Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Carolyn Ellis, Ph.D.


Music, Performance, Performativity, Truth, Narrative


This project looks at the relationship between music performance and truth in narrative. Music performance is a fluid and dynamic process with complex and multiple relationships among musician, audience, text, and production. The five sections of this thesis discuss five different musical performances that address different aspects of this dynamic process. I look at the relationship between music performance and Performance Studies, issues of personae and presence, questions of identity and masculinity, pedagogy and performance, and the intersections of writing and performance. The five musical performances in this project are written to not only discuss important aspects of music and performance, but also frame my arguments about truth in narrative. I argue truth should be carefully considered because it is an idea that has a great deal of power. Truth exists in complex relationships among reader and writer, genre and text, and experience and story. Like music, approaching truth as a concept that is fluid opens up possibilities for understanding the implications truth has on the stories we live and tell.