Dissertation Index

Author: Boss, Jack F.

Title: An Analogue to Developing Variation in a Late Atonal Song of Arnold Schoenberg

Institution: Yale University

Begun: January 1987

Completed: May 1991


Schoenberg\'s remarks concerning the Vier Lieder, op. 22, lead to a discussion about an atonal analogue to developing variation. The term atonal motive is defined as a succession of two ordered pitch intervals which can undergo three kinds of variation: octave complementation, reordering of representative pitches, and interval expansion. The number of features that are variable in an atonal motive can serve as an index of remoteness from the original. Seraphita (op. 22, no. 1) is analyzed; its interval structure results from applying variation procedures motivically, overlapping the resulting motive forms with themselves, and subjecting the larger forms generated by overlapping to motivic variations. In this way, series of larger forms are produced which increase or decrease in remoteness from the motivic source. These increases and decreases help to delimit and characterize segments of the musical form, and they contribute to manifesting the musical idea of the song.

Keywords: Schoenberg, atonal music, developing variation, Seraphita op. 22, motive, motivic analysis, atonal structural levels, musical idea


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Developing Variation in Tonal Music

Tonal motive; tonal phrase; features of a tonal motive or phrase; aspects of features; agents that control local successions of motive-forms in tonal developing variation

Chapter 3: Motive Variation in Atonal Music

Atonal motive; variations of the atonal motive; relative remoteness of motive-forms resulting from different variations; the \"remoteness index\"; a directed succession of motive-forms in atonal music

Chapter 4: Generation of Larger Forms in Atonal Music Through Motivic Overlapping and Variation of Overlappings

Motivic overlapping; remoteness indices of overlap-generated forms; motivic overlapping and atonal phrase; variations of motivic overlappings; remoteness indices of varied overlappings; a directed succession of motivic overlappings in atonal music; agents that control local successions of overlappings in atonal developing variation

Chapter 5: Ornamentation of Motivic and Larger Forms in Atonal Music

Criteria for structural and ornamental pitches in examples from the radio lecture; Schoenberg\'s and Schenker\'s concepts of structural levels

Chapter 6: Schoenberg\'s Concepts of Gedanke and Grundgestalt in Tonal Music and their Analogues in Atonal Music

Gedanke in tonal and atonal music; roles of musical form and text in the manifestation of the atonal Gedanke

Chapter 7: Analysis of \"Seraphita\"

Three-interval overlappings that manifest Gedanke; how individual stanzas and sections make Gedanke comprehensible

Chapter 8: Conclusions

Motivic and harmonic structures in atonal music

Appendix: programs in SNOBOL4+


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