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Option 1 Taking as your example a novel, short story or poem which has been set to music, consider how a persons character can be depicted (a) through words alone and (b) through words and music together.

Requiem for a Failed Hero: towards a phenomenological methodology of the Broadway Musical1.
In this essay I intend to outline the reasons for and the processes involved in carrying out a phenomenological analysis of Les Misrables, a celebrated piece of modern musical theatre. In so doing, I will propose a line of argument that phenomenology is an effective and yet underutilised means of musical analysis, that is suitable for modern musical theatre but without a methodology. I will then outline a method of analysis and apply it to the character of Inspector Javert. Lastly, for the purposes of this essay, I will compare the two characters: Victor Hugo's literary protagonist and his musical embodiment as realised through this perspective. A phenomenological approach endeavours to understand the effects of music without being bound by the methods of composition or of analysis. It concerns itself with revealing the hermeneutic essences of the object of study, be it a piece of discourse or a work of art. As a means of musical analysis, it privileges the listener and places them in a closer, interactive relationship with the work. In doing so, it restructures the subjectobject dualism that characterises much of the discourse within musicology, in the sense that a distinction between listener-as-subject and work-as-object no longer exists. But this paradigm extends beyond academic engagement. Within the musical theatre genre, as in others, it is the subjective effects of the work that creates its meanings. For the vast majority of the audience watching and listening Les Misrables, it is essentially a phenomenological experience. One of the underlying problems of musical analysis is the difficulty in crossing modalities, using words to describe that which is 'not words'. The phenomenological approach transcends modal dualism by grounding description in words. It is through language that we make sense of our world, therefore there is no disconnect between what we hear and the way in which it is expressed. By assembling an account of the experiential, the approach also helps illuminate something that is quintessential within musical theatre, the notion of collaboration. It does this by structuring words and music as branches from the same organic root. This contrasts with approaches that define song as either an imposition of rhythmic and melodic form on words, or the determination and limitation of musical structures by textual imperatives. This is not to say there are no qualitative or functional differences between words and music within the phenomenological approach, but the relationship between the two is regarded as natural. By taking the book as the point of reference, this approach places neither music nor words in the ascendant, but maps the changing boundaries between the two.
1 The term Broadway Musical is used as a shorthand reference. It applies to the mode of popular musical theatre that developed in the twentieth century, predominantly in London and New York. The term 'West End Musical' could be used with equal meaning, but the American hegemony of popular culture would render that slightly more obscure.

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At this point, it is worth a brief summary of some of the components that one may use in a phenomenological analysis of music. Fundamentally it seeks to understand rather than explain, so it utilises different methods of study. To obtain an understanding it is deemed necessary to immerse oneself in the material, which in this case would entail listening to the music multiple times. From this close familiarisation with the source, there follows a 'reduction' of themes and sub-themes that appear to form the core of the work under study. These are not necessarily 'musical themes', but essential elements that emerge from analysis. The term 'sub-theme' is descriptive of something of greater precision rather than of lesser importance, so in most cases a theme will generate two or more sub-themes. When undertaking analysis, two strategies are expected to be followed. Firstly, 'horizontalization' is the term used to describe that equal weight or importance is applied to all findings; the rationale is that one cannot know what to ascribe greater significance to until the reduction is complete. The second strategy is to 'bracket' (epoch) past knowledge so that it does not interfere with the subjective experience of the study. As we shall see, I believe this is an impossible and unwarranted imposition. As an approach, phenomenology contrasts with mainstream study by positioning the analyst and the analysed in a more interactive and dynamic relationship. This relational juxtaposition produces both qualitative and quantitative differences in analytical findings: Standard theoretical designs in music theory tend to result in a dominant position of the method in relation to the work. The method dominates the work by forcing what one can know and report about that work into the matrix of categorial [sic] characteristics that constitute the method... The method decides what musical data should and can be collected and how that data can be treated. Implicitly, there is no experiential person, no "knower."" (Ferrera, 1984, p356) But there are undoubted problems with the epistemology. From a musicological perspective, it could be said to lack objectivity. This shortcoming can be equated to the scientific rigour required of test / re-test reliability; that any conclusions found once, will be found again on another occasion when similar analytical criteria are applied. As a phenomenological analysis is a temporally and individually specific experiential account, there is no procedural mechanism (nor necessity) to recreate the personal 'reality' in another person's experience. The possible dilemma for musical analysis is summed up by Frederick Mauk, who cautions that: ... an anarchy of private personal experiences will destroy any sense of unity" (Mauk, 1986, p.207). The counter-argument is that by detailing the procedure and development of the thematic reduction, a phenomenological analysis strips away artificial structuring that results from the methodological imperative to objectify 'meaning'. Within the usual musicological paradigm, 'unity' is an externally-applied construct that may, or may not, be evident in the experienced work. The greater problem, however, is a lack of a coherent and practical methodology with which to carry out musical analysis. Although much has been written about phenomenological approaches to aesthetic study,

