The viola works of Benjamin Dale: A contextual study two Lecture-Recitals -and- An exegesis

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Performing Arts)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Advisor

Dr Jonathan Paget

Second Advisor

Dr Paul Hopwood

Third Advisor

Associate Professor Alex da Costa


This study makes a re-evaluation of the music of Benjamin Dale through a contextual investigation of his works for viola. Dale belonged to an eminent pre-war league of British composers studying at the Royal Academy of Music under the keen Wagnerian Frederick Corder. Analysis is employed to interrogate the ‘Wagnerian’ aspects of Dale’s musical language through an application of contemporaneous understandings of Wagner demonstrated in Corder’s English writings. Consideration is given to the extent that these associations factored into Dale’s subsequent post-war neglect. Dale’s late-romantic idiom and associated performance practices (including vibrato, portamenti, idiosyncratic fingerings, and bowings) are demonstrated through two lecture recitals, which also underscore the importance of Dale’s collaboration with leading violist Lionel Tertis.

Access Note

Access to this thesis is restricted to the exegesis and two Lecture recitals and to current ECU staff and students. Email request to library@ecu.edu.au

Access to this thesis is restricted. Please see the Access Note below for access details.