Outline of the Final Product (Update 6)

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I have compiled all of my section outlines together and edited them in order to create a large outline for my entire paper. This paper is divided into 5 main sections: (1) Introduction; (2) Themes and Influences; (3) Language and Speech Melody; (4) Moravian Folk Settings; and (5) Conclusion. Here is my proposed outline in its entirety:

 

Introduction

  • What is the Czech identity?
    • The “Czech style” vs. “Czechness”
    • Nationalism vs. National Identity (my definitions based on research)
      • For this section, include a footnote disclaimer saying that I, the author, am not Czech and cannot speak for the Czech people. The thoughts presented are based on outside research. 
  • Brief history of the Czech Republic 
    • Values, etc. over time 
      • Habsburg dynasty 
      • Czech National Revival
        • Examples in art
        • Creation of the Národní divadlo in Prague and Brno
    • Eventually get to early 20th century focus
      • World War I leading to independence
  • Introduce the opera and Janáček in the time
    • Summarize the plot 
    • Based on story by Rudolf Těsnohlídek
  • Thesis
    • In his opera Příhody lišky Bystroušky [The Cunning Little Vixen], Janáček utilizes various themes and influences, unique uses of language in music, and Moravian folk settings to create a work that is representative of the Czech national identity at the time. 
  • Janáček – brief paragraph summary of life 

Themes and Influences

  • Janáček and The Cunning Little Vixen
    • Brief timeline of the creation of the opera
    • Rudolf Těsnohlídek
      • Short history of how he wrote the story behind the opera
    • Differences between the original story and the adapted libretto
      • How the story was adapted into the libretto 
        • Length
        • Ending
        • Dialogue (sparrow dialogue made into vixen/fox dialogue in Act III)
      • What Těsnohlídek offered to the libretto
        • Initial reaction to the story being made into an opera
        • 14 lines, of which only 7 were used
    • Max Brod
      • Professional relationship
        • Translation into German
        • Changes that Brod suggested and made in the opera
          • Badger scene suggestion that was not used
          • Ending suggestion that was not used
          • Parallels between characters
    • Kamila Stösslová
      • Brief explanation of their relationship
      • How she served as an inspiration in the opera (and others)
        • Strong female leads, femininity, sexual liberation, etc.
        • Represented through the Vixen
  • Themes in The Cunning Little Vixen 
    • Naturalism
      • Animals and nature
        • Connection between humans and animals
        • Ex: Music in the first scene of the opera
      • Relate to speech melody (to discuss later in the paper)
        • Listening to the birdsongs and natural sounds
    • Realism
      • Representative of lower classes
      • Underrepresented region of Moravia
        • Relate to Moravian dialect and folk music (to discuss later in the paper)
      • Political/societal discontent (main focus of this section)
        • Previous rule of the Habsburgs
        • Class divides
          • Examples of the Vixen conversing with the hens and the badger
    • Outside influences
      • Debussy
      • Russia/Pan-Slavism

Language and Speech Melody

  • Janáček and Language
    • Moravian dialect of Czech 
      • Czech language stress and length 
      • Example Moravian dialect differences  
    • Janáček’s use of the Moravian dialect in music
      • Moravian folk songs (just introduce, don’t get into it yet)
      • Opera/vocal works
        • Dialect is representative of linguistic background of a character in an opera
    • Examples of distinct dialect usage in The Cunning Little Vixen
      • Moravian dialect used for all characters except for one
        • What does this mean for the one character?
      • Similar dialect between both animals and humans
        • Shows the innate connection, relating back to naturalism in the opera
  • Janáček and Speech Melody
    • History, collection, and description
      • Ethnographic research methodology
      • Interpretation of speech/sounds, rather than literal transcription
        • His way of understanding the world
          • Example of his daughter Olga’s last words notated
      • Collected animal and nature sounds, in addition to his main focus on human speech
        • Especially done in preparation for The Cunning Little Vixen
    • Characteristics of Janáček’s speech melodies
      • General characteristics
        • Length and stress as seen in the dialect
        • Tonal ambiguity (maybe)
        • Pitch representing emotion
      • 2-3 examples and analysis of actual speech melodies
    • Possible influence of speech melodies on late opera works
      • Discuss the academic discourse on this topic 
        • Actual speech melodies were not directly copied into Janáček’s works
        • For the purposes of this paper, assume that the speech melodies that Janáček collected influenced his compositions
          • Opera works contained elements imitative of his speech melody characteristics
      • 2-3 examples and analysis of the influence of speech melodies on The Cunning Little Vixen

Moravian Folk Settings

  • General features of Moravian folk music 
    • Melodic/rhythmic motives
    • Scales/modes used in folk songs
    • Classifications of folk songs
    • Speech and language
      • Moravian dialect
    • 1-2 examples of folk songs with brief analyses and connections to the above features 
  • Janáček’s use of Moravian folk settings
    • Brief history of his use of folk songs during his life
    • Adaptation of Moravian folk settings in 20th century
    • Naturalism
      • Themes of nature in the text
    • Nostalgia
      • Reminiscent of simple times
      • Theme of nostalgia, generally, makes the listener/reader question the past and work to improve the present/future
    • Nationalism/National Identity
      • Historical
      • Representative of the people
    • Folk Settings in The Cunning Little Vixen
      • Thematically naturalistic
      • Key signatures, scales, and modes
      • Moravian dialect (as previously mentioned)
      • 2-3 musical examples – musical analyses based on the above characteristics
        • Harašta’s song
        • Fox cubs’ song

Conclusion

  • Continue conversation of Czech national identity
  • What is the “Czechness” in this opera?
    • While it can be considered a continuation of the ideas of trailblazers like Smetana and Dvorak, this opera is more than just nationalism
    • Representation of unique people, influences, and experiences of the Czechoslovak Republic
      • Themes
      • Influences
      • Speech melody
      • Moravian folk settings

 

(Note: this website keeps putting an incorrect format of the bullet points, so the actual outline is organized a bit differently than shown above)

The first step in compiling this outline was solidifying an idea of my thesis. I have been keeping up a working thesis throughout this entire research process. After looking into each of my three main points in depth, I have an almost solidified version of my thesis, seen both below and in the outline:

In his opera Příhody lišky Bystroušky [The Cunning Little Vixen], Janáček utilizes various themes and influences, unique uses of language in music, and Moravian folk settings to create a work that is representative of the Czech national identity at the time.

While this thesis is still not perfect, it is at a good place for beginning the writing process. I am not totally pleased with the wording of the part that just says “various themes and influences.” I would like to eventually edit this to have a less vague description of the section. However, it is good enough for now and for writing the section. 

Ideally, I would like to get the majority of the writing done by this Saturday, so I can finish up bibliography and proofreading before turning in the rough draft to my advisor. I am still coming up with ideas for my conclusion and ways in which I can tie the entire paper together, but I will continue to note my ideas as I write the rest of the paper. I think that I have a very solid foundation to write at this point. I anticipate the paper being around 20 pages, but that is just an estimate and depends on many factors. I will also need to write my 7th blog update during this process. I anticipate writing this before I write my conclusion, in order to compile my ideas together.