Author: Rabinovitch, Gilad
Title: Tracing Galant Threads: Gjerdingen\'s Schemata and the Evolution of Musical Form, 1730-1780
Institution: Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester
Begun: September 2014
Completed: July 2015
My dissertation offers a new view of Gjerdingenâ€™s (1988, 2007) galant schemata in relation to formalized pitch reduction (Lerdahl and Jackendoff 1983) and recent theories of musical form (Caplin 1998, Hepokoski and Darcy 2006). In Chapter 1, I examine the connections between Gjerdingenâ€™s schemata and the Rule of the Octave. I discuss principles for the generation of grammatical soprano skeletal strings in response to input from the Rule of the Octave. I argue that certain well-formed strings are absent from Gjerdingenâ€™s schemata and the galant style due to top-down syntactic constraints that relate them to Caplinâ€™s (1998) formal function. While this reconstruction may suggest that the schemata are a fallout of underlying generative principles, segmentation and surface groupings support the schemata and their boundaries.
In Chapter 2, I formalize one aspect of pitch reduction based on the stylistic knowledge encapsulated in the schemata. I show that a limited set of contrapuntal and metric rules approximates the workings of the schemata in the task of finding the â€œhead of a time spanâ€ (Lerdahl and Jackendoff 1983). This partially circumvents the problems of subjectivity and circularity in pattern recognition and categorization that loom over Gjerdingenâ€™s empirically-driven project.
In Chapter 3, I consider the global organization of the schemata within the syntax of musical form. I analyze forty seven randomly sampled first halves of two-reprise movements (from Adas 1991) and show statistically significant correlations between schemata and two formal regions: the pre-proto-MC and post-proto-MC regions within the first half of a two-reprise form. This suggests a global organization of the schemata, beyond the cadential articulations stressed by Hepokoski and Darcy (2006) and Byros (2014). Chapter 4 is an analytical application to three g-minor symphonies by Haydn and Mozart, Hob. I: 39, K. 183, and K. 550.
Keywords: Schema theory, eighteenth-century music, galant style, high-classical style, musical form, pitch reduction.
Chapter 1: The Generative Aspect of the Schemata, or -- Gjerdingen\'s Galant Schemata, the Rule of the Octave, Invertible Counterpoint, and Formal Function Re-Examined.
Chapter 2: Towards an Algorithmic Approach to Galant Pitch Reduction
Chapter 3: Gjerdingen\'s Schemata and the Formal Syntax of the (Proto-)Sonata Exposition
Chapter 4: From the \"Psychology of Convention\" to the \"Masterwork in Music\": Tracing a g-minor Thread in Three Symphonies by Haydn and Mozart