Dissertation Index

Author: Raickovich, Milos

Title: Einstein on the Beach" by Philip Glass: A Musical Analysis

Institution: City University of New York

Begun: May 1991

Completed: May 1994


This analysis deals with the pitch content of the opera "Einstein on the Beach" by Philip Glass. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to Minimal Music. Compositional techniques from the 1960s and 70s by composers La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass are discussed. Chapter 2 describes "Einstein on the Beach" on the macro-form level. Dramatic and visual aspects are compared with the musical themes of the opera. In Chapter 3, the thematic unity of the entire work is defined by the melodic contours of the "Core Motive," present in virtually all sections of the opera. Chapter 4 deals with the ambiguities of Glass's harmonic language. The use of the pentatonic modes within the functional-harmonic context and non-chordal sonorities are discussed. Chapter 5 presents some conclusions about the original aspects of the pitch content of "Einstein on the Beach."

Keywords: philip, glass, einstein, beach, minimalism, steve, reich, terry, riley, young


Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Description of "Einstein" and Its Musical Themes
Chapter 3 - Thematic Unity: The Core Motive
Chapter 4 - The Harmonic Language
Chapter 5 - Conclusion



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