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The Music of Joni Mitchell$
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Lloyd Whitesell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195307993

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195307993.001.0001

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COLLECTIONS AND CYCLES

COLLECTIONS AND CYCLES

Chapter:
(p.194) 7 COLLECTIONS AND CYCLES
Source:
The Music of Joni Mitchell
Author(s):

LLOYD WHITESELL

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195307993.003.0007

This chapter tackles the question of coherence at the level of the album. It analyzes large-scale form in three concept albums (or song cycles), pondering just what kind of unity is at stake, including recurrent imagery, thematic and motivic interconnections, consistency of expressive tone, narrative and tonal planning, and visual design. The centerpiece of the chapter is a comparison of two consecutive albums from the late 1970s: Hejira's songs are tightly interlinked in theme and consistent in sound, while Don Juan's Reckless Daughter is sprawling and contradictory.

Keywords:   concept album, song cycles, expressive tone, tonal planning, Hejira

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