

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HARA, K. (2003). PUCCINI'S USE OF JAPANESE MELODIES IN MADAMA BUTTERFLY. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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HARA, KUNIO. "PUCCINI'S USE OF JAPANESE MELODIES IN MADAMA BUTTERFLY." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2003. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 21 Sep 2017.

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HARA, KUNIO "PUCCINI'S USE OF JAPANESE MELODIES IN MADAMA BUTTERFLY." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2003. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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