Author: Tsougras, Costas, F
Title: Generative Theory of Tonal Music and Modality - Research based on the analysis of "44 Greek miniatures" by Yannis Constantinidis
Institution: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Begun: November 1995
Completed: March 2002
The PhD research involves the adaptation and expansion of Lerdahl's & Jackendoff's Generative Theory of Tonal Musicin order to enable its application to the analysis of modal music.
The musical grammar rules of the original theory (1983) apply to the classical tonal idiom. However, the authors claim that a considerable part of the theory's rules are universal, meaning that the principles of music perception and cognition are the same for all experienced listeners, regardless of the musical idiom in which they are experienced, since they relate to innate and unlearnable processes of human cognition. So, the application of the theory to other musical idioms requires the formulation of the idiom specific well formedness and preference rules and the description of the special tonal hierarchy. These tasks can be accomplished through the analytical study of a considerable amount of music representing the idiom and the description of its characteristics in relation to the four levels of the GTTM methodology (grouping structure, metrical structure, time-span reduction and prolongational reduction).
The analytical corpus of the research - the "44 Greek miniatures for piano" - represents the musical idiom of the special mixture of Greek modal music and 20th century harmony techniques that constitutes the musical style of the Greek composer Yannis Constantinidis, member of the Greek National School. All of the 44 pieces were analyzed as part of an inductive methodological process. The research results consist of a detailed description of the stylistic characteristics of the analyzed music and of the formulation of the special well-formedness and preference rules that have been introduced either as new rules to the theory or as adaptations of the existing ones.
Keywords: generative theory, modal music, greek national music, Constantinidis
part 1 (pp. 7-48): music analysis and musicology, the Generative Theory of Tonal Music and its expansion towards modal music, modes of Greek folk music, the "44 greek miniatures for piano", research targets and methodology.
part 2 (pp. 49-269): analyses of the 44 miniatures. For each piece two diagrams - containing the GS, MS, TSR and PR - and explanatory text are included.
part 3 (pp. 271-335): research results a) detailed characteristics of the modal idiom studied b)formulation of new idiom specific well-formedness and preference rules, modification of existing rules, special tonal hierarchy
english summary (18 pages), bibliography, indexes
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