Music Theory Online

A Journal of Criticism, Commentary, Research, and Scholarship


Volume 7, Number 5, October 2001
Copyright © 2001 Society for Music Theory

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New Dissertations


Beaudoin, Paul E. "Rhetoric as a Heuristic in the First Movement of Beethoven's Third Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, op. 69." Brandeis University, 2002.

AUTHOR: Beaudoin, Paul E
TITLE: Rhetoric as a Heuristic in the First Movement of Beethoven's Third Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, op. 69
INSTITUTION: Brandeis University
BEGUN: May 1993
COMPLETED: February 2002

ABSTRACT: Using ideas of classical rhetoric and techniques of traditional musical analysis, this dissertation explores the four major compositional efforts of Beethoven in 1808 with particular emphasis on the Third Vcl Sonata. The Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, the "Ghost" trio and the Vcl Sonata all come to some kind of dramatic halt in the temporal flow very early on in the work. In classical rhetoric, this suspension is called "Aposiopesis." The idea of Aposiopesis has resonances thoughout the works and is particularly evident in the Vcl Sonata. Support for the implementation of rhetorical devices is found in Johann Mattheson's Der vollkommene Capellmeister, a treatise that appears to be important throughout much of Beethoven's working life. The dissertation continues by exploring how these rhetorical devices combine with traditional elements of sonata form to create a heightened sense of musical drama.

KEYWORDS: Beethoven, Aposiopesis, Rhetoric, Johann Mattheson

I. The Compositional Problem of 1808

II. Rhetoric and Musical Discourse

III. Large-Scale Design and Synthesis

Paul E. Beaudoin, Ph.D.
59 Brighton Avenue, #5
Allston, MA 02134

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Brass, Christophe. "La basse fondamentale dans le Clavier bien tempéré de J. S. Bach." Université Strasbourg II, 2001.

AUTHOR: Brass, Christophe
TITLE: La basse fondamentale dans le Clavier bien tempéré de J. S. Bach
INSTITUTION: Université Strasbourg II (= Université Marc Bloch)
BEGUN: September 1998
COMPLETED: September 2001

ABSTRACT: The fundamental bass or abstacted mental representation from the lowest note of a triad in the root position is represented by the fundamental note. The fundamental bass is not a theoretical invention but a way of thinking which was elaborated collectively and takes its source in the double melodic and harmonic reality of the interval. The most progress of the fundamental basses can be reduced in the Well-tempered Clavier in primary extensions of the cadence, completed with the addition of fifths over the dominante tonique, and in secondary extensions. The latter are obtained by return on one of the dominants stemming from the primary extension by mean of cadential or mixed progress including two intervals, step motions or decorative progress. The Well-tempered Clavier which addresses the studious youth as well as the more advanced musicans can be then considered as a treaty of composition in a fundamental mentality.

KEYWORDS: Johann Sebastian Bach, wohltemperiertes Klavier, well-tempered Clavier, Clavier bien tempéré, Grundbass, fundamental bass, basse fondamentale.

Chapitre I : Attraction mélodique et harmonique : leur unité dans la basse fondamentale

Chapitre II : Perception consciente et perception intuitive de la basse fondamentale : Rameau et Heinichen

Chapitre III : Des clausulae aux cadences du Clavier bien tempéré

Chapitre IV : Mélodie et basse fondamentale

Chapitre V : Les progressions des basses fondamentales

Chapitre VI : L'accord de quinte augmentée

Chapitre VII : Les valeurs rythmiques des basses fondamentales

Chapitre VIII : Figures de composition et ornements essentiels

Annexe I : Edition des 96 préludes et fugues du Clavier bien tempéré avec toutes les basses fondamentales écrites sous la portée et la mise en évidence de toutes les transitus regulares, irregulares, septièmes et neuvièmes par deux niveaux de gris.

