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An Analytical Study of Paradox and Structural Dualism in the Music of Ludwig van Beethoven

Description: Beethoven's rich compositional language evokes unique problems that have fueled scholarly dialogue for many years. My analyses focus on two types of paradoxes as central compositional problems in some of Beethoven's symphonic pieces and piano sonatas. My readings of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 27 (Op. 90), Symphony No. 4 (Op. 60), and Symphony No. 8 (Op. 93) explore the nature and significance of paradoxical unresolved six-four chords and their impact on tonal structure. I consider formal-tonal paradoxes in Beethoven's Tempest Sonata (Op. 31, No. 2), Ninth Symphony (Op. 125), and Overture die Weihe des Hauses (Op. 124). Movements that evoke formal-tonal paradoxes retain the structural framework of a paradigmatic interrupted structure, but contain unique voice-leading features that superimpose an undivided structure on top of the "residual" interrupted structure. Carl Schachter's observations about "genuine double meaning" and his arguments about the interplay between design and tonal structure in "Either/Or" establish the foundation for my analytical approach to paradox. Timothy Jackson's reading of Brahms' "Immer leiser word meine Schlummer" (Op. 105, No. 2) and Stephen Slottow's "Von einem Kunstler: Shapes in the Clouds" both clarify the methodology employed here. My interpretation of paradox involves more than just a slight contradiction between two Schenkerian readings; it involves fundamentally opposed readings, that both result from valid, logical lines of analytical reasoning. In my view, paradoxes could be considered a central part of Beethoven's persona and philosophy. Beethoven's romantic endeavors and his relationships with mentors suggest that paradoxes might have been central to his bravura. Furthermore, Beethoven's familiarity with the politics of the French Revolution and Shakespearean literature suggest that paradoxes in some pieces (including the Ninth Symphony) could be metaphorical representations of his ideology. However, I do not attempt to explicitly link specific style features to extra-musical ideas. Modern Schenkerian scholars continue to expand ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Graf, Benjamin Stewart
Partner: UNT Libraries

Formal Organization in Ground-bass Compositions

Description: This thesis examines formal organization in ground-bass works. While it is true that many or even most works of the ground-bass repertoire are variation sets over a ground, there also exist many ground-bass works that are not in variation form. The primary goal of this thesis is to elucidate the various ways in which such non-variation formal organizations may be achieved. The first chapter of this work discusses the general properties of ground basses and various ways that individual phrases may be placed in relation to the statements of the ground. The second chapter considers phrases groupings, phrase rhythm, and the larger formal organizations that result. The third chapter concludes this study with complete analyses of Purcell’s “When I am laid in earth” from Dido and Aeneas and Delanade’s “Jerusalem, convertere ad dominum Deum tuum” from his setting of the Leçons de ténèbres.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Stevens, Bryan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Aesthetics of Minimalist Music and a Schenkerian-Oriented Analysis of the First Movement "Opening" of Philip Glass' Glassworks

Description: Philip Glass' Glassworks (1981) is a six-movement composition for two flutes, two soprano saxophones/clarinets, two tenor saxophones/bass clarinets, two French horns, violas, cellos, and the DX7 electric piano. Glassworks consists of six movements titled "Opening," "Floe," "Island," "Rubric," "Facades," and "Closing." This thesis covers the first movement "Opening." Repetition in musical minimalism confronts traditional prescriptive codes of tonal music and post-tonal music. While challenging the traditional codes, repetition in musical minimalism established new codes for listening to minimal music. This thesis explores the implications of these ideas.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Wu, Chia-Ying
Partner: UNT Libraries

Jacques Ibert: an Analytical Study of Three Movements From Histoires

Description: Although many biographical studies are available on Jacques Ibert, few contain significant analytical commentary. In this study I examine three movements from Ibert’s Histoires for piano which was composed between 1920 and 1921 and was premiered in 1923. The three movements are “La menuese de tortues d’or,” “Le petit âne blanc,” and “La marchande d’eau fraîche.” I primarily use Schenkerian analysis to identify characteristics of Ibert’s compositional language. Significant aspects of impressionism and Debussian influence are also identified as related elements to my analysis. Many expected elements of Schenkerian theory are absent in Histoires. The conclusions of this study are consistent with those of other analysts who apply Schenkerian methodology to impressionist music such as Richard Parks, Adele Katz, Felix Salzer, and Edward Laufer.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Waldroup, William Allan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op.43; Analysis and Discourse

