Cramer, Alfred W. Music for the Future: Sounds of Early Twentieth-Century Psychology and Language in Works of Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg, 1908 to the First World War
INSTITUTION: University of Pennsylvania BEGUN: COMPLETED: April 1997 ABSTRACT: Although scholars and musicians have met with some success in explaining the structure of the Second Viennese School's early atonal music, a comprehensive understanding of this music does not yet exist. This dissertation argues that this elusiveness is an inherent part of the musics purpose. It identifies hitherto unnoticed relationships between the Viennese School's music and early twentieth-century culture, technology, psychology, and phonetics. These account for several structural and harmonic aspects of this music. Statements by the Viennese School and others imply that atonal works were not intended to convey ideas through rational structure but through musical representations of perception, thought, and language, whose functioning was regarded as illogical at that time. This illogic may explain why the Viennese School's atonality has eluded comprehensive rationalistic explanation or codification of its language. Part I positions the Viennese School within early twentieth-century Viennese culture and identifies its motivations for overturning the established musical order with a music that was supposedly untainted by convention. In retrospect, the music appears conditioned by conventional early twentieth-century conceptions of mind and meaning. Part II ascertains the sounds of atonality by closely examining the performance practice developed by the Viennese School and its associates. Their performances were guided not by analyses of compositional structure but by the imperative to realize as much as possible of the scores sonic potential. Such performance was expected to transcend the performers understanding, a fact explained with reference to performance practices of the Viennese School's day, to recent discussions about performance practice, and to the Viennese School's belief that its music was of the future. Part III, tying writings by Swedenborg, Broch, Rilke, Strindberg, William James, Mach, and others to the Viennese School, explores atonal representations of raw perception, mental associations, streams of consciousness, and the sounds of language as theorized in the early twentieth century. As in the early twentieth-century mind, these disparate types of cognition are often indistinguishable when represented in the music. Evidence suggests that musicians and audiences expected to transcend such mental disorder aesthetically, by experiencing its musical representation. KEYWORDS: meaning, phonetics, performance practice, klangfarbenmelodie, Kolisch, Steuermann, Swedenborg, Rilke, Broch TOC: Part I. Culture, Psychology, And The Viennese School at the End of a Musical Century 1 1. Introduction: On Studying the Second Viennese School 2. The Viennese School's Social and Political Background 3. Music and the New Psychology Part II. Performance Utopia 4. Performance in the Schoenberg Circle 5. Performance Practices 6. Utopia Part III. Constructing Meaning in Atonal Music 7. Grasping Meaning in Empiricism 8. Empiricist Tropes in Atonal Music 9. Language in Atonality CONTACT: Music Department, Pomona College 340 N. College Ave. Claremont, CA 91711 email@example.com 909/607-2455 fax 909/621-8645
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INSTITUTION: New York University BEGUN: COMPLETED: 1999-2000 ABSTRACT: I examine three intellectual traditions that influenced this book: written musical theory, non-musical writing in Elizabethan England, and the unwritten practice of teaching, learning, composing, and performing music. Though much of the content derives from the European written tradition, the book's individual features--style, organization, and manner of presentation--reflect instead Morley's unique synthesis of his diverse reading and experience. Morley was interested in portraying music as a living practice and not simply an academic subject, so he rejected many conventions of musical writing and instead adopted other devices designed to appeal to non-musical readers. Besides Morley's eclecticism in the use of non-musical material there are two other main themes: the tension between improvisation and composition (both in music and elsewhere), and Morley's aesthetic views in their Elizabethan context. The first of these uncovers rich parallels with areas as diverse as poetry, drama, law, and preaching, all of which had similar debates over spontaneity, premeditation, speaking, and writing. Morley's written dialogue form also carries the same tension, as do many details of his treatment of teaching. The second is particularly concerned with Morley's term "formality" and its associated ideas. It intersects the improvisation/composition issue because writers often make value judgements based on the closeness or distance to spontaneity. KEYWORDS: Morley, descant, composition, improvisation, aesthetics, teaching, education, treatise, dialogue, formality CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org 261 Manktown Rd. Waldoboro, ME 04572 Phone (207) 832-7618 Fax (work) (207) 845-2404
