Mary Pappert School of Music
Marie Agatha Ozah
Eastern, Orientalism, Saint-Saens, Western
Subtleties in art and music have always been a factor in swaying people's ideas and opinions. Some pieces of music make a direct attempt to communicate and influence how one should view a certain group of people or a culture, often creating a great social divide and a tense atmosphere. Ralph Locke and Edward Said explain "Orientalism" as "a corporate institution for dealing with the Orient- dealing with it by making statements about it . . . a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient." Though Orientalism began as working with just a Far Eastern sound, the term soon expanded to include all music that is meant to sound foreign to a particular group of listeners. This study continues to look at Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila through the eyes of Locke and further examines the composer's use of Middle Eastern compositional techniques, including instrumentation, use of Arab modes, and use of threatening melodies and rhythms. These techniques are examined with respect to the way that they effectively communicate and manipulate the audience's perception of characters in the work.
Sallinger, E. (2010). Saint-Saens' "Other": Orientalism in Samson et Dalila (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1141