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Messiaen's Influence on Post-War Serialism

Description: The objective of this paper is to show how Olivier Messiaen's Mode de valeurs et d'intensites influenced the development of postwar serialism. Written at Darmstadt in 1949, Mode de valeurs is considered the first European work to organize systematically all the major musical parameters: pitch, duration, dynamics, articulation, and register. This work was a natural step in Messiaen's growth toward complete or nearly complete systemization of musical parameters, which he had begun working towards in earlier works such as Vingt regards sur 1'Enfant-Jesus (1944), Turangalila-symphonie (1946-8), and Cantyodjaya (1949), and which he continued to experiment with in later works such as Ile de Feu II (1951) and Livre d'orgue (1951). The degree of systematic control that Messiaen successfully applied to each of the musical parameters influenced two of the most prominent post-war serial composers, Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen, to further develop systematic procedures in their own works. This paper demonstrates the degree to which both Boulez' Structures Ia (1951) and Stockhausen's Kreuzspiel (1951) used Mode de valeurs as a model for the systematic organization of musical parameters.
Date: August 1984
Creator: Muncy, Thomas R.
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

The Traité d'harmonie of Charles-Simon Catel

Description: With the founding of the Paris Conservatory in 1795, a diversity of instructional methods for the teaching of harmony were used. Each theory instructor insisted upon using his own system; some relied heavily upon the theories of Rameau, while others used ideas based on eighteenth century German or Italian theorists. The Conservatory administration, realizing the need to unify theoretical instruction into a single method, formed a committee to evaluate the different harmonic systems available. After considering several treatises, including the theories of Rameau, the committee chose the Traité d'harmonie of Catel as the work best suited for their purposes. This investigation deals with Catel's synthesis of various theoretical principles, concentrating on his concise, often simplistic approach to harmonic theory. The major contribution of the Traité is the classification of chords into two categories: "natural harmony" and "artificial harmony." Catel believed that only one chord exists in harmony, the dominant ninth chord, which he derived from the first nine partials of the overtone series. From this chord, he formed the basic triads of "natural harmony," describing these chords as suspensions ("prolongations") of "natural harmony."
Date: December 1982
Creator: George, David Neal
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Lute Music and Related Writings in the Stammbuch of Johann Stobaeus

Description: The Stammbueh or album of Johann Stobaeus, MS Sloane 1021 in the British Library, is dated January 8, 1640. Stobaeus, its owner, was Kapellmeister in Konigsberg, East Prussia. The album contains 164 pieces for ten- or eleven-course lute, including dances, secular pieces with generic titles, and settings of chorale tunes. Other major material includes two short sets of lute instructions; instructions for singers of liturgical music; poems by members of the Komgsberger Diahterkre's; and short rhymes and epigrams, many of which concern the lute. The dissertation presents a complete modern edition of the lute music and lute instructions, with commentary; biographical data concerning Stobaeus, with background material about Konigsberg and East Prussia; a selection of poems and epigrams, featuring all poems concerning the lute; and commentary on the literary material, especially the evidence it provides that the manuscript might have been compiled in its entirety around the written date of 1640, even though the music is old-fashioned.
Date: December 1981
Creator: Arnold, Donna M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

J. F. Daube's "General-Bass in drey Accorden" (1756): A Translation and Commentary

Description: General-Bass in drey Accorden (1756), the first of Johann Friedrich Daube's theoretical works, is a practical instruction manual in thorough-bass accompaniment. It consists of a sixteen page preface followed by 215 pages of text and musical examples. The twelve chapters begin with a presentation of interval classification and a discussion of consonance and dissonance. Daube then explains a theory of harmony in which all "chords" are derived from three primary chords. These are illustrated with regard to their sequence in harmonic progressions, their resolutions—common and uncommon—, and their use in modulation. Seventy-two pages of musical examples of modulations from all major and minor keys to all other keys are included. Particular attention is given to the fully diminished seventh chord, which is illustrated in all inversions and in numerous modulatory progressions. Daube devotes one chapter to three methods of keyboard accompaniment. The subject matter includes textures, dynamics, proper doubling, the accompaniment of recitatives, full-voiced accompaniment, the use of arpeggiation, trills, running passages, and ornamentation in general.
Date: May 1983
Creator: Wallace, Barbara Kees
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Voice of the Composer: Theory and Practice in the Works of Pietro Pontio, Volume 1

Description: The life, music, and theoretical writings of Pietro Pontio (1532-1596) yield considerable insight into questions of theory and practice in the late sixteenth century. The dissertation places Pontio within his musical and cultural milieu, and assesses his role as both theorist and composer. Volume Two presents an annotated works list for Pontio's compositions, transcriptions of archival documents used in the study, and transcriptions of representative musical compositions.
Date: December 1989
Creator: Murray, Russell Eugene
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Voice of the Composer: Theory and Practice in the Works of Pietro Pontio, Volume 2

Description: The life, music, and theoretical writings of Pietro Pontio (1532-1596) yield considerable insight into questions of theory and practice in the late sixteenth century. The dissertation places Pontio within his musical and cultural milieu, and assesses his role as both theorist and composer. Volume Two presents an annotated works list for Pontio's compositions, transcriptions of archival documents used in the study, and transcriptions of representative musical compositions.
Date: December 1989
Creator: Murray, Russell Eugene
Partner: UNT Libraries