Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

The relationship between gesture, affect and rhythmic freedom in the performance of French tragic opera from Lully to Rameau

The links between gesture affect and rhythmic freedom in the performance of the tragédie en musique are explored in a number of videos.

Frans de Ruiter

The title of the resulting dissertation (‘The Relationship between Gesture, Affect, and Rhythmic Freedom in the Performance of French Tragic Opera from Lully to Rameau’), is indicative of the genre to which my research has been applied, the tragédie en musique.

My intent, in looking at this repertoire, has been to examine how expressive modifications of the basic rhythmic pulse could have been related to the use of gesture on stage and to the theory of the affects that was prevalent in the medical philosophy of the time.

[...]  it is my sincere hope that this thesis may in some way contribute towards the reinstatement of a rhythmically flexible performance style for the tragédie en musique."

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