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 Degree Discipline: Music Theory
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
“A Metaphor for the Impossibility of Togetherness”: Expansion Processes in Gubaidulina’s First String Quartet
This thesis illustrates how I hear processes of expansion organizing musical materials in the First String Quartet. By employing a flexible approach to expansion and developing models of wedge and additive expansions beyond the bounds of specific voice-leading or rhythmic augmentation procedures, expansion processes can be understood in each of the varied episodes of the quartet. Gubaidulina’s use of expansion processes, embodied organically in pitch, rhythm, form, and physical space, unifies the episodic materials of the First String Quartet and provides an inevitable conclusion to the work’s loose narrative.
Missa Papae Marcelli: A Comparative Analysis of the Kyrie and Gloria Movements of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and an Adaptation by Giovanni Francesco Anerio
Missa Papae Marcelli: A Comparative Analysis of the Kyrie and Gloria Movements of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and an Adaptation by Giovanni Francesco Anerio
Die Neue Lehre: Developing an Online Course in Schenkerian Analysis
Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
With the proliferation of Schenkerian theory in the US, Great Britain, and mainland Europe in the past quarter century, the pedagogy of Schenkerian analysis has become an important issue. Schenker himself was suspicious of textbooks with their tendency for artificial codification and over-simplification; rather, he recognized that his “New Teaching” (“Die neue Lehre”) – as he called it – required a different, more “organic” pedagogical approach that was both personal and yet accessible to a wide audience. New digital technologies and the Internet now have made it possible to disseminate Schenker’s pedagogical approach by adapting interactive techniques of Web-based instruction. Schenker’s “new teaching” was as organic as his theory itself – and as novel in the connections it sought to draw between the individualed disciplines of theory, musicology, composition, and performance. The interactive and multi-media components of Web-based instruction enable us to realize Schenker’s own pedagogical approach to Schenkerian analysis instruction.
Non-Linear and Multi-Linear Time in Beethoven's Opus 127: An Analytical Study of the "Krakow" Sketch Materials
Beethoven's complex manipulation of formal structures, especially his tendency to build important connections and transformative continuities between non-adjacent sections of musical works, may be seen to function as an attempt to control and sometimes to distort the listener's perception of both the narrative process of musical directionality, as well as the subjective interpretation of time itself. Temporal distortion often lies at the heart of Beethoven's complex contrapuntal language, demonstrated equally through the composer's often enigmatic disruption of phrase-periodic gestures, as well as by occasional instances of overtly incongruous temporal shifts. The "Krakow" collection of compositional sketches for Beethoven's String Quartet in E-Flat, Op. 127, provides a number of instances of "non-linear" or "multi-linear" musical continuity. The term "Krakow" sketches, when referenced in this dissertation, specifically designates the group of Beethoven manuscripts possessed by the Biblioteka Jagiellońska in Krakow, Poland, but which formerly were held by the Royal Library in Berlin. Structural voice-leading analyses are provided for selected portions of the "Krakow" collection; these analyses are then compared to voice-leading graphs and analytical reductions of the corresponding material from Beethoven's published versions of the same musical passages. In some cases the sketches supply almost complete texts, for which critical transcriptions are included as extended examples within the dissertation. The primary analytical technique applied to both compositional sketches as well as to complete musical texts derives from Heinrich Schenker's theory of structural voice-leading and graphical reduction. An important method of critical assessment, from which a number of theoretical arguments are developed, is the contention that Beethoven's contrapuntal language, at least in regard to the op. 127 String Quartet, relies heavily upon a temporal distortion of both form and phrase-periodic gestures, requiring the listener to actively re-construct the continuity of Beethoven's subjective formal archetypes.
Op. 34: Evidence of Arnold Schoenberg's Musikalische Gedanke
Composition for Arnold Schoenberg is a comprehensible presentation of a musical idea (musikalische Gedanke); the totality of a piece represents the idea. For tonal works, he defines Gedanke as a process of resolving the "tonal relation" or "tonal problem." Contrary to the numerous tonal examples illustrating the notion of Gedanke, Schoenberg hardly expounds on the Gedanke principle for his atonal and twelve-tone repertoires. This study reevaluates Schoenberg's compositional philosophy and aesthetics including Gedanke, comprehensibility, Grundgestalt, and developing variation in light of his compositional practices in Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene, Op. 34. Although Schoenberg denies the existence of a tonal problem and hierarchy among pitches in twelve-tone compositions, the registral placement found in Op. 34 indicates certain functionality assigned to each pitch-class, producing a sense of "departure and return." The approach here elucidates the "idea" of Op. 34, in which the large-scale formal organization unfolds through contextually emphasized tonal relations. This study also explores Schoenberg's concept of the multi-dimensional presentation of a musical idea. Even though Schoenberg's discussion of musical coherence is usually limited to the immediate musical surface, I believe that he was also aware of an extended realization of foreground motives in the sense of Heinrich Schenker's "concealed motivic repetition." This analysis of Op. 34 demonstrates how the enlargement of a surface motive facilitates an understanding of the relation between the parts and the whole, which is perceived as the totality of Gedanke.
