Central to this dissertation is the theory of “breathable” music that composer and political revolutionary Richard Wagner introduces in his little-known essay, “Art and Climate” (1850). Musing on the relationship of art to politics, he suggests that his operatic spectacles would not follow contemporary artistic conventions and standards, but would instead embody the climate of the primeval German forest and cultivate primeval, Teutonic values in bourgeois audiences. This project explores the origins of this idea in period writings on climatic determinism—the theory that climate embeds difference into our genetic material—and examines how Wagner animated it in the theater through dramas that connect nature with identity and stagings that simulated specific climates for listeners, a form of indoor climate control I link to period greenhouse design, physiological thought, and atmospheric science. In demonstrating the primacy of climatic thought to Wagner’s social aesthetic paradigm and practices, this project implicates Wagnerian artistry as prefiguring later ideologies of sound, space, and spectatorship that locate social, cultural, and even bodily transformation in audiovisual engagement.
|Advisor:||Smart, Mary Ann|
|Commitee:||Davies, James Q., Mathew, Nicholas, Tang, Chenxi|
|School:||University of California, Berkeley|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Music history, German literature, Environmental Studies|
|Keywords:||Germany, Media, Nature, Opera, Technology, Wagner|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be