Presenters

Yazmeen MayesFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

COTA - Music

Faculty Sponsor Name

Benjamin Wadsworth

Abstract (300 words maximum)

CW: Presentation includes references to sex and suicide.

This presentation is an in-depth score analysis of “Changing My Major” from the musical Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, which is based on Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical memoir by the same name. The musical examines the similarities and differences between Alison and her father as she attempts to contruct a future without a queer elder to model it. This presentation demonstrates the collaborative, tight structure of thematic messaging in musical theatre. Overall, ““Changing My Major” personifies the show at large and celebrates the process of questioning as its own epic, terrifying, and thrilling journey. What begins as an anxious inner monologue transforms into a lush waltz, to an exhilarating uphill climb to internal revelation. This scene happens when Medium Alison wakes up after having sex with her college classmate, Joan, for the very first time. Based on the analysis of the song, there are several musical themes that exemplify the thematic message behind the lyrics, including repeated octaves and chord clusters modal mixture, modulations, vibrato, and non-conforming formal structure. These five musical techniques reinforce the deeper meaning of self-acceptance through this ongoing musical identity crisis. Thus, the music, dialogue, and character portrayal all work cohesively to deliver a single, compelling story.

Disciplines

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Music | Theatre and Performance Studies

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, synchronously via Teams

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Thematic Use of Non-Conformity in "Changing My Major" (ft. gay panic)

CW: Presentation includes references to sex and suicide.

This presentation is an in-depth score analysis of “Changing My Major” from the musical Fun Home by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, which is based on Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical memoir by the same name. The musical examines the similarities and differences between Alison and her father as she attempts to contruct a future without a queer elder to model it. This presentation demonstrates the collaborative, tight structure of thematic messaging in musical theatre. Overall, ““Changing My Major” personifies the show at large and celebrates the process of questioning as its own epic, terrifying, and thrilling journey. What begins as an anxious inner monologue transforms into a lush waltz, to an exhilarating uphill climb to internal revelation. This scene happens when Medium Alison wakes up after having sex with her college classmate, Joan, for the very first time. Based on the analysis of the song, there are several musical themes that exemplify the thematic message behind the lyrics, including repeated octaves and chord clusters modal mixture, modulations, vibrato, and non-conforming formal structure. These five musical techniques reinforce the deeper meaning of self-acceptance through this ongoing musical identity crisis. Thus, the music, dialogue, and character portrayal all work cohesively to deliver a single, compelling story.

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