Volume 8, Number 2, August 2002
Copyright © 2002 Society for Music Theory

New Dissertations


Berry, David Carson. "Stravinsky's 'Skeletons': Reconnoitering the Evolutionary Paths from Variation Sets to Serialism." Yale University, March 2002.

AUTHOR: Berry, David Carson

TITLE: Stravinsky's "Skeletons": Reconnoitering the Evolutionary Paths from Variation Sets to Serialism

INSTITUTION: Yale University

BEGUN: December, 1998

COMPLETED: March, 2002

ABSTRACT: Igor Stravinsky's (1882-1971) eight theme-and-variation sets are stylistically quite diverse, and many of the variations initially seem to have oblique relations to their themes. How, then, might one describe his techniques? The composer himself summarized them by saying that he regarded a theme as a "melodic skeleton." But in what ways can this metaphor be interpreted? Following foundational comments in Chapter 1, each of the next four chapters demonstrates a distinct way in which Stravinsky's "melodic skeletons" are instantiated in variation sets. I consider not only the topical procedures themselves, but also their precedents in the history of Western music, and interpretive strategies appropriate to them.

In Chapter 2, I explore *isomelism*, a process by which an established (thematic) pc sequence is maintained, allowing for possible transposition, but rhythms and register/contour can vary. In Chapter 3, I explore *cardinal-event relations*, a process by which the "essential" elements (or motives) of an established pc sequence retain their ordering while less-essential events are deleted or new events are interpolated in between. In Chapter 4, I explore *pc-event invariances*, a process by which the pc-specific "events" of a musical passage (its motives, harmonies, etc.) are retained in their general, individual forms, but are recombined to fashion an ostensibly "new" structure. In Chapter 5, I consider new possibilities for variation practice that emerged within Stravinsky's serial works, due to his derivation of pitch materials by tracing various pathways through rotational-transpositional arrays. What the derived sets have in common is their networks of internal interrelations. As this foundational similarity is based on the systemic dispositions of these groups, it will be termed a *systemorphic* relation.

Finally, because certain attributes of composing with "skeletons" is evocative of serial practices, and because Stravinsky turned to serialism late in life, Chapter 6 offers the dissertation's illation, in which I argue that the techniques that formed the foundation of Stravinsky's theme-and-variation practice were also an ideal basis for primary characteristics of his serial practice. My interpretations proceed in accordance with a concept from evolutionary biology termed "preadaptation," which posits that form and function do not necessarily undergo changes of the same magnitude. I.e., variation techniques may come to function as serial techniques, with the conservation of many systemic attributes.

KEYWORDS: Stravinsky, variation, serialism, rotational arrays, evolution

VOL. I (Text):
Conventions of this Dissertation.
Chapter I: Introduction.
Chapter II: Isomelism.
Chapter III: Cardinal-Event Relations.
Chapter IV: Pc-Event Invariances.
Chapter V: Rotational-Array Pathways and Systemorphic Variations.
Chapter VI: New Uses for Old Bones: The Evolutionary Paths from Skeletons to Serialism.
Works Cited.
VOL. II (Figures)

Yale University, Dept. of Music
143 Elm St. / P.O. Box 208310
New Haven, CT 06520-8310

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Boland, Marguerite, M. "The All-Trichord Hexachord: Compositional Strategies in Elliott Carter's ‘Con Leggerezza’ and ‘Gra’". La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, December 1999.

AUTHOR: Boland, Marguerite M

TITLE: The All-Trichord Hexachord: Compositional Strategies in Elliott Carter's "Con Leggerezza" and "Gra".

INSTITUTION: La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

BEGUN: March, 1995

COMPLETED: December, 1999

ABSTRACT: The central objective of the thesis is to develop ways of understanding Elliott Carter's approach to pitch organization and in particular his use of the All-Trichord Hexachord (ATH) in "Con leggerezza Pensosa" and "Gra". The first chapter sets out some analytical problems associated with pitch analysis of Carter's music and then turns to Carter's own comments on his musical aims, translating them into compositional techniques. An analytical approach is developed in which it is argues that the pitch organization in Carter's music is the result not of the application of a single pitch system, but rather of a general compostional aesthetic in which pitch, rhythm and texture combine to create varying degrees of sonic cohesion.

