Dissertation Index

Author: Capuzzo, Guy

Title: Variety Within Unity: Expressive Ends and their Technical Means in the Music of Elliott Carter, 1983-1994

Institution: Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester

Begun: January 1998

Completed: December 1999


The dissertation investigates four compositions written by Elliott Carter (1908-) from 1983 to 1994: Changes (1983), Con Leggerezza Pensosa (1990), Scrivo in Vento (1991), and Gra (1994). After a review of the large and varied theoretical and analytic literature relevant to Carter, I show that considering each of the four pieces as generated from a row, row class, and/or compositional space is analytically, theoretically, and aurally profitable. The dissertation attempts to account for what Carter's music can sound like--both to those persons familiar with it and to those for whom it is new.

Writers on Carter's music often employ metaphorical language in the description of his music's expressive effects--notions of conflict, opposition, dialogue, change and uniformity. I strive to capture the technical means underpinning the expressive results of these works. Sometimes Carter's own writings are taken as a springboard; other times, I pursue my own interpretations.

The dissertation has six chapters. Chapter 1 presents an Introduction and literature review, and defines terms and notation. Chapters 2-5 present analyses of the four pieces listed above. Chapter 6 is a Conclusion.

Keywords: Elliott Carter, Twentieth-Century, Analysis, set theory


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