The purpose of the thesis is to analyze formally, harmonically and melodically the five movements of the suite both as separate movements and inclusively as one cohesive unit. The thesis will be written in three parts: Part One will include a biographical sketch of the composer, a general discussion of his music, background information on the suite and Dett's antecedents and contemporaries influencing him. Part Two will discuss the following: A) Form, B) Harmonic Analysis, and C) Melodic Analysis and the influences of black folk idioms. Part Three will include the keyboard music of Dett's contemporaries as compared to his suite in terms of their contrasts and similarities.
The term ballade is the French and German spelling of the English word "ballad" and the Italian ballata. Although each of these terms is derived from the Latin ballare, meaning "to dance," each denotes an entirely different meaning. The synonomous usage of these terms is definitely misleading (1,p. 67), Frederic Chopin, 1810-1849, was first to use this term as a title for piano compositions. The purpose of this study is to reveal the formal characteristics of each of the four ballades that Chopin wrote for solo piano and to determine,through a comparison of the similarities and differences, some identifying characteristics of a ballade. These characteristics will be illustrated through a formal analysis of each ballade.
Ernst Krenek is noted and often criticized for the diversity of his overall output. However, one finds that his entire output is held together by a unique temperament regardless of stylistic changes. It is significant to compare the piano works to one another as the piano was the instrument he repeatedly turned to while testing new stylistic ideas. In writing about Krenek's music, Glenn Gould states eloquently and concisely that three qualities prevail in all of Krenek's mature output: the lyric, elegiac, and euphonic. These qualities are present in the early Toccata und Chaconne uber den Chorale, "Ja, ich glaub an Jesum Christum," Op. 13. It is lyrical in that melody is of utmost importance. One finds that melodic writing prevails in the other piano works as well regardless of when they were written. The elegiac also permeates the work. The Toccata and Chaconne shares with other later works this quality of seriousness, repose, and deep meaning. The Toccata and Chaconne is also euphonic. Krenek's overall style is one which does not shock or offend an audience. In a detailed comparison of the Toccata and Chaconne to later piano works, one may clearly see what Krenek specifically does musically to create this sense of the lyric, elegiac and euphonic in his overall output.
This study demonstrated that the piano, a typical Western instrument, became the Chinese composer's tool for expressing the sound ideals and tone qualities that are intrinsic to Chinese music. A new musical idiom was created in these piano compositions, an idiom that combined Western compositional techniques and traditionally-based Chinese ideals.
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