Thirteenth Annual Meeting

Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.

Friday and Saturday, March 13–14, 2015

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12:00–1:15 Short Paper Session
  Chair: Mark Yeary, University of Louisville

Thematic Simultaneity and Structural Ambiguity in Prokofiev's Sonata Forms
Rebecca Perry, Yale University

Abstract: The history of theories of sonata form has been animated by a lively and at times virulent debate between advocates for harmonic and thematic approaches to analysis. Though some recent commentators have
acknowledged the need for nuanced analytical paradigms that combine elements of both approaches, many sonata analyses continue to disproportionately prioritize tonal architecture, dismissing as uninventive those forms that are not driven by polarized key relationships. By these criteria, Prokofiev’s sonata forms are often judged to be lackluster and formulaic, “adhering to ‘sonata form’ as if it were a train schedule” (James McCalla) or following “stereotyped formal patterns straight out of a textbook” (Richard Taruskin). Though Prokofiev undoubtedly remained in close dialogue with classical tonal structures throughout his career, such cursory dismissals bypass much that is unorthodox and connotatively rich in the composer’s treatment of thematic process.

In this paper, I argue that one such eccentricity which deeply enriches classically inspired forms is Prokofiev’s practice of simultaneously recapitulating two previously sounded themes. This technique is particularly striking when deployed within sonata form, a structure whose array of thematic modules is at its core successive, built around sequential rather than simultaneous presentations. My two primary case studies, Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata no. 4/ii (1917) and Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata no. 2/iv (1912), demonstrate instances in which the superimposed recapitulation of two themes renders the movement’s rotational Anlage ambiguous, demanding that the analyst entertain multiple formal readings simultaneously and inviting reassessment of Prokofiev’s work within the sonata genre.

Shostakovich's Dominants
Simon Prosser, City University of New York Graduate Center

Abstract: In this paper I consider the dominant function in Shostakovich’s music and its relation to some of the “altered diatonic modes” posited by some Russian music theorists for Shostakovich’s music. Though Shostakovich uses traditional dominant chords, many of his dominants are unusual in their structure and use of chromaticism, often containing lowered scale degrees like and . Such lowered degrees are characteristic of many of the altered diatonic modes that some Russian theorists have identified in Shostakovich’s music. Following Russian modal theorists who view Shostakovich’s modes as derived from diatonic ones, I represent them as various stretchings southward of the basic diatonic system on an unconformed Tonnetz in order to map the harmonic functions of these lowered degrees and reveal their dominant-function potential that can be expressed in a variety of sonorities. Drawing examples from his symphonies and chamber music, I analyze Shostakovich’s use of such modal dominant-function sonorities. I show how Shostakovich’s dominant sonorities arise from (and give rise to) some of the altered diatonic modes described by Russian music theorists. This will open the door to a broader and more systematic consideration of harmonic function in Shostakovich’s music, and show how Russian ideas about mode can be synthesized with Anglo-American theories of harmony.

Octatonic Polysemy in the Introduction to Part 2 of The Rite of Spring
Paul Lombardi, University of South Dakota

Abstract: In common-practice tonal music, chords may be polysemous when they may have multiple functions. Three of the numerous ways in which this can occur are: (1) A chord diatonic in two keys may change function as the music modulates between the two keys; (2) A chord may be reinterpreted; (3) A chord may have different functions in different abstract layers of analysis. Such polysemy is not limited to common-practice tonality. The Introduction to Part 2 of The Rite of Spring (rehearsal 79–85) makes use of all three of these types of polysemy, but with octatonic collections. Two octatonic collections are posed against each other in a quasi tonic-dominant relationship. With few exceptions, nearly every chord in the excerpt is a subset of the octatonic or differs by one pitch class from a subset of the octatonic. The polychordal construction and spellings are important aspects in understanding the polysemous functions in the excerpt. The polysemous functions contained therein give the excerpt tonal coherence and integrity.

The Melodies of L’Orestie and Pierre Boulez's New Compositional Method
Joseph Salem, Yale University

Abstract: L’Orestie is Pierre Boulez’s only major orchestral work for theater, written on commission for the Compangie Madeleine Renaud – Jean-Louis Barrault between the fall of 1954 and the spring of 1955, and since withdrawn from the composer’s catalogue.  The work is arguably Boulez’s longest, yet it was written quickly among a host of professional and personal distractions. My paper discusses the compositional process behind two elements of the finale to the three-act tragedy, including the generation and development of the vocal part, as well as the development of an introduction and corresponding refrain.  Tracing the rather varied development of these compositional elements reveals a host of entirely new and surprising compositional procedures, including several non-serial techniques for creating and expanding this movement from a single vocal particella to a large-scale finale with independent instrumental interludes.  While a number of these tactics were likely pragmatic solutions designed to accommodate the hurried rehearsal schedule of the theater, they ultimately foreshadow a number of significant changes to Boulez’s working method in a myriad of later works.