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comparatively little focus has been made on music. The posthumous publication of Thomas Clifton's Music as Heard: A Study in Applied Phenomenology (1983) was a bold attempt to apply the phenomenological philosophies of Husserl, Heidigger and Merleau-Ponty into the musical realm. However, critics at the time, and subsequently, have found fault with some of Clifton's definitions, suggesting he was approaching a phenomenological analysis from within a deeply-entrenched traditional standpoint. In particular, Judy Lochhead felt Clifton was unable to transcend the subject/object duality that characterised mainstream discourse: Clifton clings to such subject/object oppositions while maintaining that 'objectivity is grounded in experiencing'. His argument that phenomena are the music, not subjective reactions, is weakened by his refusal to claim empirical reality for phenomena. (Lochhead, 1985, p. 358). In a phenomenological analysis contemporaneous with Clifton's book, Lawrence Ferrara (1984) assessed the 1958 opus Poeme electronique by Edgard Varese. Ferrara's approach is both instructive and illustrative in providing a method of analysis through 'reflecting' on repeated listening to the piece. However, the study is not without its limitations as a methodological tool-kit. The primary deficit is Ferrara's a priori adoption of three dimensions of meaning syntax, semantic and ontology. 'Open listening' is therefore pre-determined to become aware of meaning arising within these three dimensions, but in so doing, it creates artificial boundaries where none may exist. Within a phenomenological perspective, these three dimensions are not necessarily exclusive. The lesser shortcoming, to my mind, is Ferrara's uncritical stance with regards epoch, to which he ascribes an unproblematic schematic. He goes so far as to suggest that the more 'tutored' the ear, the easier it is to hear music as sound. I cannot help but feel this is counter-intuitive and the suggestion that one can listen to music devoid of any preconceptions and shorn of experiences of having listened to music before. Both Clifton and Ferrara concentrate on the phenomenology of pure music. In a more recent study, Ellen Burns (1995) examines the phenomenology of the operatic libretto, in order to represent the complementarity of the musico-semantic relationships available within the complete work (Burns, 1995, p. 189). Burns correctly observes that libretti have been neglected in musicological study to the detriment of our understanding of both the dramaturgy of musical theatre (in its widest context) and the depth and development of characterisation. The reason for this neglect, she believes, is twofold: the complexity posed by examining both musical and textual currents in a work and the historical predominance placed on music within any relational assessment. In citing the latter, Burns returns us to a Schopenhauerian philosophy that positions music as the greater of two equals. Burns' exposition of Schikaneder's libretto for Mozart's Die Zauberflte finds added meaning in the use of simultaneous literary texts, which she believes are not revealed in a purely musical analysis. Her other emphasis is to compare the prosody of the words with the rhythmic structure of the music, drawing out what she identifies as significant 'metarhythms' within the piece, defining character and interaction in a way that study of words or music alone would fail to appreciate. The de facto dilemma with Burns' perspective, however, is her lack of clarity as to the methodology of phenomenological study. Although passing reference is made to Eugene Kaelin's aesthetic philosophy, the means by which hermeneutics are revealed by 'interrelating elements and deep readings' are never made clear. Overall, the analytical effect is somewhat diminished, giving the impression of constructed a posteriori knowledge rather than revelation.

