Author: Giovinazzo, Joseph
Title: Timbral Design of Primary Melody in the First Movement of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra
Institution: La Trobe University
Begun: March 1988
Completed: June 1992
This dissertation investigates the timbral design of primary melody in the first movement of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, noting how timbre is used to shape formal events. Two analytical devices have been adopted: layer analysis and set theoretical ideas regarding collections.
The general approach used is modelled on suggestions made by Walter Piston in his "Orchestration". He suggests two steps: first the texture of a passage should be determined, then relationships between instruments involved in the resulting 'elements' of a texture should be noted. This dissertation, therefore, attempts to broaden the analytical ideas introduced by Piston, treating his ideas in the context of layer analysis. At the same time, it also employs a restricted version of his ideas, looking at only one textural element: primary melody.
The analysis moves from observations of large scale orchestrational activity to activity of a more localised focus, progressively stepping through various levels of activity in which greater detail is introduced (the three levels considered are: orchestral families, instrument types, and individual instruments). Thus events at a given level are discussed in the light of findings at a preceding level. Each level reveals aspects of timbral design from a different perspective.
The aim of the dissertation is to show how Bartok is economical in his timbral thinking; developing and integrating his orchestrational design, from initially simple resources, to elucidate his formal intentions. The dissertation concludes that clarity, simplicity and economy are the movement's key traits, specifically in relation to the orchestration of melody.
Keywords: Bartok, Orchestration, Timbre, Layer analysis, Texture, Melody, Form, Segmentation
Chapter 1: AN EXPLANATION OF METHODOLOGY
Chapter 2: Level One: CLASSIFICATION BY FAMILIES
Chapter 3: Level Two: CLASSIFICATION BY INSTRUMENT TYPES
Chapter 4: Level Three: CLASSIFICATION BY INDIVIDUAL INSTRUMENTS
Chapter 5: CONCLUSION
APPENDIX I: Graphic Break-down of the Movement into Musical Segments
APPENDIX II: Orchestral Families Used in Each Melodic Segment
APPENDIX III: Instrumentation in the 1st Movement
APPENDIX IV: Instrument Type Patterns for Each Melodic Segment
APPENDIX V: Individual Instrument Patterns for Each Melodic Segment
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