The second chapter presents a detailed analysis of "Con Leggerezza Pensosa", segmenting the piece according to a number of textural divisions and associated harmonic materials. It illustrates how the ATH creates a clear harmonic focus in maximally cohesive textures and then recedes or vanishes in textures where musical streams are more differentiated.

By contrast, "Gra" makes use of the ATH as a single source for the entire pitch material of the piece. Although the ATH is used differently in "Gra", the subsequent analysis consolidates the analytical approach to pitch developed above. It is argued that choice of set succession, registral distribution, partitioning and large-scale disposition of pitch class sets are still determined by the interaction of pitch, rhythm and textural structures rather than properties of the ATH alone. As in "Con Leggerezza Pensosa", the analysis of "Gra" illustrates how the overall musical syntax is based on varying degrees of sonic cohesion.

KEYWORDS: pitch, analysis, Elliott Carter, all-trichord hexachord.

1. Defining an Analytical Approach to Carter’s Pitch Organization
1.1 Unifying Harmonies: Some Analytical Considerations
1.2 Aspects of Carter’s Compositional Aesthetic
1.3 Strategies for Pitch Organization
1.4 Carter’s use of the All-Trichord Hexachord as ‘Key Chord’
2. Functions of the All-Trichord Hexachord in “Con Leggerezza Pensosa”
2.1 Formal Design: The All-Trichord Hexachord in the Context of Textural/Rhythmic Structures
2.2 The ATH at Points of Sonic Cohesion
2.3 The Role of Aggregate Formation in ‘Degrees of Cohesion’
2.4 Dissolution of the ATH
2.5 Conclusion: The ATH and its interaction with Multiple Structures
3. All-Trichord Hexachord Saturation in “Gra”
3.1 Formal design and Character-types in “Gra”
3.2 The “Field of Operations” in the Opening Passage
3.3 Expansion of the Legato Character-type
3.4 ATH-invarient Features in the Closing Passage
3.5 Contrasting “Patterns of Action”
4. Conclusion

Marguerite Boland
24 Rosemount Street
Sinnamon Park
Queensland 4073

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Cornicello, Anthony M. "Timbral Organization in Tristan Murail's 'Désintégrations' and 'Rituals.'" Brandeis University, May 2000.

AUTHOR: Cornicello, Anthony M.

TITLE: Timbral Organization in Tristan Murail's "Désintégrations" and "Rituals"

INSTITUTION: Brandeis University

BEGUN: September, 1999

COMPLETED: May, 2000

ABSTRACT: In this dissertation, I present a study of the harmonic and timbral structures found in Désintégrations by French composer Tristan Murail. Murail is one of the founders of spectral music, a musical style that emerged in France during the 1970s. In this study, I demonstrate how the harmonic and timbral elements in Désintégrations are fused and have a direct influence on the structure of the work.

Chapter 1 begins with an introduction to spectral music. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a clear definition of spectral music, and to investigate the music and technological advances that stimulated the musical style. The works of Debussy, Varèse, Ligeti, and Scelsi are examined for their contributions to spectral music, focusing specifically on their utilization of timbre. An overview of the technological contributions to spectral music is presented in the second half of the chapter. In this portion of the chapter, I explore computer music techniques and show the influence computers have had on spectral music.

Chapter 2 is a study of the timbral elements of Désintégrations. Timbre, in the form of the timbre-chord, plays an important role on the foreground, middleground, and background levels of the work. In the first half of Chapter 2, each section of Désintégrations is analyzed for its timbral development. In the remaining section of Chapter 2, it is demonstrated how Murail’s utilization of timbral transformations has shaped the middle and background levels of the work. There is also an investigation of the spectral classification, large-scale fundamental (root) motion, and rhythmic usage in Désintégrations. In the final portion of the paper, it is established that all these elements are used in combination to create the formal articulations of the piece.