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Despite these criticisms, the theoretical works of Clifton, Ferrara and Burns inform my own methodology, which seeks to provide a process by which the complexities of meaning in modern musical theatre, and the Broadway Musical in particular, can be appreciated. This approach requires multiple, structured 'repeat-listenings' of a work in order to 'return to the source' as Husserl would advocate. The philosophical root of this lies in the belief that essential knowledge of an object is derived from one's experience of it. But instead of bracketing the conscious world to avoid general or superficial interpretations that might intervene between knowledge and experience, this approach asks the listener to use their consciousness to understand their experience. In part, this methodological amendment is supported by the notion that music creates experiential meanings that are pre-linguistic, so a listener is closer to an essence than, say, a reader is by reading a literary text. But a difference in epoch is also derived from an empirical belief that it is not possible to set aside knowledge based on consciousness, and therefore it is more advantageous to heighten the conscious experience (i.e. to make consciousness 'conscious') by informed listening. This approach requires eight phases of informed listening that will gradually reveal essential elements that create an experiential effect of the work. The means by which each listening is 'recorded' is a matter of personal preference. Some will use words and phrases, whereas others might use diagrams, musical notation or a combination of all three. The objective is to construct a pool of materials from which to build a foundation. Phase one constitutes what Ferrara (1984) would term 'open listening'; it asks for an assessment of initial impressions. Any descriptions here are not precluded, but could involve shape, colour, affect, memory or external reference. One would expect to create a 'cloud' of impressions from this initial listening; some references might link together although many will stand alone. If epoch is impossible, the requirement here at least is to eschew conclusions, although it is inevitable that bringing one thought to mind will provoke others. Phase two requires closer listening for, and of, melodies and musical phrases. This will concentrate on exposing the qualia in a range of musical figures including motifs, arias and musical themes. Thirdly, a phase of close attention to the melodies of lyric lines, how they stand by themselves and how they relate to each other, not just contiguously but across the piece. Drilling down into these levels of meaning informs the establishment of themes. By the end of phase three, the words, diagrams, illustrations and so forth can be assessed to find essential phenomenological themes that recur in the work. This is the first stage of the 'phenomenological reduction' and requires constant crossreference between the specific and the generic. The questions to be asked are such as: if this is a theme, how consistently is it portrayed; is this is a theme in itself or merely part of a larger theme; why cannot these impressions be unified into a theme? At this point, it could be alleged that themes are being established before the libretto has been addressed, excluding the text from its rightful place within the fabric of the work. There are two responses to this accusation. Firstly, music has a greater affective quality than words, arguably the single greatest reason for the subordination of text to score in musicology. Therefore to privilege music at this stage is to accept a phenomenological essence that 'music speaks louder than words'. But the nature of the Broadway Musical is different from other forms of musical theatre, leading to the second response that

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collaboration between the lyricist, composer (and orchestrator) is embodied within the musical features of the work. Oscar Hammerstein describes how the lyricist and composer ... weld their two crafts and two kinds of talent into a single expression. It is not so much a method as a state of mind.. an attitude of unity. (Hammerstein, 2008 [1949] p.280). In relation to other modern vocal works, Gordon Kalton Williams says, In its largest sense, a libretto is a suggestion to the composer of what s/he should achieve dramatically (Williams, 2008, p.249) The assumption, therefore, that phenomenological themes have been established without reference to lyrics is to misrepresent the relationship of words and music in the compositional process. Phase four addresses the text directly by requiring the libretto to be read as text, or better still the book to be read as literature plus mise en scne. As numerous authors point out, even a successful libretto rarely gives the impression of high literature; but its place within the hierarchy of the work should not be underestimated. The emphasis is to find clarity of function within the text, function that may be wholly experiential, or used to develop character, plot or setting. The lyrics are then paired with their melodies in phase five to ask the question: in what experiential ways do their relationship convey meaning? This approach is expanded in phase six, when lyrics, their melodies and their orchestrated settings are assessed to identify the qualia of these numbers. This methodology has clearly shifted the mode of attention from 'open listening' to a much closer reading of the work. It should be possible at this stage to identify sub-themes within the work. As mentioned previously, the term sub-theme is not meant to convey subordination, but to regard them as specific within a more generic term. This secondstage phenomenological reduction also requires reiteration between the 'texts' (now musical and literal), the experienced findings and the identification of sub-themes. The final two phases of structured listening revert to an open approach, but one that is inevitably shaped and informed by what has gone before. One should be asking not just 'what is the experience of this listening?' but also 'what are these words and music asking of me?' This is restoring and utilising the conscious of consciousness. This methodology produced the following phenomenological study of the character of Inspector Javert, from the musical Les Misrables composed by Claude-Michel Schnberg, with English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. The main themes associated with Javert are those of Precision, Assuredness and Passion. His meticulous nature is reflected time and again throughout the musical. Within the Prologue, he refutes or rejects every argument that Valjean puts up in defence or self-justification for his crime and sentence. Their exchange is in the style of conversation, the natural prosody of their words determines the rhythm of the score. The conversational character is emphasised by a semi-quaver's rest at the start of each bar, which shifts the first sung syllable to a fraction after the first musical downbeat. What is written as an emphatic 'No!' is in fact lost, buried as neither anacrusis nor upbeat, emphasising Javert is not being confrontational, but simply factually correct. Elsewhere, throughout the score, there is a recurring musical motif that frequently accompanies Javert in policeman mode, a repeated staccato rhythm of eight quavers over a syncopated falling bass line. This is a 'no-nonsense' figure, business-like and very much to the point. It feels like it appropriates the often mocking style of 'authority' as portrayed in the work of Gilbert and Sullivan, but there is nothing mocking here; it is precise and very much to the point, and the falling bass produces an ominous overtone in that 'no good will come of this'. Javert's theme of assuredness derives in part from