The Opening Section of Isang Yun's My Land My People: A Cross-Section of Korean and Western Musical Features
Isang Yun's oratorio My Land My People is organized in four movements, and is scored for orchestra, solo voice and choir. Movements are titled as follows: Rjoksa (History), Hyon-Shil I (Presence I), Hyon-shil II (Presence II), and Mi-rae (Future). This document only covers from measures 1-38 of the first section of the first movement of this work. Even though this work is atonal, the composer emphasizes a harmonically moving, tonal sonority: interval class five includes perfect 4th and 5th, quintal-quartal harmony and authentic cadence moving dominant to tonic. Also, in this document, a comparison with Korean traditional music elements is included to support Isang Yun's musical features.
A Phenomenology of Music Analysis
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 making such a trade, however, a prior musical involvement--a basic musicality--is always presupposed. Every way of analyzing music has its own way of making determinations, and after detailing the manner of the derivation of the general analytical attitude, this study examines several types of analysis and the ways in which they exemplify the derivative nature of analytical activity. One extended example, an analysis of Jean Sibelius's The Swan of Tuonela, provides several opportunities for discussion (via interspersed passages of commentary) of a view of music analysis drawn from Heideggerian phenomenology.
Prolongation in Post-Tonal Music: A Survey of Analytical Techniques and Theoretical Concepts with an Analysis of Alban Berg's Op. 2, No. 4, Warm Die Lüfte
Prolongation in post-tonal music is a topic that music theorists have engaged for several decades now. The problems of applying Schenkerian analytical techniques to post-tonal music are numerous and have invited several adaptations of the method. The bulk of the thesis offers a survey of prolongational analyses of post-tonal music. Analyses of theorists such as Felix Salzer, Allen Forte, Joseph Straus, Edward Laufer, and Olli Väisälä are examined in order to reveal their various underlying theoretical principles. The thesis concludes with an analysis of Alban Berg's Warm die Lüfte from his Op. 2 collection that focuses on the prolongation of a referential sonority that forms the background of the song. The analysis highlights the most significant analytical techniques and theoretical concepts explored in the survey and codifies them in a generally applicable method of post-tonal prolongational analysis.
Ran, Shulamit: Concerto da Camera II, Analysis of Pitch and Formal Structure
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.
Redeeming the Betrayer: Elgar’s Portrayal of Judas in the Apostles
Despite its generally agreed importance, very little has been written about The Apostles. Even among the extant publications that address The Apostles, scholars have focused on its history and development, its reception, or analytical descriptions of its surface themes. The aim of this study will therefore be to provide neither a biography of Elgar, nor an account of the genesis of the work, but to analyze The Apostles in a manner that will achieve a deeper understanding of the oratorio. Chapter 1 explores the complexities that surround Judas and the different ways in which he was perceived throughout history. Then, through my analysis of the surface motives in Chapter 2 and their significance in relation to the large-scale harmonic structure in Chapter 3, I will suggest that Elgar does not denigrate Judas as the betrayer of Christ in The Apostles, but rather depicts him as a tragic yet crucial figure in achieving the redemption of mankind, and through this Judas himself is redeemed.
Reevaluating twelve-tone music: analytical issues in the second movement of Anton Webern's Quartet for Violin, Clarinet, Tenor-Saxophone and Piano, Op. 22.
Twelve-tone music illustrates many characteristics relative with those of conventional tonal form, though works are based on a different composition method. The fundamental question of twelve-tone music arises in debate on terminology between tonal and atonal as well as methodology of musical analysis. Certain theorists try to approach twelve-tone music by traditional harmonic views rather than by pitch-class set theory. Conventional harmonic aspects arise from the fact that both tonal and twelve-tone music share similar narrative strategies. This point is explored in examining Anton Webern's Quartet for Violin, Clarinet, Tenor-Saxophone and Piano, Op. 22, which displays connection to tonal music. The present study seeks to examine certain features of the composer's working in pitch materials; i.e., the dispositions of pitch classes and the characteristics of the matching dyads, and thereby to disclose the connection between twelve-tone methods and conventional harmony.
