Copland’s Fifths and Their Structural Role in the Sonata for Violin and Piano

Stanley V. Kleppinger

KEYWORDS: Aaron Copland, pitch centricity, tonal structure, violin sonata

ABSTRACT: Perfect fifths occupy a privileged role in much of Aaron Copland’s music. This essay explores the structural significance of ic-5 emphases in the Sonata for Violin and Piano suggested by the pairings of particular pitch centers. In the perspective offered here, pitch centers and other pitch events at the music’s surface parallel the entire work’s tonal organization via a network of perfect-fifth relationships.

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Received March 2011
Volume 17, Number 2, July 2011
Copyright © 2011 Society for Music Theory