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precision, but transcends his being merely methodical and meticulous. In his main solo number, Stars, Javert likens them to night-watchmen who guard the correct order of the cosmos. They are among the things that Javert can depend on, just as he can depend on himself. This qualitative shift, from 'security by deed' to 'blessed assurance', is matched by a change in musical style. The imperative segues into the reflective, a melodic line that balances between aria and anthem, and a rhythm that allows a pause for thought, to allow the weight of the words and the sentiments behind them to have their effect. This number also encapsulates Javert's theme of passion, as he builds towards a crescendo over the lines: I will never rest Till then. This I swear, This I swear by the stars.2 The music anticipates this climatic conclusion; as the key modulates from E Maj to G Maj, Javert sounds impassioned as he 'swears' on a monotone dominant D for three bars, concluded with two sustained four-beat bars. It is, of course, as much a theatrical as a musical device, creating a cue for applause. But Javert's passion is immediately ridiculed (and thus accentuated) by Gavroche, who adds his own little coda, mocking Javert by both word and melody: That inspector thinks he's something But it's me who runs this town! There are six sub-themes that warrant specific attention as part of the phenomenological Javert. The first two are linked to the theme of precision: total reliance upon the facts and social standing governs conduct. Repeatedly within the nononsense musical figure, Javert calls for evidence and witnesses: Tell me quickly what's the story? Who saw what, and why, and where? Let him give a full description. Let him answer to Javert. And later, within a driving, insistent musical figure he demands the facts: Another brawl in the square! Another stink in the air! Was there a witness to this? Well let him speak to Javert! For Javert, facts speak for themselves and are incontrovertible. When Javert witnesses Valjean rescue Fauchlevent from beneath a runaway cart, any suspicion he has that Valjean may be the fugitive are dispelled by his knowledge that 'Valjean' is already facing trial elsewhere. On this occasion the no-nonsense motif is slower, less insistent and ends with a short coda of affirmation; Javert is sure of his facts and the facts provide closure: I have known the thief for ages Tracked him down through thick and thin.
2 Libretto extracts are taken from Behr (1996)

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U903923X And to make the matter certain There's the brand upon his skin. He will bend. He will break. This time there is no mistake!

Evidential facts, however, have a subjective dimension to Javert; their veracity depends upon who is producing them. Javert's creed is the reliability of testimony is directly proportionate to social standing. Thus the word of the bourgeoisie is self-sufficient; the word of a prostitute is worthless. The next three sub-themes link to assuredness: absolute confidence in himself; the immutability of God's order; people can never change. The first of these shows itself in the Act One Finale, when Javert solos in one of the few multi-voice numbers to sing: I will join these people's heroes I will follow where they go. I will learn their little secrets, I will know the things they know. This is Javert in the ascendancy, he feels himself invincible; the melody is the coda that Gavroche used to mock him earlier, only this time Javert uses it to mock the plotters. The counterpoint between Javert and Valjean after Fantine's death in Act One provides a clear example of Javert's sense that people can never change. It is a rare piece of counterpoint within the work and yet, within the contrast and confusion of two voices, there is a vital piece of characterisation and plot: Men like me can never change. Men like you can never change... Every man in born in sin Every man must choose his way. You know nothing of Javert. I was born inside a gaol. I was born with scum like you, I am from the gutter too. The lyric line is little more than a monotone, the rhythm relentless with virtually no syncopation; the prosody of the words have to force themselves into the rhythm of the music. The accompaniment is the staccato motif striking each beat of the bar. This is a battle of wills, that descends into a skirmish. It is, however, Javert's perception that Valjean has changed, that challenges his belief in the immutability of God's order: Who is this man? What sort of devil is he To have me caught in a trap And choose to let me go free? The accompaniment is minimal, an occasional orchestral chord giving emphasis to an occasional syllable. The style is of a soliloquy, yet with the natural rhythm of the words forced to adopt the metronomic regularity of Javert's discourse; and then, suddenly, it changes into a more ponderous reflection:

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U903923X And must I now begin to doubt Who never doubted all those years?