The Segmentation Process and its Influence on Structure in the Malheur Me Bat Masses of Obrecht and Josquin
This study examines in detail the various aspects of the segmentation process as applied by Obrecht and Josquin to the chanson Malheur me bat, especially the effect of this process on the structure of each composer's respective mass. Although musical aspects such as cadences and mode have varying degrees of influence on the structure of these two masses, the primary influence is the establishment of proportional relationships that occur as a result of the segmentation process. Sources of previous music research frequently point out that Obrecht's Mass utilizes both the Phrygian and Aeolian modes, while in Josquin's Mass the Phrygian mode is the firmly established mode throughout. Since segments in Obrecht's Mass are usually not connected to one another, strong cadences frequently occur at the end of the segments throughout. On the other hand, since the segments in Josquin's Mass are usually connected to one another, weak internal cadences frequently occur throughout, with strong cadences reserved for the end of sections.
Sibelius's Seventh Symphony: Genesis, Design, Structure, and Meaning
This study explores Sibelius's last and, perhaps, most enigmatic Symphony from historical (source-critical), Schenkerian, and transtextual perspectives. Through a detailed study of its genesis, musical architecture, and meaning, the author maintains that the Seventh, its composer, and its generative process, can best be understood as a series of verges: conceptual points of interaction between two or more forces. Verges between Sibelius's nature mysticism and the dramatic biographical circumstances of the period (1914-1924), between inspired and reasoned modes of composition, between genres (symphony and fantasy), between various form types, between tragic despair and hopeful yearning, between innovation and classicism, and between a host of other seeming oppositions, all define the Seventh Symphony and illuminate various facets of the composer's life and thought.
Structural Octatonicism in Cindy McTee's Symphony No.1: Ballet for Orchestra
Cindy McTee's Symphony No. 1: Ballet for Orchestra is composed primarily of pitch materials from the octatonic collections that contain both diatonic and non-diatonic relationships in the themes, harmonic content, and larger structure of the symphony. Because the octatonic collections contain the potential for both diatonic and non-diatonic relationships, the piece is argued to have octatonic structure, as the octatonic collection is capable of producing both relationships. The second chapter contains a review of the literature, focusing particularly on the work of Arthur Berger, Pieter C. van den Toorn, Richard Taruskin, and Allen Forte. Next, the octatonic structure of the symphony is shown in the thematic material. Finally, the harmonic support and large-scale structure of the piece are shown to contain octatonic relationships as well.
A Study of the Relationship Between Motive and Structure in Brahms's op. 51 String Quartets
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.
Thematic and Formal Narrative in Respighi’s Sinfonia Drammatica
Respighi’s scarcely-known orchestral work Sinfonia Drammatica lives up to its title by evoking a narrative throughout the course of its three movements. In this dissertation, I argue how the work’s surface, subsurface, and formal elements suggest this narrative which emerges as a cycle of rising and falling dramatic tension. I explain how Respighi constructs the work’s narrative in the musical surface through a diverse body of themes that employ three motives of contour. The disposition and manipulation of these motives within the themes suggest frequent fluctuations of the level of conflict throughout the symphony as a whole. To show the involvement of musical forms in the work’s narrative, I employ an approach which integrates harmony and thematic behavior. I utilize analytical methods from the current Formenlehre, including terms from James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy’s sonata deformation theory and William Caplin’s theories of formal functions to elucidate ties between the forms of the Sinfonia Drammatica’s movements and those of conventional sonata forms of the late-eighteenth century. This dissertation also employs Heinrich Schenker’s theories of structures, voice leading, and reduction to illustrate large-scale aspects of the Sinfonia Drammatica’s narrative. The resulting analyses show Respighi’s elaborations of common structural paradigms which serve to heighten the articulation of the narrative.