KEYWORDS: spectral music, murail, french music, 20th-century music, electro-acoustic, 20th-century analysis/theory.

Part One: Historic Influences on Spectral Music or a Mini-history of timbre 6
Debussy 12
Varèse 16
Ligeti 21 Scelsi 25
Part Two: Technological Influences on Spectral Music 32
Acoustic studies 33
Electronic and Computer Music Techniques 34
Additive Synthesis 35
Filtering, or Subtractive Synthesis 38
Modulation Synthesis 40
IRCAM’S Influence 46
Other influences on spectral music 48
A Foreground Analysis of Désintégrations 54
Section I 55
Section II 62
Section III 66
Section IV 73
Section V 78
Section VI 80
Section VII 86
Section VIII 89
Section IX 92
Section X 95
Section XI 98
Summary of the Foreground Analysis 102
Form and Structure 103
Large Scale Relationships in Désintégrations 111
The signification of spectral use 112
Rhythm and duration 116
Large-Scale Pitch Concerns 119
Timbral Organization in Désintégrations 121
Murail’s Importance to Spectral Music 130
Murail’s Musical Direction after Désintégrations 132

Anthony Cornicello
80 Brace Road
West Hartford, CT 06107
phone: (860) 313-0602
fax: (860) 313-0616

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Dudeque, Norton, E. "Music Theory and Analysis in the Writings of Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)." University of Reading (UK), 2002.

AUTHOR: Dudeque, Norton, E.

TITLE: Music Theory and Analysis in the Writings of Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)

INSTITUTION: University of Reading (UK)

BEGUN: January, 1998

COMPLETED: April, 2002

ABSTRACT: Arnold Schoenberg’s theory of music has been much discussed. However, I believe that Schoenberg’s approach to music theory needs a new assessment, both historical and theoretical, in order to provide a clearer picture of his contributions to music theory and analysis. From this general premise, I will address four main topics, which I believe may provide an accurate view of Schoenberg’s work as a theorist.

First, Schoenberg advocated the continuation of the German tradition of music. He also believed that his inheritance of this tradition granted him the authority to evaluate music critically. Naturally, music theory played an important role in this argumentation, and his inheritance of past music theory also endorsed his alleged link to that tradition. In the second topic, I will explore Schoenberg’s refutation of past and contemporary approaches to music theory. In this rejection rests his main claim towards the need of a new systematic presentation of music theory in which aesthetic and stylistic issues should be avoided. These aspects are addressed according to Schoenberg’s theoretical disagreements with Schenker and Riemann. The systematisation of Schoenberg’s tonal-harmonic theory, and thematic-development theory is the third topic. It reveals that Schoenberg’s proposed system of presentation refutes past music theory and aesthetic issues; however, it presents a common g! ro! und with contemporary and past music theories. Fourthly, the application of Schoenberg’s analytical ideas is tested in an essay about theme-and-variations form; the works considered are Schoenberg’s Variationen from the Serenade Op. 24 and Beethoven’s ‘Diabelli Variations’. Finally, the glossary of terms is a compilation of Schoenberg’s definitions of several of his terms and analytical tools; they are complemented with a few of my own.

music theory and analysis, Schoenberg, grundgestalt, developing variation, systematization of music theory and analysis, music theory inheritance, Schoenberg and Schenker, Schoenberg and Riemann.