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INSTITUTION: McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada BEGUN: September, 1994 COMPLETED: December 1996 ABSTRACT: Many music scholars share a belief in the deep-seated connection between music and language. This belief underlies the exploration of homologies between musical and linguistic structures that have been an important area of study within our field. In recent years, however, a number of scholars have been considering larger units of musical structure, taking as their model not the syntactic structure of the sentence, but rather the organizational structure of whole narrative texts. One goal of narratology is to investigate the ways that events experienced separately are comprehended as a unified whole. Because of its attention to the interplay of schema-driven and data-driven perception, narrative theory is suggestive of an approach to the study of the early post-tonal repertoire, music that involves both tonal configurations and atonal, "intra-opus" processes. Debussy's late works, which include the Etudes and the three Sonatas, exhibit a distinct style which combines elements of late nineteenth-century chromaticism with atonal features, innovative formal structures and new pitch resources. This study begins with the assumption that the large-scale tonal structure of most nineteenth-century instrumental music is analogous to the "plot" of a classical narrative text; in contrast, Debussy's quasi-tonal structures represent alternatives to that calssical narrative syntax. I view Debussy's innovative musical language as a departure from a prevailing "narrative code," which is embodied in works of composers like Wagner, and dominated by notions of tension and resolution, departure and return, and monumental formal structures. In contrast to this tonal idiom, Debussy's late works exhibit other modes of organization which can be more accurately modeled using alternative story-types. The alternative narrative models I invoke come out of two main research areas: studies on the development of story-telling ability in children, and studies of the spatial and temporal relationships exhibited in the early silent cinema. Throughout this study I attempt to contextualize the array of narrative strategies manifested in Debussy's music within the general cultural reorientations of the early twentieth century that we identify as Modernism. KEYWORDS: Debussy, Etudes, Sonata for Flute Viola and Harp, Cello Sonata, Violin Sonata, Cinema, Film, Narrative, Children's Narrative TOC: Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Theories of Narrative Chapter 3. Musical Narrativity: Kinds of Stories in Debussy's Late Style Chapter 4. Debussy's Late Style and the Devices aof the Early Silent Cinema Chapter 5. A Narrative Approach to the Analysis of the "Serenade" from the Cello Sonata. Chapter 6. Summary and Conclusion. CONTACT: R. Leydon #8 Presidents Drive, Apt. 2B Port Jefferson, New York 11777 email@example.com phone: (516) 632-7324 fax: (516) 632-7404
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INSTITUTION: City University of New York BEGUN: January, 1992 COMPLETED: January, 1994 ABSTRACT: Although Elliott Carter (b. 1908) is recognized around the world as one of the foremost composers of the late twentieth century, the music he composed in the 1980s--one of the most productive periods of his career--has received very little scholarly attention. During that time Carter developed a clear and expressive rhythmic language, based on long-range polyrhythms, that imparts a new sense of global organization to his recent works, and has significant implications for the more general theoretical issue of rhythm in post-tonal music. This dissertation is a study of long-range polyrhythms in Carter's music from Night Fantasies (1980) to Anniversary (1989). Chapter 1 considers the abstract properties of long-range polyrhythms. Chapter 2 examines the types of polyrhythms Carter has favored in his recent works and his decisions regarding their notation. In chapter 3 questions about the musical palpability of long-range polyrhythms are addressed from the point of view of the listener/analyst, and numerous examples are given of how long-range polyrhythms can enrich our hearing of Carter's recent music. KEYWORDS: Elliott Carter, rhythm, polyrhythm, 20th-century music, music theory, music analysis TOC: Abstract Acknowledgements Abbreviations of Terms Defined in the Text List of Figures List of Examples Introduction Chapter 1 - The Abstract Properties of Long-range Polyrhythms Chapter 2 - Carter's Polyrhythmic Choices Chapter 3 - Analytical and Perceptual Issues Conclusions List of Works Cited CONTACT: John F. Link Music Dept. William Paterson College 300 Pompton Rd. Wayne, NJ 07470 ph. (201) 595-2340 fax (201) 595-2217 firstname.lastname@example.org http://gindy.wilpaterson.edu/jlink.html
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