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Dancing with ghosts: the topic of the pastoral explored in a folio of music compositions

posted on 21.02.2017, 01:36 by Hammond, Jane
In this PhD I explore the cultural topic of the pastoral, one of the many ways humans have expressed their relationship with nature and place. Through the framework of semiotics and the associated theory of musical topics I have engaged with signifiers of the pastoral such as the music of shepherds, and other so-called folk music, the sound of bagpipes and the vocalizations of birds. I have also explored enduring themes of the pastoral such as nostalgia and lyricism. This investigation has led to a folio of nine original music compositions reflecting different aspects of my exploration of the pastoral. The critical commentary that accompanies these compositions provides the background to the philosophical and critical concepts that have informed this research, and describes some of the compositional approaches and techniques that I have employed in each of the works.


Principal supervisor

Thomas Reiner

Additional supervisor 1

Paul Watt

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts