Burkett, Lyn E. Counterpoint as a Model for Post-Tonal Experimental Music: Theories of Seeger, Krenek, Hindemith, and Schoenberg
AUTHOR: Burkett, Lyn E. TITLE: Counterpoint as a Model for Post-Tonal Experimental Music: Theories of Seeger, Krenek, Hindemith, and Schoenberg INSTITUTION: Indiana University BEGUN: December 1996 COMPLETED: May 1999 ABSTRACT: A handful of composers in the period between the first and second world wars recognized the potential for traditional Fuxian counterpoint to serve as a vehicle for experimentation in post-tonal idioms. Charles Seeger, Ernst Krenek, Paul Hindemith, and Arnold Schoenberg all developed contrapuntal principles in the course of their experimentation in atonal, freely tonal, and twelve-tone idioms. Their writings on counterpoint are distinct from traditional stylistic counterpoint texts in that their principles were developed before or during the time that corresponding styles of music were written. In an era full of so many questions about music's future, the framework of traditional counterpoint provided structure and stability that supported some of the most radical musical experimentation in the first half of the twentieth century. The counterpoint treatises of Seeger, Krenek, Hindemith, and Schoenberg have at least four characteristics in common. First, they all use counterpoint as a means of creating an alternative to traditional tonality. Second, all four of these authors base their ideas to some degree on traditional Fuxian counterpoint. Third, the authors are attempting to codify a specific compositional practice based on their own works, not illustrating or explaining an earlier practice. Finally, all four of these texts are intended primarily to train composers rather than analysts or performers. In the proposed dissertation, I will examine writings on post-tonal counterpoint by Seeger, Krenek, Hindemith, and Schoenberg. After explaining the reasons for choosing the work of these four theorists as the focus of my study, I will examine aspects of their musical training and personal backgrounds that may have motivated their interest in counterpoint; their relationships with the musical past; their writings on counterpoint in the context of their other scholarly writings; their reasons for and approaches to adapting traditional Fuxian counterpoint to twentieth-century post-tonal idioms; and the manifestations of their contrapuntal ideas in their music and their students' music. After examining each theorist's work, in the final chapter of the dissertation I will comment on similarities and differences among the four authors' works. The primary sources I will rely on for the proposed study are relatively limited in scope. Charles Seeger's "Tradition and Experiment in (the New) Music" will be the focus of my examination of Seeger's theoretical works, with particular attention given to the second section of the treatise, "Manual of Dissonant Counterpoint." For Krenek's writings on counterpoint, I will focus my study on Studies in Counterpoint, Krenek's brief text on twelve-tone counterpoint. For Hindemith, I will draw from the three volumes of Craft of Musical Composition and two volumes of Traditional Harmony, with a specific focus on volumes two and three of Craft and volume two of Traditional Harmony. Finally, my primary sources for Schoenberg's writings on counterpoint will be Preliminary Exercises in Counterpoint; The Musical Idea and the Logic, Technique, and Art of its Presentation; essays from Style and Idea; and Zusammenhang, Kontrapunkt, Instrumentation, Formenlehre. In the process of writing the dissertation, I may discover why these counterpoint treatises seem to have influenced few composers in the late twentieth century, or perhaps I will discover that these treatises have been very influential in a manner that is not widely recognized. My research will call attention to Krenek and Seeger as music theorists, and help to give their scholarship a more prominent place in the history of music theory. I hope to show how these scholarly writings, as well as music, might be considered "neoclassical." Joseph Straus's book Remaking the Past: Musical Modernism and the Influence of Tonal Tradition discusses twentieth-century composers' relationships with the musical past, and through a series of analyses, examines how these relationships influenced the compositional choices of composers such as Stravinsky and Schoenberg. Through an adaptation of Harold Bloom's theory of poetic influence,Straus explains how the "anxiety of influence" motivated many twentieth-century composers to "misread" tonal conventions familiar to their predecessors. Although Straus uses his analyses to compare Schoenberg's compositional methods to those of earlier composers, he does not compare Schoenberg's theoretical writings to writings of earlier theorists, or to earlier theoretical treatises in general; neither does he focus specifically on counterpoint treatises as contexts in which historical influences may manifest themselves. A primary focus of my dissertation will be to examine how Seeger, Krenek, Hindemith, and Schoenberg misread Fuxian counterpoint and adapt it to their own experiments with post-tonal idioms in their theoretical writings and in their compositions. I will also examine how their students adapt these post-tonal contrapuntal principles in their own compositions. KEYWORDS: history, theory, counterpoint, twentieth century, Krenek, Seeger, Hindemith, Schoenberg, composition TOC: I. Common themes in Seeger, Krenek, Hindemith, and Schoenberg's writings on counterpoint II. Seeger's "Tradition and Experiment in (the New) Music," Part I: Treatise on Musical Composition and Part II: Manual of Dissonant Counterpoint (1930) III. Krenek, Studies in Counterpoint, 1940 IV. Hindemith, Craft of Musical Composition, books 1-3 and A Concentrated Course in Traditional Harmony, vols. 1 and 2 V. Schoenberg, writings on post-tonal counterpoint from various sources VI. Comparisons between the ideologies and contrapuntal principles of each theorist CONTACT: Lyn Ellen Thornblad Burkett 720 Tulip Tree House Bloomington, IN 47408 email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: (812)857-2166
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AUTHOR: Carter, Chandler TITLE: The Progress in "The Rake's" Return INSTITUTION: The City University of New York BEGUN: August, 1992 COMPLETED: January, 1995 ABSTRACT: Igor Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress (1948-51) represents a culmination of the composer's neo-classical period (ca. 1920 to ca. 1951), the works of which are characterized by the adaptation of tonal conventions from the distant past into a modern, post-tonal context. The stylistic variety contained in such music poses challenges that defy any single-faceted analysis. The analytical model developed in this paper incorporates tonal and post-tonal approaches, grouping Schenkerian tonal graphs, basic motivic analysis and set, theory. Such an approach offers a field on which to make connections and measure distinctions between diverse elements. More importantly, this model allows for the disjunctions, abrupt juxtapositions and discontinuity that characterizes so much of Stravinsky's music. The important dramatic effects of such stylistic play on the listener are also addressed. The story of The Rake's Progress is itself an exploration of the issue of artistic progress and return. The choices that the opera's characters confront reflect important choices that an artist must make. Because Stravinsky subsequently abandoned neo-classicism in favor of a more uniformly modern serialism, the opera offers an insight into the choices of its own creator. KEYWORDS: Igor Stravinsky, "The Rake's Progress", neo-classical, pluralistic analysis, W. H. Auden, Schenkerian analysis, Set theory, motivic analysis, theatrical distance TOC: INTRODUCTION Meaning in the Music of Stravinsky and his Classical models Style, Emotion and Theatrical Distance The Rake's Progress and the Modern Stage Chapter I. ANALYSIS: SEPARATING STYLES Act III, scene iii - Anne's Lullaby Act I, scene ii Chorus - "How sad a song" Prelude to Act III, scene ii II. THE STRUCTURE OF SCENES Act I, scene iii - Anne's Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta Act II, scene ii - Arioso, Duet, Trio and Finale Introduction and Arioso (R79-97) Servants Procession and Duet (R97-127) Trio (R127-142) Finale (R142-152) III. THE STORY AND ITS MORAL Music Without Time Timeless Music CONCLUSION Re-use of the Musical Past Since The Rake's Progress Analyzing Styles BIBLIOGRAPHY CONTACT: Chandler Carter 255 West 108th St. Apt. 2D New York, NY, 10025 email@example.com 212-666-5958
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AUTHOR: O'Donnell, Shaugn, J. TITLE: Transformational Voice Leading in Atonal Music INSTITUTION: City University of New York BEGUN: October, 1994 COMPLETED: March, 1997 ABSTRACT: Throughout much of modern history two central concerns of music theorists have been "vertical" pitch structures (chords or simultaneities) and the "horizontal" connections (voice leading) among them. In the study of twentieth-century music the former has received extensive coverage, while the latter remains substantially less explored. Over the last two decades, a small, but growing, number of theoretical and analytical works attempt to redress this imbalance, and "Transformational Voice Leading in Atonal Music" is my contribution to that effort. As a point of departure I explore the analytical ramifications of interpreting operational mappings as contrapuntal voices. Finding that transposition and inversion cannot sufficiently account for the point-to-point motions of most musical surfaces, I probe the recent theoretical literature for alternative transformations. In particular, Klumpenhouwer networks and three singleton transformations (Forte's "unary transformations," Lewin's "if-only," and Straus's "near-transformations") inspire me to develop and generalize a number of original "dual transformations." These theoretical tools coalesce in a voice-leading model that combines the mappings generated by dual transformations with those implied by recursive Klumpenhouwer networks. This transformational model offers multiple interpretations of musical passages that I organize into non-hierarchical levels of voices called "adjacencies" and "recursive structure." The remainder of the dissertation tests the analytical viability of my voice-leading model, with its emphasis on dual transformations and Klumpenhouwer networks, in the context of a wide variety of twentieth-century atonal musical literature. The nine analytical essays examine substantial excerpts or complete compositions by Babbitt, Bartok, Ives, Skryabin, Stravinsky, and Webern. KEYWORDS: transformations, voice leading, analysis, Klumpenhouwer networks, Babbitt, Bartok, Ives, Skryabin, Stravinsky, Webern TOC: Prelude Chapter 1 Transformational Techniques 1.1 Transformations and Mappings 1.2 Similarity, Networks, and Singleton Transformations 1.3 Klumpenhouwer Networks 1.4 Dual Transformations Chapter 2 Analyses I: Homophonic Applications 2.1 Bela Bartok, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2, II 2.2 Igor Stravinsky, Three Pieces for String Quartet, III 2.3 Alexander Skryabin, Prelude, Op. 74, No. 4 2.4 Charles Ives, "Serenity" 2.5 Charles Ives, "The Cage" Chapter 3 Analyses II: Linear and Polyphonic Applications 3.1 Anton Webern, Five Pieces for String Quartet, II 3.2 Anton Webern, Five Pieces for String Quartet, III 3.3 Milton Babbitt, Semi-Simple Variations 3.4 Igor Stravinsky, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, I CONTACT: Newcomb Department of Music Tulane University 216B Dixon Hall New Orleans, LA 70118 phone: (504) 862-3217 fax: (504) 865-5270 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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