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 Degree Discipline: Music Theory
Transposition and the Transposed Modes in Late-Baroque France

Transposition and the Transposed Modes in Late-Baroque France

Date: December 1988
Creator: Parker, Mark M. (Mark Mason)
Description: The purpose of the study is the investigation of the topics of transposition and the transposed major and minor modes as discussed principally by selected French authors of the final twenty years of the seventeenth century and the first three decades of the eighteenth. The sources are relatively varied and include manuals for singers and instrumentalists, dictionaries, independent essays, and tracts which were published in scholarly journals; special emphasis is placed on the observation and attempted explanation of both irregular signatures and the signatures of the minor modes. The paper concerns the following areas: definitions and related concepts, methods for singers and Instrumentalists, and signatures for the tones which were identified by the authors. The topics are interdependent, for the signatures both effected transposition and indicated written-out transpositions. The late Baroque was characterized by much diversity with regard to definitions of the natural and transposed modes. At the close of the seventeenth century, two concurrent and yet diverse notions were in evidence: the most widespread associated "natural" with inclusion within the gamme; that is, the criterion for naturalness was total diatonic pitch content, as specified by the signature. When the scale was reduced from two columns to a single one, ...
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Harmony in the Songs of Hugo Wolf

Harmony in the Songs of Hugo Wolf

Date: August 1989
Creator: McKinney, Timothy R. (Timothy Richmond)
Description: The songs of Hugo Wolf represent the culmination of the Romantic German Lied tradition. Wolf developed a personal chromatic harmonic style that allowed him to respond to every nuance of a poetic text, thereby stretching tonality to its limits. He was convinced, however, that despite its novel nature his music could be explained through the traditional theory of harmony. This study determines the degree to which Wolf's belief is true, and begins with an evaluation of the current state of research into Wolf's harmonic practice. An explanation of my analytical method and its underlying philosophy follows; historical perspective is provided by tracing the development of three major elements of traditional theory from their inception to the present day: fundamental bass, fundamental chords, and tonal function. The analytical method is then applied to the works of Wolf's predecessors in order to allow comparison with Wolf. In the investigation of Wolf's harmonic practice the individual elements of traditional functional tonality are examined, focusing on Wolf's use of traditional harmonic functions in both traditional and innovative ways. This is followed by an investigation of the manner in which Wolf assembles these traditional elements into larger harmonic units. Tonal instability, rapid key shifts, progressive ...
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A Study of the Relationship Between Motive and Structure in Brahms's op. 51 String Quartets

A Study of the Relationship Between Motive and Structure in Brahms's op. 51 String Quartets

Date: August 1989
Creator: Yang, Benjamin H. (Benjamin Hoh)
Description: In 1873, Brahms completed the two op. 51 quartets. These were not the first string quartets Brahms composed, hut they were the first that Brahms allowed to be published. He found the string quartet difficult; as he confided to his friend Alwin Cranz, he sketched out twenty string quartets before producing a pair he thought worthy of publishing. Questions arise: what aspect of the string quartet gave Brahms so much trouble, and what in the op. 51 quartets gave him the inclination to publish them for the first time in his career? The op. 51 quartets are essential to understanding the evolution of Brahms's compositional technique. Brahms had difficulty limiting his massive harmony and polyphony to four solo strings. This difficulty was compounded by his insistence on deriving even the accompaniment from the opening main motivic material. This study investigates the manner in which Brahms distributes the main motivic material to all four voices in these quartets, while at the same time highlighting each voice effectively in the dialogue.
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Beethoven's Transcendence of the Additive Tendency in Opus 34, Opus 35, Werk ohne Opuszahl 80, and Opus 120

Beethoven's Transcendence of the Additive Tendency in Opus 34, Opus 35, Werk ohne Opuszahl 80, and Opus 120

Date: December 1989
Creator: Kramer, Ernest J. (Ernest Joachim)
Description: The internal unity of the themes in a sonata-allegro movement and the external unity of the movements in a sonata cycle are crucial elements of Beethoven's compositional aesthetic. Numerous theorists have explored these aspects in Beethoven's sonatas, symphonies, quartets, and concertos. Similar research into the independent variation sets for piano, excluding Opus 120, has been largely neglected as the result of three misconceptions: that the variation sets, many of which were based on popular melodies of Beethoven's time, are not as worthy of study as his other works; that the type of hidden internal relationships which pervade the sonata cycle are not relevant to the variation set since all variations are, by definition, related to the theme; and that variations were composed "additively," that is, one after another, without any particular regard for their order or relationship to one another. The purpose of this study is to refute all three of these incorrect assumptions. Beethoven was concerned with the order of variations and their relationship to one another, and he was able to transcend the additive tendency in a number of ways. Some of his methods included registral connection, registral expansion, rhythmic acceleration, textural expansion, dynamics, articulation, and motivic similarities. ...
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Harmonic and Contrapuntal Techniques in the Late Keyboard Works of Cesar Franck

Harmonic and Contrapuntal Techniques in the Late Keyboard Works of Cesar Franck

Date: May 1992
Creator: Cranford, Dennis R. (Dennis Ray)
Description: This study examines the five late keyboard works of Cesar Franck: the Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue and the Prelude. Aria, and Finale for piano, and the three organ chorales. The study focuses on harmonic and contrapuntal techniques and their interrelationships, placing the discussion in the context of an analysis of the whole piece. The primary goal is to identify the salient characteristics of each piece; a secondary goal is to identify common harmonic and contrapuntal aspects of Franck's style.
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Tonal Perspectives in the Selected Piano Preludes of Shostakovich (Op.34: nos.1, 3, 6, 14, and 24): an Analytical Study

