Dissertation Index

Author: Derkert, Jacob

Title: Tonalitet och harmonisk artikulation i Claude Debussys verk. Om reception, armonikteori och analys

Institution: University of Stockholm

Completed: October 1998


This dissertation is a study of ways to analyze some harmonic features of the music of Claude Debussy. It begins with a critical survey of the discussion of tonality and dissolution of tonality in Debussy's works, as it manifested itself in contemporary French criticism and in the German-speaking countries after World War I. It tries to clarify the notion of "tonality" involved in this discussion. It comes to a critical conclusion concerning the characterization of Debussy's music as embodying dissolution of tonality, which is found to be either rather trivial or speculative, i.e. unproven and difficult to test. A conceptual clarification is suggested, which gives a slightly different, at once more general and more precise, meaning to the trivial version of the discussed characterization.

Next we turn to a discussion of the use of different scale-forms found in Debussy's music. We show that, in spite of the absence of tonality at the chord level, and in spite of the presence of a wide variety of different scale-forms, a scale-based conception of keys can be used to analyze at least some works of Debussy as embodying an articulation of keys. We then turn to ways to analyze the scale-form variation in itself. Lastly, we note that key-articulation in Debussy's music is due to two factors: transposition and scale-form variation. We present a simple method to single out the contributions of these two factors.


Kapitel I Det problem som avhandlas
Kapitel II Om musikteori och musikanalys
Kapitel III Debussy som impressionist
Ursprunget till en gängse karaktäristik: Hur Debussys behandling av harmonik och tonalitet diskuterades i den samtida kritiken
Kapitel IV Studiet av tonalitetsupplösning i Debussys musik med utgångspunkt i traditionell musikteori
Del 1: Om tonalitetsbegreppet
Kapitel V Studiet av tonalitetsupplösning i Debussys musik med utgångspunkt i traditionell musikteori
Del 2: Om debussyreceptionen [sic! A small letter at the beginning of the last word!]
Kapitel VI Andra ansatser i analysen av Debussys harmonik
Kapitel VII Ett formalt tonalitetsbegrepp
Kapitel VIII Tonalitet i Debussys musik?
Kapitel IX Tonartsartikulation i Debussys musik?
Kapitel X Analys baserad på tonförråds intervallinnehåll och dess tillämpbarhet på Debussys musik
Kapitel XI Tonartsartikulationens två orsaker: Formvariation och transposition
Kapitel XII Slutsatser
Summary in English


Jacob Derkert
Musikvetenskapliga institutionen
Stockholms universitet
Valhallavagen 103-109
S-115 31 Stockholm
fax: +46 8 163 281

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