1. Schoenberg’s Project of Music Theory
2. Schoenberg’s Teaching and Music Analysis
3. Outline and Research Argumentation
4. Objectives and Contribution to the Area
I. Schoenberg’s Inheritance of Nineteenth-Century Music Theory
1. Introduction
2. Form
3. Schoenberg’s Debt to Sechter
4. Substitution as Historical Argument
5. Counterpoint
6. Conclusions
II. The Speculative and Polemical Content of Schoenberg’s Tonal Theory
1. Introduction
2. The Rejection of Tonality as Natural Law
3. Consonance, Dissonance, and the Emancipation of the Dissonance
4. Theoretical Polemics I: Non-Harmonic Notes—Schoenberg and Schenker
5. Theoretical Polemics II: Riemann Contra Schoenberg
5.1 Counterpoint and Linear Counterpoint: Riemann, Kurth, and Schoenberg
5.2 Functional Theory: Riemann and Schoenberg, Historical Inheritance and Theoretical Disagreement
5.3 Graphic Representations of Tonal Space, Historical Inheritance and Disagreement
6. Conclusions
III. A Contribution towards a Systematic Presentation of Tonal Harmony
1. Introduction
2. Root Function
2.1 Root Progressions (1)
3. Substitution as the Source for Transformed Chords
4. Transformation of Chords
4.1 The Notation of Transformed Chords
4.2 Transformations of Chords
5. Interchangeability of Major and Minor
6. Multiple Meaning and Vagrant Chords
7. Diatonicism, Chromaticism, and Enriched Cadence
8. The Enriched Cadence
9. Root Progressions (2)—Progression and Succession
10. Regions — Regions and Intermediary Regions
10.1 Regions
10.2 Intermediary Regions
10.3 Classification of Regions
11. Monotonality
12. New Resources – The Whole-Tone Scale and Fourth Chords
13. Fluctuating and Suspended Tonality—Towards the Abandonment of Monotonality
14. Conclusions
IV. A Contribution towards a Systematic Presentation of the Technique ofThematic Development
1. Introduction
2. Grundgestalt and the Unity of Music
2.1 The Concept and its Definitions
2.2 Interpretations of the Grundgestalt
3. Developing Variation (1)
3.1 Motive, Gestalt and Phrase, Sentence and Period
3.2 Stable and Loose Formation
4. Developing Variation (2)
4.1 Formal Procedures and Continuity
4.2 The Extension of Musical Structures
4.2.1 Connecting Techniques (Anschluss-Technik)
4.2.2 Model and Sequence
4.3 Formal Closures
4.3.1 Liquidation and Dissolution
4.3.2 Condensation – Intensification (Steigerung)
4.3.3 Reduction
4.3.4 Formal Closure and The Tendency of the Smallest Notes
5. Developing Variation (3)
6. Conclusions
V. Analyses
1. Introduction
2. Serenade Op. 24/iii—Variationen.
3. Beethoven’s ‘Diabelli Variations’
3.1 Theme or Grundgestalt?
3.2 Motivic Content of the Theme
3.3 Development of the Grundgestalt
3.4 ‘Motives of Variations’
3.5 Grouping Variations: the Tendency of the Smallest Notes
4. Conclusions
VI. Concluding Remarks
VII. Glossary of Terms
1. Introduction
1.1 Tonality
1.2 Form
1.2.1 Formal Procedures
1.3 General Concepts
VIII. Bibliographic References
1. Arnold Schoenberg’s Writings
2. General Bibliography

R. Pe. Agostinho, 2677/15
Curitiba PR Brazil

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Kochavi, Jonathan, H. "Contextually Defined Musical Transformations." SUNY - Buffalo, 2002.

AUTHOR: Kochavi, Jonathan, H.

TITLE: Contextually Defined Musical Transformations


BEGUN: September, 1998

COMPLETED: April, 2002

ABSTRACT: Traditional approaches to musical analysis are object-oriented, whether those objects are harmonic triads, collections or orderings of pitch classes, rhythmic patterns, or other discrete sets of basic musical building blocks. As the focus of analytical models has gradually shifted from the object to the transformation over the past two decades, structural representations of musical progression have relied heavily on the standard twelve-tone operators, Tn and In. While powerful in their wide-ranging applicability, the operators’ abstraction limits their usefulness in situations where the transformational scheme is structurally linked to the objects that are being transformed. This study investigates a category of operators, called contextually defined transformations, that bridge the gap between analytical approaches that concentrate primarily on musical objects and those that are rooted in fully abstract mappings.