In a few bars, the atmosphere has transformed from an angry tirade into a solemn, almost mournful, search for reason. We get a sense of him becoming emotionally distraught, as the accompaniment adopts an arpeggio figure running counter to the melody of his song. It is, we feel, a prelude to something profound, as it is a motif and a lyric style that we have not associated with Javert before. It is also indicative of the final sub-theme, Javert's passion for duty, and the irony that this blind passion brings about his downfall. That Valjean had previously let him go free from the barricades, and that Javert had just allowed Valjean his liberty to carry Marius to safety, has turned Javert's sense of duty upside down. We get a sense of his existentialist dilemma in the chromatic prelude to his suicide, in a fanfare that has lost its harmonic reason and which sounds like melodramatic theme music from a 1930's gangster movie. Javert's suicide is a slow, confused and yet resolute journey through his angst, where even the assuredness of the sentinel stars can no longer guide him. It is interesting to note how closely this phenomenological Javert compares with his literary equivalent. Transforming five volumes of novel into a musical of two and a half hours will always cut detail, and as Hugo's prose is expansive and thorough, much detail stood to be lost. And yet the Javert one sees on stage is remarkably similar to the one found on the page. The first time Hugo introduces him, Javert is described thus: This man was composed of two very simple and two very good sentiments, comparatively; but he rendered them almost bad, by dint of exaggerating them,respect for authority, hatred of rebellion; (Vol. 1, Book
V, Ch. 5)
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That Javert sees everything in black and white carries completely into his musical character. Later, when Javert goes to arrest Valjean, we are told: Javert was a complete character, who never had a wrinkle in his duty or in his uniform; methodical with malefactors, rigid with the buttons of his coat.... Javert was in heaven at that moment.... he, Javert, personified justice, light, and truth in their celestial function of crushing out evil. (Vol.
1, Book VIII, Ch. 4)

This is the occasion in the musical, noted above, where Javert and Valjean sing in counterpoint. What one loses on stage is the nuance of emotions at that point, but the use of voices in combination accentuates the sense of clashing worlds. But elsewhere, the nuances of a man in turmoil are faithfully reproduced. For example, the critic Kathryn Grossman (1994) describes Javert as one who sees respect and rebellion as dialectical opposites, and this aspect clearly transfers to the stage. She also labels him a 'failed hero', but any such failure is complex; he fails in his duty and then fails to forgive himself for such dereliction. But he is also failed by a society that will not adhere to his norms, and a God who allows the unrighteous to prosper. We see this complexity in the musical character, as the presage of his suicide.
3 The text is taken from Isabel F. Hapgood's 1887 translation.

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In conclusion, it should be noted that a phenomenological analysis does not necessarily produce a correlation between literary and musical characters, any more than would a traditional musicological study. The great benefit of this perspective, as I believe we witness above, is that within the study of the Broadway Musical is that it renders visible the experience of something that is, essentially, experiential. (Words 4207) References Behr, E. (1996) Les Miserables History in the Making, London, Pavilion. Burns, E. J. (1995) Opera as Heard: A Libretto Edition for Phenomenological Study, Text, Vol. 8 pp. 185-206 Ferrera, L (1984) Phenomenology as a Tool for Musical Analysis, Musical Quarterly, Vol 70. No. 3, pp 355-73. Grossman, K. M. (1994) Figuring Transcendence in Les Miserables: Hugo's romantic sublime, Carbondale, Southern Illinois University. Hammerstein, O. (2008 [1949]) 'Writing lyrics' in M. Clayton, (ed) Music, Words and Voice: A Reader, Manchester, Manchester University Press, pp. 274-84 Hugo, V. (1887 [1862]) Les Misrables (trans. Isabel F Hapgood, published by Crowell & Co. New York), accessed online from Project Gutenberg August 2010 http://www.gutenberg.org/1/3/135/ Lochhead, J. (1986) Review, The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 355-64 Mauk, F. (1986) Review, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 205-9 Williams, G.K. (2008) ' The Little Blueprint? An amplification of the meaning of libretto' in M. Clayton, (ed) Music, Words and Voice: A Reader, Manchester, Manchester University Press, pp. 249-65