Theorizing Atonality: Herbert Eimert’s and Jefim Golyscheff’s Contributions to Composing with Twelve Tones
In 1924, Herbert Eimert’s Atonale Musiklehre was the first published text to describe a systematic approach to composing atonal music. It contains significant contributions to the discourse on the early development of twelve-tone composition. While Eimert uses the term “atonal” to describe his compositional approach, his definition of atonality demands that all twelve tones be present with none repeated, and that they present as complexes not ordered rows. Eimert’s discussion of atonality differs from others of the same period because he focuses on vertical sonorities and introduces “interlocking complexes”, wherein two separate statements of the aggregate can overlap by one pitch or by a set of pitches. Interlocking complexes are an important feature of Eimert’s string quartet Fünf Stücke für Streichquartett, which was published in 1925 and composed at the same time as Atonale Musiklehre was written. In the foreword to Atonale Musiklehre, Eimert clarifies that he is not the originator of the concept of atonality, rather that he absorbed the ideas of Josef Matthias Hauer and Jefim Golyscheff. Twelve-tone complexes appear first in Golyscheff’s 1914 String Trio. He refers to them as “twelve-tone duration complexes” and labels them in the score. As the name “duration complexes” implies, there are examples of serial rotation of rhythm in the Trio, a technique that is not developed further until the 1950s. Combined with the text of Atonale Musiklehre, the compositions of Golyscheff and Eimert from the year immediately following the book’s publication provide insight into the early development of “atonality” and twelve-tone compositional methods. Investigation of these documents that have not been thoroughly discussed in print provides a broader perspective of the development of these methods of composition.
Tonal Perspectives in the Selected Piano Preludes of Shostakovich (Op.34: nos.1, 3, 6, 14, and 24): an Analytical Study
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.
Toward a Descriptive Eidetics of Atonality: a Phenomenological Analysis of Webern Op 3, No 1
David Lewin, in his 1986 article “Music Theory, Phenomenology, and Modes of Perception,” offers a promising methodological approach for the analysis of tonal music from a phenomenological perspective. Lewin’s phenomenological method has a propensity to render seemingly contradictory readings in such a way that their respective validities can be preserved by articulating them within differentiated contexts. Expanding upon Lewin’s phenomenological work with analyzing tonal music, I propose that a phenomenological investigation of an atonal song, Webern op. 3, no. 1, from within a variety of differentiated contexts can shed light upon what it means to perceive a piece of music as being “not in a key.” This thesis will open with an introduction to Lewin’s phenomenological work and the writings of Edmund Husserl and Izchak Miller that Lewin used as a point of departure. The analysis of Webern op. 3, no. 1, that follows will regard the voice and piano parts as differentiated musical contexts in order to investigate the interaction between these contexts as they generally undermine the perception of tonality in the song. Finally, the notion of a “musical context” as an organizing factor of musical perception will be expanded to include the different analytical approaches of Olli Väisälä and Elmar Budde as they interact to reveal contrasting aspects of the song’s multivalent structure.
Toward a Unified Whole: Allan Pettersson's Symphony No. 5.
The earlier symphonies of the 1950s embody a gradual realization of Pettersson’s own unique symphonic style, containing large-scale development, repetition, and reiteration. Symphony no. 5 takes these ideas to the extreme and represents the codification of techniques that are further developed in later symphonies. The present study examines the structure of the symphony from a voice-leading perspective. Included in this study is an analysis of the construction of the piece focusing on the development and expansion of motives that operate as structural determinants and the use of chromatic saturation to create intensity and direction. The use of linear analysis in a post-tonal context makes necessary a section devoted to explicating the graphic notation shown in the analysis and the analytical process of determining linear progressions.
Transposition and the Transposed Modes in Late-Baroque France
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, its total pitch content was diminished, and consequently the number of the natural modes found within the gamme was reduced. An apparently less popular view narrowed the focus of "natural tone" to a single diatonic pitch, the final of the tone or mode. A number of factors contributed to the disappearance of the long-held distinction between natural and transposed tones: the linking of the notion of "transposed" with the temperament, the establishment of two types of signatures for the minor tones (for tones with sharps and flats, respectively), the transition from a two-column scale to a single-column one, and the recognition of a unified system of major and minor keys.
X, An Analytical Approach to John Chowning's Phoné
The analysis of computer music presents new challenges to the field of music theory. This study examines the fixed media composition Phoné by John Chowning from its aesthetic perspective, compositional theory and computer sound synthesis techniques. Fast Fourier Transform analyses are used to create spectrograms. The findings from the spectrograms are juxtaposed with compositional philosophies of John Chowning, Jean-Claude Risset, Pierre Schaeffer and Arnold Schoenberg and the techniques are represented via PureData patches.