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An Analysis of Periodic Rhythmic Structures in the Music of Steve Reich and György Ligeti

Description: The compositions of Steve Reich and György Ligeti both contain periodic rhythmic structures. Although periods are not usually easily perceived, the listener may perceive their combinations in a hierarchy of rhythmic structures. This document is an attempt to develop an analytical method that can account for this hierarchy in periodic music. I begin with an overview of the features of Reich's and Ligeti's music that contribute to the property of periodicity. I follow with a discussion of the music and writings of Olivier Messiaen as a precedent for the periodic structures in the music of Reich and Ligeti. I continue by consulting the writings of the Israeli musicologist Simha Arom and describing the usefulness of his ideas and terminology in the development of my method. I explain the working process and terminology of the analytical method, and then I apply it to Reich's Six Pianos and Ligeti's Désordre.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Isgitt, David

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

The Segmentation Process and its Influence on Structure in the Malheur Me Bat Masses of Obrecht and Josquin

Description: 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.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Jarzombek, Ralph