Annexe II : Tableau synoptique de toutes les progressions des basses fondamentales

Dr. Christophe Brass
Rheinbrückstr. 16
D-79713 Bad Säckingen (Germany)
Tel and Fax : (0049) (0)7761 556 841
Mail :

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Brover-Lubovsky, Bella. "Vivaldi's Harmony: Practice and Theory." Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, 2000

AUTHOR: Brover-Lubovsky, Bella
TITLE: Vivaldi's Harmony: Practice and Theory
INSTITUTION: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
BEGUN: November 1994
COMPLETED: October 2000

ABSTRACT: Vivaldi's research describes his harmonic-tonal language as uniformly forward-looking and advanced, in line with other innovatory characteristics of his style. At the same time, an analysis of Vivaldi's tonal structures suggests that the basic parameters of harmonic tonality are not relevant to understanding his tonal processing. A discussion of his harmonic language requires special terms, capable of expressing the intricate process of the establishment of the tonal system.

In the dissertation Vivaldi's tonal and harmonic thinking is discussed through an examination of the large corpus of opening movements from 442 of his concertos.Concertos by other Italian composers are analysed as a control group. The discussion concentrates on the principal parameters of Vivaldi's harmonic language, primary responsible for the long-range organisation of tonal space in concerto opening movement.

The principal conclusion is that in Vivaldi's harmonic idiolect a persistence of modal thinking is closely interwoven with elements of the modern, still uncertain, concept of major-minor tonality.

The intricacy of Vivaldi's harmonic concept would be properly understood only as part of musical-theoretical tradition out of which it emerged. At the same time, Vivaldi's important contribution to the language of harmony, to the establishment of tonality and to the formation of the tonal-harmonic grounds of instrumental composition spurred the development of musical practice and theory.

The treatment of key and tonality in Vivaldi's concertos offers striking parallels to some specific statements found in important German treatises published during the first half of the eighteenth century: Der General-Bass in der Composition (1728) by Heinichen, Das neu-eroeffnete Orchestre (1713) by Mattheson and Grundregeln zur Tonordnung insgemein (1755) by Riepel. Clearly, then, despite the long period of oblivion into which Vivaldi's music fell, it did have a decisive impact on both theoretical writings and practical activity during his time and on posterity.

KEYWORDS: Modal theory, Church keys, Tonality, Zarlino, Gasparini, Heinichen, Riepel, Mattheson, Italian Baroque concerto, tonal plans

Introduction: Vivaldi and the Harmonic Language of his Time

Part One:
Chapter I: Key and Key Definition
Chapter II: Modal Aspects of Key Definition
Chapter III: Modal Shift
Chapter IV: Intermediate Tonic

Part Two:
Chapter V: Theoretical Premises
Chapter VI: Problems of Methodology
Chapter VII: The Decision Process behind the Tonal Unfolding
Chapter VIII: Functional Relationships of Harmonic Degrees within the Tonal Structure

Conclusions: Vivaldi and Contemporary Music Theory

Dr Bella Brover-Lubovsky
Dept of Musicology
Faculty of Humanities
Hebrew University
Mt Scopus 91905
fax and phone: (972)-02-6761229 (home)

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Burkett, Lyn Ellen Thornblad. "Tensile Involvement: Counterpoint and Compositional Pedagogy in the Work of Seeger, Hindemith, and Krenek." Indiana University, 2001.

AUTHOR: Burkett, Lyn Ellen Thornblad
TITLE: Tensile Involvement: Counterpoint and Compositional Pedagogy in the Work of Seeger, Hindemith, and Krenek
INSTITUTION: Indiana University
BEGUN: February 1998
COMPLETED: April 2001

ABSTRACT: Charles Seeger (1886-1979), Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), and Ernst Krenek (1900-1991) all recognized the potential for traditional Fuxian counterpoint to serve as a vehicle for musical experimentation in post-tonal idioms, and developed contrapuntal principles in the course of their creative and pedagogical work. Their writings on counterpoint are distinct from traditional stylistic counterpoint texts in that pedagogical presentations were developed before or during the time that corresponding styles of music were written. The structure and stability provided by the framework of Fuxian counterpoint enabled the three composers to share new compositional approaches with a generation of aspiring young composers.