Two broad classes of contextual transformation are formally defined, mathematically investigated, and analytically applied. Contextually defined inversion operators generalize the standard In inversions with particular modes of transformation based both on the properties of the set class and the way that the elements of the set class are used in a composition. Special attention is paid to the neo-Riemannian operators, each of which is an example of a contextual inversion. The other category of contextual transformation explored here is the sequence succession operator, most often a contextual transposition, which is applied to diatonic sequences. Formal treatment of such operators leads to a general metric on tonal progressions based on degree of parsimony. Detailed analyses of Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Radiohead serve to demonstrate applications of contextual transformations.

KEYWORDS: contextual, transformation, neo-Riemannian operator, diatonic sequence, mathematics, group theory, In Memoriam Dylan Thomas, Radiohead, Mass in C (Beethoven)

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Contextually Defined Inversion Operators
Chapter 3. Analytical Applications of Contextually Defined Inversions
Chapter 4. Parsimony and Contextuality of Diatonic Sequences
Chapter 5. Extended Analysis: Beethoven’s Mass in C, Op. 86, Gloria

915 Harvard Avenue, Apt. 1301
Swarthmore, PA 19081
(610) 604-4689

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Laine, Pauli A. "A Method for Musical Motion Patterns." University of Helsinki, April 2000. University of Helsinki, April 2000.

AUTHOR: Laine, Pauli A.

TITLE: A Method for Musical Motion Patterns

INSTITUTION: University of Helsinki

BEGUN: July, 1994

COMPLETED: April, 2000

ABSTRACT: It is commonly assumed that music consist of separate elements of rhythm, melody and harmony. In examination from generative viewpoint it is possible to see the necessity of the integration of some of the elements. The view is adopted here in which the musical rhythm consist not only of the timing of the events, but also of pitched repeating patterns of elements. It is assumed here that these patterns are result of real or imagined playing movements of the musician. Therefore these patterns are called musical motion patterns in this study. A new method is presented by which it is possible to simulate the musical motion patterns. The method is based on the use of simulated artificial motor neurons connected to form mutually inhibited pairs (MINN). In living systems similarly connected motor neurons form semi-autonomously oscillating systems. These connections are important in wholly or partially non-conscious movements like heartbeat or walking, and contributing also to the aforementioned generation of musical motion patterns of living musicians. The MINN-method is combined with conventional AI-methods so as to make possible the mapping of the generated virtual motion patterns to musical parameters, like pitch or note onset time. Results generated with MINN-method are converted to conventional music notation and compared to movement pattern excerpts found in music of J.S. Bach and L. van Beethoven. The comparison and analysis show that it is possible to generate plausible imitations of musical motion patterns with MINN-method. In the conclusion the applications of the new method in the areas of musicology and computer assisted music composition are discussed.

KEYWORDS: pattern generation, rhythm modelling, algorithmic composition, movement in music

1.1 Related disciplines referred to in this study 6
1.2 Structure of this study 6
- PART 1 - 8
1. Musical motion patterns 8
1.1 Some defining remarks about musical motion patterns 9
1.2 Examples of musical motion patterns 17
1.2 Some music theoretical concepts close to MMP 27
1.3 Features of musical motion patterns 28
2. Music theoretical background 30
2.1 Music analytical theory 30
2.2 Gino Stefani's rhythm theory 31
3 Theories concerning musical movement and motion patterns 34
3.1 Theories about music and rhythm perception 34
3.2 Music imagery, motion and time 35
3.3 Some remarks about improvisation 39
4. Formalized music algorithms 42
4.1 Theoretical background of formalized music algorithms 42
4.2. Formalized modelling methods used in algorithmic music research 43
5. Cognitively oriented algorithms 57
5.1 Studies of musical cognition 57
5.2 Introduction to computational connectionism in music research 58
5.2 Connectionism as a music programming method 62
6. Simulation of pattern generators 67
6.1 Rhythm and pattern generators 67
6.2 Pattern generator simulators 69
- PART 2 -
7. The MINN model 78
7.1 Required features of the model 78
7.2 Main features of the model 79
7.3 Computer implementation 85
7.5 Representing different neural connections using the 'minncl' class 87
7.6 Effect of the parameters 89
7.7 Changing the impulse strength 94
7.8. Visualization and output 94
7.9. Post-processing the time series using music stylistic rules 95
8. Experiments 100
8.1 Interpreting the visual output from the MINN model 100
8.2 Experiments 102
9. Interpreting the results of experiments 137
9.1 Interpreting the results 140
10. Discussion 164
11. Further research and final conclusion 166