Description: This dissertation on Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op.43 is divided into four parts: 1) historical background and the state of the sources, 2) analysis, 3) semantic issues related to analysis (discourse), and 4) performance and analysis. The analytical study, which constitutes the main body of this research, demonstrates how Rachmaninoff organically produces the variations in relation to the theme, designs the large-scale tonal and formal organization, and unifies the theme and variations as a whole. The selected analytical approach is linear in orientation - that is, Schenkerian. In the course of the analysis, close attention is paid to motivic detail; the analytical chapter carefully examines how the tonal structure and motivic elements in the theme are transformed, repeated, concealed, and expanded throughout the variations. As documented by a study of the manuscripts, the analysis also facilitates insight into the genesis and structure of the Rhapsody. How Rachmaninoff develops his ideas through several notebooks - including sketches and drafts - is described. Later parts of the dissertation deal with programmatic aspects of the Rhapsody. Related to the composer's significant use of the Dies Irae melody, semantic issues concerning "love and death" are taken into account and closely related to the specific structure of the piece. Rachmaninoff's symphonic poem, The Isle of the Dead, is a work which bears some intriguing resemblances to the Rhapsody in its larger structure as well as its ideology. Therefore, an interpretation of this work is provided to show the special relationship between the two pieces. The last chapter presents a discussion of two recordings of the Rhapsody by Rachmaninoff and Moiseiwitsch made in 1934 and 1938 respectively. Comparing and contrasting the different interpretations of each variation in these two historical recordings, this concluding part of the study explores ways in which analysis can ...
Date: May 2004
Creator: Kang, Heejung
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sibelius's Seventh Symphony: Genesis, Design, Structure, and Meaning

Description: This study explores Sibelius's last and, perhaps, most enigmatic Symphony from historical (source-critical), Schenkerian, and transtextual perspectives. Through a detailed study of its genesis, musical architecture, and meaning, the author maintains that the Seventh, its composer, and its generative process, can best be understood as a series of verges: conceptual points of interaction between two or more forces. Verges between Sibelius's nature mysticism and the dramatic biographical circumstances of the period (1914-1924), between inspired and reasoned modes of composition, between genres (symphony and fantasy), between various form types, between tragic despair and hopeful yearning, between innovation and classicism, and between a host of other seeming oppositions, all define the Seventh Symphony and illuminate various facets of the composer's life and thought.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Pavlak, F. William
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Fundamental Unity in Brahm's Horn Trio, Op. 40

Description: Different sections or movements of a piece are associated with each other and contain the composer essential thought. A vague affinity of mood and a resembling theme or form testifies to the relationship. However, the evidence is insufficient to reveal the unification of the different sections or movements since these are under restraint of external music proofs. In order to figure out the relationship, thus, identical musical substance should be discovered. In the study the substantial evidence, which can be called unity or unification, is mainly discussed. The unity is illustrated with Brahms's Horn Trio, Op.40 that is one of the Brahms's significant works. The unity found in the Horn Trio is based on the internal structure and structural voice-leading notes. The unity in the Horn Trio is the fundamental structural unity that is divided into initial ascent and voice exchange, and fundamental voice-leading motive. The fundamental unity seriously affects the master piece and penetrates the movements as a whole. Further, it reveals the hidden connections to the historical background of the Horn Trio and the philosophy of Brahms for the music. Even though a piece consists of several sections or movements, the entire piece presents homogeneity. The identity of the composer's underlying philosophical thought suffices to discern the musical unity in a piece. Thus, the investigation of unity is one of the critical ways to understand not merely a piece but also the philosophy of a composer. The study will help to enhance the audience's interpretation of music.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Kim, JongKyun
Partner: UNT Libraries