My study focuses on each of the three composer/theorists as teachers of composition. I examine Charles Seeger's practice of dissonating traditional forms, and his student, Ruth Crawford Seeger's applications of his dissonant contrapuntal principles in her compositions Piano Study in Mixed Accents and Diaphonic Suite No. 1. Hindemith's compositional work procedure in his teaching pieces and in-class compositions, as well as his integration of his own conception of consonance and dissonance with tonal and pre-tonal theory and practice, are discussed in detail. My interpretation of Krenek's Studies in Counterpoint in light of the composer's Catholicism depicts the twelve-tone series presented in stages of manifestation, abstraction, and incorporealization.

In addition to examining Seeger's dissonant counterpoint, Hindemith's freely tonal counterpoint, and Krenek's twelve-tone counterpoint, I situate each composer/theorist's work in contexts of early twentieth-century theory and composition, late twentieth-century theory and analysis, and pre-nineteenth-century musical thought. By viewing their work in a number of different contexts, I portray the tensile involvements between approaches to music theory, composition, and pedagogy in the past, present, and future that shaped their work as teachers, composers, and theorists.

KEYWORDS: history of music theory, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Ludus Tonalis



I. Making up their own rules
Post-Tonal Counterpoint

II. A Vision and a vista
Charles Seeger, Ruth Crawford, and Dissonant Counterpoint

III. At that moment there was counterpoint
Hindemith and Freely Tonal Counterpoint

IV. The faithful listen in
Krenek and Twelve-Tone Counterpoint

V. Scrivo in vento
The Treatises in Context(s)

Appendix A
Selected Writings by Seeger, Hindemith, and Krenek,
Listed According to Topic

Appendix B
Piano Study in Mixed Accents:
Anomalies and Discrepancies in the Palindrome


Lyn Ellen Thornblad Burkett
406 Swan Street
Potsdam, NY 13676

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Hodson, Robert D. "Interaction and Improvisation: Group Interplay in Jazz Performance." University of Wisconsin--Madison, 2000.

AUTHOR: Hodson, Robert D.
TITLE: Interaction and Improvisation: Group Interplay in Jazz Performance
INSTITUTION: University of Wisconsin--Madison
BEGUN: January 1998
COMPLETED: August 2000

ABSTRACT: Most technical writings on jazz focus on improvised lines and their underlying harmonic progressions. These writings often overlook the fact that when one listens to jazz, one almost never hears a single improvised line, but rather a texture, a musical fabric woven by several musicians in real time. An improvised solo is but one thread in that fabric, and it is a thread supported by, responded to, and responsive of the parts being played by the other musicians in the group. This dissertation examines and explores the process of player interaction in jazz and the role this interaction plays in generating improvised music.

In Chapter 1, "Jazz Improvisation: Theory, Analysis, Context and Process," a model of the improvisational process is developed which defines improvisation as a complex activity that combines listening, composing, and performing. Also in this chapter common jazz performance practices are examined, the standard role of each instrument in a small jazz ensemble is defined, and common relationships and interactions between members of the rhythm section are explored. Chapter 2, "Harmony and Interaction," explores the process of harmonic negotiation that takes place in a small-group jazz performance, examining ways that the interaction between musicians can alter or modify the realization of a tune's harmonic progression. Chapter 3, "Form and Interaction," examines ways that musicians play within predefined phrase structures and interact to negotiate the definition of formal boundaries. Finally, Chapter 4, "Breaking Down the Boundaries: Steps Toward Free Jazz," explores performance! s ! that connect "standard-practice" jazz and free jazz by breaking down the constraining factors of prescribed ensemble roles, predefined harmonic progressions, and predetermined formal structures that were examined in Chapters 1-3. The analyses in this chapter show that breaking down these constraints usually requires an increase and intensification in the interaction between players in a small jazz ensemble.