Pauli Laine
Mäenrinne 3 E 38
SF-02160 Espoo

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Maxile, Jr., Horace J. "Say What?: Topics, Signs, and Signification in African American Music." Louisiana State University, October 2001.

AUTHOR: Maxile, Jr., Horace J.

TITLE: Say What?: Topics, Signs, and Signification in African American Music

INSTITUTION: Louisiana State University

BEGUN: February, 1999

COMPLETED: October, 2001

ABSTRACT: Expressivity lies at the heart of the African-American musical experience. The cultural history of African-Americans is reflected in oral and written musical traditions. Social, religious, and other aspects of the culture are readily recognized in expressive devices unique to African-American music. The purpose of this study is to illustrate how the distinctive elements and musical traditions of African-Americans provide essential insights for detailed analyses of expression in African-American music.

The works of two scholars, Samuel A. Floyd and V. Kofi Agawu, are central to this study. Floyd’s The Power of Black Music is important because it identifies the social and cultural climates within which African-American musical traditions evolved and locates the authentic tropes of the core culture. In Playing with Signs, Agawu expands the semiotic theory of topics (a theory used to read expressive and referential signs) and formulates a union of musical expression and formal design. By combining aspects of Floyd’s and Agawu’s aims and approaches, this study seeks richer interpretations of the expressive power of selected works by African-American composers.

The aim of the present study is to adapt Agawu’s theory of topics to the study of expression in music of African-American composers. In conjunction with conventional analytical methods, this study identifies and traces the following topics which reflect musical and cultural traditions of African-Americans: 1) Call and response 2) Signifyin(g), 3) Spiritual/supernatural, 4) Blues, and 5) Jazz. The core of this study features analyses of works by William Grant Still, Charles Mingus, David Baker and Hale Smith. In each of the analyses, one or more of the aforementioned topics contributes notably to a distinctly African-American expressive profile. Therefore, this study investigates the correlation between cultural experience and expressivity in African-American music, and contributes to the limited number of analyses of concert music by African-American composers.

KEYWORDS: Black Music, African-American Music, Topics, Musical Semiotics, Signs

Chapter One - Introduction
Chapter Two - William Grant Still
Chapter Three - Charles Mingus
Chapter Four - David Baker
Chapter Five - Hale Smith
Chapter Six - Conclusion

Horace J. Maxile, Jr.
Department of Music
The University of North Carolina at Asheville
One University Heights
Asheville, NC 28804-8510
828.251.6488 (office)
828.251.6841 (fax)

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Spicer, Mark. "British Pop-Rock Music in the Post-Beatles Era: Three Analytical Studies." Yale University, 2001.

