UNT Theses and Dissertations - 4 Matching Results

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Harmony in the Songs of Hugo Wolf

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 tonality, tonal ambiguity, and transient keys are hallmarks of his style. He frequently alters the quality of chords while retaining the function of their scale-degree root. Such "color" chords are classified, and their effect on harmonic progression examined. Wolf's repetitive motivic style and the devices that he employs to provide motion in his music are also discussed. I conclude by examining Wolf's most adventuresome techniques—including parallel chords successions, chromatic harmonic and melodic sequences, and successions of augmented triads--and the suspension of tonality that they produce. This project encompasses all of Wolf's songs, and should be a useful tool for Wolf ...
Date: August 1989
Creator: McKinney, Timothy R. (Timothy Richmond)
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: August 1989
Creator: Yang, Benjamin H. (Benjamin Hoh)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Antoine Reicha's Theories of Musical Form

Description: Antoine Reicha stands as an important figure in the growing systematization of musical form. While Traite de melodie (1814) captures the essence of eighteenth-century concern with tonal movement and periodicity, Reicha's later ideas as represented in Traite de haute composition musicale (1824-26) anticipate descriptions of thematic organization characteristic of his nineteenth-century successors. Three important topics emerge as crucial elements: melody, thematic development, and schematic categorization of complete pieces.
Date: December 1989
Creator: McCachren, Jo Renee
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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. Chapter I contains a discussion of the role of the variation set in Beethoven's overall output. The teachers, composers, and works which may have influenced him are also discussed as well as his training in variation composition. Finally, those factors which Beethoven employed to unify his sets are listed and explained. Chapters II-V are devoted to detailed analyses of four striking variation sets: Opus 34, Opus 35, WoO 80, and Opus 120. Chapter VI presents a summary of the findings. It suggests that each of the sets investigated has a unique form and that each variation has a distinct place ...
Date: December 1989
Creator: Kramer, Ernest J. (Ernest Joachim)
Partner: UNT Libraries