KEYWORDS: jazz, improvisation, interaction, Cannonball Adderley, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker

On the Nature and Analysis of Jazz Improvisation and Performance
Musical Roles and Behaviors
The Bassist
The Drummer
The Pianist
Musical Relationships within the Rhythm Section
Bass and Piano
Bass and Drums
Piano and Drums

Basic Harmonic Interaction
"Making the Changes"
Figuring the Blues
Generating Jazz Harmony
"Rhythm-A-Ning": Jazz Harmony in Performance

Turnarounds and Breaks
Common Forms
Keeping the Form
"Blues by Five": Balancing Formal Definition
"E.S.P.": Going with the Flow

Bill Evans's Autumn Leaves
Miles Davis's Flamenco Sketches
Ornette Coleman's Chronology, Free Jazz, and Ascension

Robert Hodson
Music Department
SUNY - Binghamton
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000

(607) 777-6109

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Lima, Paulo C. "Surface and Structure in the Music of Ernst Widmer: Octatonic Compositional Strategies." Universidade de São Paulo, 2000.

AUTHOR: Lima, Paulo C.
TITLE: Surface and Structure in the Music of Ernst Widmer: Octatonic Compositional Strategies
INSTITUTION: Universidade de São Paulo (USP - Brasil)
BEGUN: Jan, 96
COMPLETED: October 2000

ABSTRACT: This thesis presents research focused on the analysis of octatonic oriented compositions by Ernst Widmer (1927-1990) through analytical procedures derived from the areas of post-tonal and Grundgestalt theories, aiming at the identification of decision making systems involved in the motivic-melodic constructions and other dimensions related to them such as harmonic and spatial planning, texture and form, leading to an understanding of the relationships established between surface and structural levels.

The investigation took as its departing point the Sonata op. 122, Monte Pascoal, for piano solo, and the analytical problems generated by its inspection, which in turn were projected, along with possible answers, to a number of compositions written in the last decade of Widmer’s compositional activity. The set of procedures developed in this phase represent an organic outgrowth of former perspectives, which can be traced back to the fifties and the favored trichords (014) and (025).

The elements of Widmer’s compositional theory recovered through these analyses may represent an important step towards the development of an specific compositional identity, resulting from the interaction of his Swiss background with more than thirty years of immersion in brazilian culture, alongside with the continuos interest in compositional premises such as organicism and relativity.

KEYWORDS: composition,octatonic,cultural identity,Grundgestalt,surface,organicism,aggregate

Rua Sabino Silva 282, Chame-Chame
Salvador 40155-250, Salvador, Ba
0055-71-2355676, 0055-71-3280127 (fax)

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Lowe, Bethany L. "Performance, Analysis, and Interpretation in Sibelius's Fifth Symphony." University of Southampton, 2000.

[This entry is corrected from the last issue]

AUTHOR: Lowe, Bethany L.
TITLE: Performance, Analysis, and Interpretation in Sibelius's Fifth Symphony
INSTITUTION: University of Southampton Music Department, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, England
BEGUN: October 1995
COMPLETION: November 2000

ABSTRACT: The relationship between performance and analysis has been a topic of much debate in recent musicological studies. This thesis addresses this issue from both theoretical and practical perspectives, using the first movement of Sibelius's Fifth Symphony as a case study. The first chapter establishes a conceptual model for the relationship between these two disciplines which incorporates 'interpretation' as an additional, mediatory element. This resolves several ideological and musical problems, and provides a schema for all activities which aim to relate both disciplines. The second chapter explores the reception of Sibelius's Fifth Symphony in a sample of analytical writings, and considers their contrasting structural insights, using an investigation of metaphorical writing. Thus the pertinent structural issues of this piece are established prior to the third chapter, which combines both previous approaches in an analytical investigation of 41 recorded performances of Sibelius's Fifth Symphony. Various methodological and philosophical issues relevant to this discipline are clarified, before the recordings are examined through the tempo outlines which were found through an application of empirical methodology. The structural insights in these recordings are explored and categorised, and the possible connections between these performances, analytical writings, and accompanying programme notes are considered.