Tonal Perspectives in the Selected Piano Preludes of Shostakovich (Op.34: nos.1, 3, 6, 14, and 24): an Analytical Study

Date: August 1994
Creator: Lee, Tze Fung Alfred
Description: This study is an investigation of tonal structures in selected preludes of Shostakovich's Op.34. Explanations and analytic perspectives provide support of tonality oriented interpretation for the compositions which often appear to be "atonal." Chapter One is divided into (1) historical perspectives of the prelude as form, and (2) Summary of Shostakovich's life and work. Chapter Two contains a historical background of (1) the development of Shostakovich's compositional styles, emphasizing his early style of piano composition, and (2) the impact of his "Lady Macbeth," the crisis and its influence on later works. Chapter Three deals with the problems of and analytical approaches in the study of the selected preludes.
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An Application of Grundgestalt Theory in the Late Chromatic Music of Chopin: a Study of his Last Three Polonaises

An Application of Grundgestalt Theory in the Late Chromatic Music of Chopin: a Study of his Last Three Polonaises

Date: December 1994
Creator: Spicer, Mark Joseph
Description: The late chromatic music of Chopin is often difficult to analyze, particularly with a system of Roman numerals. The study examines Schoenberg's Grundgestalt concept as a strategy for explaining Chopin's chromatic musical style. Two short Chopin works, Nocturne in E-flat major. Op. 9, No. 2, and Etude in E major, Op. 10, No. 3, serve as models in which the analytic method is formulated. Root analysis, in the manner of eighteenth-century theorist Simon Sechter, is utilized to facilitate harmonic analysis of chromatic passages. Based upon the analytic method developed, the study analyzes the last three polonaises of Chopin: Polonaise in F-sharp minor, Op. 44, Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53, and Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat major, Op. 61. The Grundgestalt-based analysis shows harmonic, melodic and rhythmic connections in order to view Chopin's chromaticism and formal structure from a new perspective. With this approach, the chromaticism is viewed as essential to the larger form.
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A Phenomenology of Music Analysis

A Phenomenology of Music Analysis

Date: December 1995
Creator: Anderson, Andrew E. (Andrew Edwin)
Description: Many of the early writings and lectures of the German phenomenological philosopher Martin Heidegger involve investigations into the question of Being. An important part of these investigations is his examination of how we go about the everyday business of existing--doing our jobs, dealing with things in our environment, working through problems, thinking, talking--and what our ways of operating in these everyday activities tell us about our Being in general. Musicians have their own everyday musical tasks, two of the most prominent of which are composing and performing. Composers and performers, like everyone else, have a 'world'--Heidegger's word for the structure of relationships between equipment, persons, and tasks and the way in which a person is situated in that structure--and that 'world' allows them to cope with their musical environment in ways that enable them to make music as composers and performers. Analyzing music is an activity that a Heideggerian approach sees as derived from the primary musical activities of composing and performing. A music analyst trades the possibility of primary musical involvement for a kind of involvement that points out determinate characteristics; hence in adopting an analytical stance, the analyst trades doing something musical for saying something about music. In ...
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Ran, Shulamit: Concerto da Camera II, Analysis of Pitch and Formal Structure

Ran, Shulamit: Concerto da Camera II, Analysis of Pitch and Formal Structure

Date: May 2000
Creator: Lin, Sheng
Description: The thesis speculates upon the three movements of Concerto da Camera II (1987), scored for Bb clarinet, string quartet and piano) in these four aspects: 1) the formal structure, 2) the manipulation of the notes of whole-tone, octatonic, and chromatic scales in octave displacement, 3) the potential combination of subsets that present different levels of pitch transformation in melodic and harmonic structure, and 4) the usage of intervals of minor seconds, tritones, and perfect fourths or fifths which dominates the linear writing. All of these features demonstrate that the music has strong structural elements in form, motives, and sonorities, which unify the piece in an aurally coherent style as an organic whole. This study should provide more insight into the understanding of Ran's unique compositional technique and style.
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Accent and Grouping Structures in the String Quartets of Béla Bartók

Accent and Grouping Structures in the String Quartets of Béla Bartók

Date: May 2001
Creator: Bocanegra, Cheryl D.
Description: The music of Béla Bartók is defined in part by its unique blend of rhythmic vitality and inventiveness, and his string quartets offer a glimpse into a consistency of technique evident throughout his compositional career. Bartók's rhythmic environments are primarily metrical, but many of his rhythmic configurations are placed in such a way as to potentially override established meter. It is necessary, therefore, to institute an analytical means by which the delineation and comparison of rhythmic structures both within and without the metrical context may be accomplished. An analytical method using Timepoint Accent Structures (TAS) allows for the comparison of rhythms resulting from patterns of accent produced by pitch onset, dynamic stress, articulation or any other accentual factors. Timepoint Grouping Structures (TGS) delineate the number of timepoints present in alternating groups/blocks in a texture, thereby allowing for the recognition of patterning created by these larger groups. By applying TAS and TGS analysis, relationships of rhythmic equivalency, rotation, retrograde, complementation, augmentation, diminution, subset, superset, exchange, compression and expansion are clearly confirmed in the string quartets. In addition, symmetrical structures and arithmetic progressions are discovered. In many ways, Bartók's rhythmic organization mimics his procedures of pitch structuring.
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