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Seven Early Songs of Arnold Schoenberg from the Nachod Collection

Description: Arnold Schoenberg viewed himself as an extension of the German Romantic tradition. Schoenberg's early unpublished songs prove his indebtedness to nineteenth century music, but they also show a great deal that is strictly Schoenbergian. This paper investigates the musical elements that Schoenberg assimilated from tradition, especially from the great Lied tradition of the nineteenth century. lements that may be associated with his later works are also investigated, namely the 2rundgestalt principle, and his use of the "primal cell," a trichord set that appears in works of all his periods. This paper shows how these elements are manifested in seven early songs. These songs are from the Nachod collection, an assemblage of correspondence and early unpublished music manuscripts by Schoenberg. This collection is owned by North Texas State University.
Date: December 1980
Creator: Russom, Philip Wade
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

An Application of Grundgestalt Theory in the Late Chromatic Music of Chopin: a Study of his Last Three Polonaises

Description: The late chromatic music of Chopin is often difficult to analyze, particularly with a system of Roman numerals. The study examines Schoenberg's Grundgestalt concept as a strategy for explaining Chopin's chromatic musical style. Two short Chopin works, Nocturne in E-flat major. Op. 9, No. 2, and Etude in E major, Op. 10, No. 3, serve as models in which the analytic method is formulated. Root analysis, in the manner of eighteenth-century theorist Simon Sechter, is utilized to facilitate harmonic analysis of chromatic passages. Based upon the analytic method developed, the study analyzes the last three polonaises of Chopin: Polonaise in F-sharp minor, Op. 44, Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53, and Polonaise-Fantasie in A-flat major, Op. 61. The Grundgestalt-based analysis shows harmonic, melodic and rhythmic connections in order to view Chopin's chromaticism and formal structure from a new perspective. With this approach, the chromaticism is viewed as essential to the larger form.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Spicer, Mark Joseph
Partner: UNT Libraries