KEYWORDS: Sibelius, performance, recording, reception, interpretation, tempo, analysis, Finnish, symphony, orchestral, conductor

Abstract ii
Contents iii
List of examples v
Acknowledgements vii

Introduction 1

Chapter One: Interpretation 5
1.1 Overview 5
1.2 The relation between Analysis and Performance 12
1.3 The Interpretation 31
1.4 Realisation 61

Chapter Two: Analysis 68
2.1 Receptions 68
2.2 Analysis of Sibelius's Fifth Symphony, first movement 70
2.3 The blind men and the elephant? 81
2.4 Metaphor and learning 86
2.5 The analysts 104

Chapter Three: Performance 131
3.1 Introduction to Performance Analysis 131
3.2 One-movement Interpretations 187
3.3 Two-movement Interpretations 204
3.4 Other structural traditions 226
3.5 Local features 235
3.6 Programme notes 246
3.7 Summary 268

Appendix 1: On the 1915 and 1916 versions of the Symphony 271
Appendix 2: On the movement division at bar 106, and the structure of the 'scherzo' 275
Appendix 3: Discography 280
Appendix 4: Set of Reference Graphs 282
Appendix 5: Update following the publication of the revised New Grove dictionary 324


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Wacker, Lori J. "Motivic Form and Rhythmic Function in the Late Works of S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté (1899-1974)." Indiana University, 2000.

AUTHOR: Wacker, Lori J.
TITLE: Motivic form and rhythmic function in the late works of S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté (1899-1974)
INSTITUTION: Indiana University
BEGUN: April 1996
COMPLETED: December 2000

ABSTRACT: Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté was an accomplished composer, pianist, and violinist. She was born in Moscow, then studied at the Paris Conservatory before establishing her career in Berlin and later in Vienna. The works from her last creative period, written after she relocated in 1953 to Winnipeg, Canada, are some of her most virtuosic and engaging. They have a unique and well-developed musical language, particularly in their rhythmic and motivic structures, yet the novelty and complexity of this music can be challenging for even an experienced listener to comprehend.

In this study I draw on two analytical concepts to characterize the construction of Eckhardt-Gramatté's late works: "motivic form" describes a formal process of ordering and relating two or more motives with varying functions; particular "rhythmic functions"--initiative, reactive, anticipative, or conclusive--are qualities given to motives and larger durational units that create motion, grouping, and closure. The patterning of rhythmic functions in the context of a motivic form shapes the music's linear direction.

To demonstrate these concepts I analyze three movements from Eckhardt-Gramatté's late chamber works, each featuring a specific rhythmic-metric device. In the first movement of the String Quartet No. 3 (1964), motivic form emerges in relation to a sequence of meter signatures she called a "bar row," and in distinctive groupings in the composite rhythm. In the second movement of the same string quartet, repeated melodic contours relate phrase groupings of varying length against a fixed pitch-rhythmic ostinato. In the Woodwind Quintet (1963), bar rows also appear in the fourth movement but they do not always coincide with the presentation of motivic patterns. Instead, the function and ordering of analogous sections creates a balanced formal design despite differences in length or motivic content.

By understanding how Eckhardt-Gramatté works out the relationship and function of motives as part of an unfolding formal process, the listener can better experience the dynamic character of this music.

KEYWORDS: analysis, motive, form, rhythm, meter, Canadian music, woman composers

1. Introduction and biographical sketch of S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté

2. Compositional development

3. Development and precendents for bar rows

4. Theoretical and analytical perspectives: motivic form and rhythmic function

5. String Quartet No. 3 (1964), Movement I: "Varied note patterns on bar rows"

6. String Quartet No. 3, Movement II: "...made with a pattern of four notes"

7. Woodwind Quintet (1963), Movement IV: Note groups and bar rows

8. Conclusion

Lori J Wacker
600 S. Elm St.
Greenville, NC 27858

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