AUTHOR: Spicer, Mark

TITLE: British Pop-Rock Music in the Post-Beatles Era: Three Analytical Studies

INSTITUTION: Yale University


ABSTRACT: This dissertation explores—through a series of three case studies—a sampling of the rich and diverse body of popular music that has been produced in Britain during roughly the last thirty-five years, a period which I describe as the "post-Beatles" era. The Introduction situates my analytical approach within the current state of the larger field of popular music studies. Chapter 1 lays the groundwork for the dissertation by focusing on the Beatles’ late period (from 1966 onwards), particularly their widespread practice of drawing upon the resources of pre-existing works in the course of writing new songs. I argue that the Beatles’ consistent use of stylistic or strategic intertextual references became the defining feature of their late compositions, a feature which has had a profound influence on all subsequent composers of popular music. Building upon the intertextual approach developed in the first chapter, Chapter 2 turns to the early music of Genesis, one of the most infl! ue! ntial among the British "progressive" bands that emerged around 1970 in the wake of the Beatles. Focusing on their 23-minute epic "Supper’s Ready" (1972), I trace the work’s unifying harmonic and thematic/motivic elements through an array of intertextual references to earlier styles and specific other pieces in order to highlight the important similarities and differences between multi-movement progressive rock works and large-scale works of the classical tradition. In what is probably the most overtly "music-theoretic" of the three case studies, Chapter 3 examines a variety of compositional procedures that give rise to what I call "accumulative" and "cumulative" forms in recent British pop-rock, formal processes which are directly linked to the rapid advances in recording technology that occurred mainly from the late 1960s through the 1980s. The dissertation includes numerous transcriptions and graphic analyses of pop-rock music across a wide range of styles and genres. In ! ad! dition to the customary bibliography, a detailed discography and filmography/videography are provided at the end of the dissertation.

KEYWORDS: popular music, rock, Beatles, Genesis, Britpop, intertextuality, postmodernism, form analysis, style analysis

List of Musical Examples, Figures, and Tables
1. Intertextuality and Meaning in the Late Songs of the Beatles
2. Large-Scale Strategy and Compositional Design in the Early Music of Genesis
3. (Ac)cumulative Form in Recent British Pop-Rock

Mark Spicer
Dept. of Music
Hunter College of CUNY
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
Office phone: 212-772-5024

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Tsougras, Costas, F. "Generative Theory of Tonal Music and Modality - Research based on the analysis of '44 Greek miniatures' by Yannis Constantinidis." Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 2002.

AUTHOR: Tsougras, Costas, F

TITLE: Generative Theory of Tonal Music and Modality - Research based on the analysis of "44 Greek miniatures" by Yannis Constantinidis

INSTITUTION: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

BEGUN: November, 1995

COMPLETED: March, 2002

ABSTRACT: The PhD research involves the adaptation and expansion of Lerdahl's & Jackendoff's Generative Theory of Tonal Musicin order to enable its application to the analysis of modal music.

The musical grammar rules of the original theory (1983) apply to the classical tonal idiom. However, the authors claim that a considerable part of the theory's rules are universal, meaning that the principles of music perception and cognition are the same for all experienced listeners, regardless of the musical idiom in which they are experienced, since they relate to innate and unlearnable processes of human cognition. So, the application of the theory to other musical idioms requires the formulation of the idiom specific well formedness and preference rules and the description of the special tonal hierarchy. These tasks can be accomplished through the analytical study of a considerable amount of music representing the idiom and the description of its characteristics in relation to the four levels of the GTTM methodology (grouping structure, metrical structure, time-span reduction and prolongational reduction).

The analytical corpus of the research - the "44 Greek miniatures for piano" - represents the musical idiom of the special mixture of Greek modal music and 20th century harmony techniques that constitutes the musical style of the Greek composer Yannis Constantinidis, member of the Greek National School. All of the 44 pieces were analyzed as part of an inductive methodological process. The research results consist of a detailed description of the stylistic characteristics of the analyzed music and of the formulation of the special well-formedness and preference rules that have been introduced either as new rules to the theory or as adaptations of the existing ones.

KEYWORDS: generative theory, modal music, greek national music, Constantinidis

part 1 (pp. 7-48): music analysis and musicology, the Generative Theory of Tonal Music and its expansion towards modal music, modes of Greek folk music, the "44 greek miniatures for piano", research targets and methodology.
part 2 (pp. 49-269): analyses of the 44 miniatures. For each piece two diagrams - containing the GS, MS, TSR and PR - and explanatory text are included.
part 3 (pp. 271-335): research results a) detailed characteristics of the modal idiom studied b)formulation of new idiom specific well-formedness and preference rules, modification of existing rules, special tonal hierarchy
english summary (18 pages), bibliography, indexes

Costas Tsougras
PO Box 145 B
Plagiari Thessaloniki
tel 0030-392-062841

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Updated 18 November 2002 by Eric Isaacson, co-editor