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Accent and Grouping Structures in the String Quartets of Béla Bartók

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.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Bocanegra, Cheryl D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Consonance, Tertian Structures and Tonal Coherence in Wladimir Vogel's Dodecaphonic World

Description: Wladimir Vogel's (1896-1984) interest in twelve-tone composition began to develop in 1936 after hearing a series of lectures by Willi Reich, a music critic and supporter of the new music of the Second Viennese School. The transition for Vogel from a large-scale orchestral “classical” style, influenced by his study with Ferruccio Busoni in Berlin in the early 1920s, to a new technique involving dodecaphony is apparent in his instrumental writing, the third and fourth movements of the Konzert für Violine und Orchester (1937), as well as in his vocal writing, the Madrigaux for mixed a cappella choir (1938/39). Vogel's twelve-tone works exhibit tertian structures which are particularly emphasized by triads located as consecutive pitches within the rows. Emphasis on tertian structures are not limited to small-scale segmentation of the rows but can also be seen in the structural and tonal organization of complete movements and works. A primary example is the Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester (Cello Concerto) (1955) in which, on a smaller scale, the presentation of the row emphasizes both diminished and minor triads, and at the macro level, the structural triadic relationships unify passages within individual movements as well as the concerto as a whole. Since the work is composed using the twelve-tone method, consideration is given to the structure of the serial components. In addition, the concerto is analyzed in terms of its cognitive features-those elements that are demonstrably related to traditional practice- such as tertian melodic/harmonic outlines reinforced by rhythmic features that are common to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century practice. The compositional features evident from the serial structure of the work are addressed in conjunction with references to traditional practice made evident through the serial technique. The findings in the analysis of the Cello Concerto support the argument that the inclusion of consonant sonorities and tertian ...
Date: December 2002
Creator: Hale, Jacquelyn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Drafts, Page Proofs, and Revisions of Schenker's Der freie Satz: The Collection at the Austrian National Library and Schenker's Generative Process

Description: When Schenkerian theory began to influence scholarly circles in the United States, the primary - although not the only - work to which scholars had access was Schenker's last monograph, Der freie Satz. Reading textual passages and examining the many musical graphs in the companion volume of examples influenced their concept of the fundamental structure as Schenker understood it, as well as the relationship of the other levels (Schichten) to the larger structure. The problem is that most of the second generation of Schenkerian scholars were reading the 1956 second German edition, not the 1935 first German edition. The second edition had been altered for textual and musical content by Schenker's student, Oswald Jonas - so there is already a disconnect between the original version and the text scholars were reading at that time (the 1950s, 60s, and 70s). Furthermore, many younger North Americans were insufficiently fluent in German to be able to read the work in the original language. In order to make Schenker's treatise accessible to English-speaking scholars, Ernst Oster set about translating the work into English, a task completed in 1979 just after his death. The text was based on the second German edition (ed. Jonas, Vienna, 1956), but the first edition (Vienna, 1935) was consulted also. Examples that were changed from the 1935 edition in the 1956 edition were not restored. The first problem for those interested in gaining a more accurate understanding of Schenker's theories is that the first German edition is still unavailable in complete translation. The second and more serious issue involves the genesis of the first German edition. All these problems concerning the publication of the various editions have led to an incomplete understanding of the work. Complicating matters is the relatively unexplored state of the late manuscript of Der freie Satz ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Auerbach, Jennifer Sadoff
Partner: UNT Libraries

Imagined Sounds: Their Role in the Strict and Free Compositional Practice of Anton Bruckner

Description: The present study develops a dynamic model of strict and free composition that views them as relative to a specific historical context. The dynamic view espoused here regards free embellishments of an earlier compositional generation as becoming the models for a strict compositional theory in a later one. From the newly established strict compositional models, succeeding generations of composers produce new free embellishments. The first part of the study develops the dynamic conception of a continuously emerging strict composition as the context necessary for understanding Anton Bruckner's compositional methodology with respect to the harmonic instruction of his teacher, Simon Sechter. In other words, I view Sechter's harmonic theories as a strict compositional platform for Bruckner's free compositional applications. Many theoretical treatises of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries such as those by Christoph Bernhard, Johann Philipp Kirnberger and Sechter acknowledged that strict composition must provide the structural framework for free composition. The above procedure becomes a manner of justifying a free embellishment since a "theorist" can demonstrate or assert the steps necessary to connect it with an accepted model from a contrapuntal or harmonic theory. The present study demonstrates that the justification relationship is a necessary component for understanding any theory as a strict/free one. By examining Sechter as a strict methodology for Bruckner, we can view the free applications that the latter develops. Bruckner's own theoretical documents-the marginalia in his personal copy of Sechter's Die Grundsätze der musikalischen Komposition and his lecture notes, Vorlesungen über Harmonie und Kontrapunkt an der Universität Wien, taken by Ernst Schwanzara-provide extensions and elaborations to Sechter's theories. In addition, theorists sympathetic to Sechter's approach and Bruckner's personal students provide further material for understanding Bruckner's free application of Sechter's strict harmonic perspective. The study uses my own observations, as well as the extensions indicated above, ...
Date: May 2008
Creator: Brooks, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Lessons of Arnold Schoenberg in Teaching the Musikalische Gedanke

Description: Arnold Schoenberg's teaching career spanned over fifty years and included experiences in Austria, Germany, and the United States. Schoenberg's teaching assistant, Leonard Stein, transcribed Schoenberg's class lectures at UCLA from 1936 to 1944. Most of these notes resulted in publications that provide pedagogical examples of combined elements from Schoenberg's European years of teaching with his years of teaching in America. There are also class notes from Schoenberg's later lectures that have gone unexamined. These notes contain substantial examples of Schoenberg's later theories with analyses of masterworks that have never been published. Both the class notes and the subsequent publications reveal Schoenberg's comprehensive approach to understanding the presentation of the Gedanke or musical idea. In his later classes especially, Schoenberg demonstrated a method of analyzing musical compositions using illustrations of elements of the Grundgestalt or "basic shape," which contains the technical aspects of the musical parts. Through an examination of his published and unpublished manuscripts, this study will demonstrate Schoenberg's commitment to a comprehensive approach to teaching. Schoenberg's heritage of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century music theory is evident in his Harmonielehre and in his other European writings. The latter include Zusammenhang, Kontrapunkt, Instrumentation, Formenlehre (ZKIF), and Der musikalische Gedanke und die Logik, Technik, und Kunst seiner Darstellung (the Gedanke manuscripts), written over the course of several years from the 1920s to the early 1930s. After emigrating to the United States in 1933, Schoenberg immediately began teaching and writing in an attempt to arrive at a comprehensive approach to his pedagogy. The remainder of Schoenberg's textbook publications, with the exception of Models for Beginners in Composition, were left unfinished, were edited primarily by Leonard Stein and published after Schoenberg's death in 1951. Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint, Fundamentals of Musical Composition, and Structural Functions of Harmony complete his ouevre of theory publications. An examination ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Conlon, Colleen Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Op. 34: Evidence of Arnold Schoenberg's Musikalische Gedanke

Description: 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.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Fukuchi, Hidetoshi
Partner: UNT Libraries