This dissertation investigates the spectrum of meaning inherent in the three twentieth-century programmatic symphonic compositions by Leoš Janáček: The Fiddler's Child (1912), Taras Bulba (1918) and The Ballad of Blaník (1919-20). The first part codifies Janáček's twentieth-century compositional style, first through an examination of its origins in folk music and speech-melody, then in the features of its melody, form, texture, instrumentation and key selection. It then examines harmony and tonality, addressing various types of suspended tonality. The second part presents an analysis of the three works. The analysis implements an analytical method based on a system devised by literary theorist Roland Barthes in his essay S/Z, in which he traced the "codes" of meaning which run throughout a literary work. The present analysis consists of the examination of each musical works' musical elements, the affective and programmatic association of each section of the work, as well as the four narrative codes of Barthes: the hermeneutic code (which governs the proposing, sustaining and resolution of enigmas), the semic code of musical motives, the proairetic code (which contains the formal aspects of the piece), and the referential code (which draws on analogous passages from other pieces of music).
Chapter 1 Truth and Music: Janáček the Expressive Chapter 2 The Impact of Folk Music Chapter 3 Special Elements of Janáček's Music Chapter 4 Harmony in Janáček's Music Chapter 5 Tonality in Janáček's Music Chapter 6 Music And Narrative: A Technique For Analysis Chapter 7 The Fiddler's Child Chapter 8 Taras Bulba Chapter 9 The Ballad of Blaník Postscript