Sound as Subjectivity: A Reconsideration of Gibsonian Affordances
Cora S. Palfy, Northwestern University

Abstract: The idea of a Gibsonian affordance (1966) has become commonplace in contemporary music theoretical writing, especially in reference to musical agency. Used to explore the intersection between music, psychology, and ultimately musical meaning, gesture and embodiment, and semiotics, ecological theories have yielded productive results when examining music as a sounding object. Musical agents are often characterized as objects on a sonic stage that can be described and controlled by a passive listener privy to their narrative progress. This phenomenon, which I refer to as aural observation, describes a passive state of listening assumed by both the audience and analyst. Analyses using object affordances to describe musical subjectivity assume that agents are passive, a supposition symptomatic of agential readings more broadly.

In this paper, I reconsider the idea of musical agency as an active, social process, and in so doing address a recent development in ecological psychology: the social affordance, which has been the subject of discussion within the psychological community since 1980. Social affordances rely on behavioral cues and intersubjective behavioral attunement, two elements that music can uniquely prompt through metrical patterning. A consideration of these active, social affordances inherently alters the engaged subject position, placing a distinct focus on the active body as the locus of agential emergence. By spotlighting the embodied nature of agency as well as broader issues of listener and analyst control, this paper addresses the epistemology of agential emergence and its treatment in music theoretical literature.



Nineteenth-Century Music

  Chair: Kofi Agawu, Princeton University

In the French Style: Metric Types and Embodied Meaning in Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty
Matthew Bell, University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: This paper addresses the expressive coordination of choreography and music in excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty, op. 66. Drawing on Christopher Hasty’s rhythmic theory, William Rothstein’s national metric types, Lawrence Zbikowski’s model of “cross-domain mapping,” and the Stepanov notation of Marius Petipa’s original choreography, I consider how bodily and musical rhythms inform our perception of musical meaning. I focus specifically on examples of Rothstein’s “Franco-Italian” metric type in Sleeping Beauty, suggesting that Tchaikovsky and Petipa exploited its anacrustic quality to a variety of expressive ends.

I introduce the “Franco-Italian” metric type through two excerpts associated with Prince Désiré, before moving to a more detailed analysis of the “Bluebird” pas de deux from Act III. A touchstone of the classical ballet repertoire, this pas is simultaneously a display of technical virtuosity and an interpretation of the eponymous French fairy tale, in which the bluebird teaches a princess to fly. I argue that the phrase rhythm of the first variation and coda from this pas can and should be heard and performed as “Franco-Italian,” given the work’s period performance tempi, special voice leading features, dramatic premise, and the iconic movements of Petipa’s choreography

Although this paper touches upon only two embodied interpretations of one metric type, it is intended to open the door to a broader consideration of rhythm’s role in
studies of musical meaning and narrative, while also drawing our attention to an overlooked repertoire rich in such meaning.

The Sorcerer as Apprentice: Trial, Error, and Chord Magic in Wagner's Die Feen
Stephen Vande Moortele, University of Toronto

Abstract: Ever since Nietzsche ambivalently referred to him as “the greatest sorcerer … among mortals,” descriptions of Wagner as a musical and theatrical magician have been commonplace, not least in relation to those non-functional third-based chord progressions in the Ring and Parsifal that themselves invoke the magical or the supernatural. But Wagner was not born a master of his witchcraft. In this paper I discuss one of his earliest attempts at what may be called “chord magic”: a string of five major triads related by ascending fifths in his first opera, Die Feen (1833−34). The progression differs markedly from any other music in the opera. A non-functional plagal sequence of applied subdominants (or back-relating applied dominants), it has a centrifugal effect that quickly spins out of tonal control.

I begin by situating Wagner’s progression in relation to the stock pattern of the ascending-fifths sequence and several of its nineteenth-century realizations. Next I focus on another possible model: the opening chords of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture. Finally, I address how Wagner attempts to integrate his “magical” progression into a broader context. As I will show, this progression and its use in Die Feen open a window not only into Wagner’s early development and his relation to contemporary models, but also into the difficulties he experienced mediating between this harmonic “Fremdkörper” and his usual musical language—difficulties that are arguably not just those of a young composer, but of German Romantic opera more generally.

Strange Narration: Cognitive Complexity in Mahler's Late Adagios
Eric Hogrefe, University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: Mahler’s symphonies have a reputation as complex, heterogeneous, and enormous in scale. Even so, analysts often propose a single organizing principle that underlies and explains the music. They posit forms, narratives, genres, or background harmonic structures that lend a sense of coherence to the music, downplaying Mahler’s idiosyncratic tensions and negations. This paper applies the notion of cognitive scripts, borrowed from cognitive narratology (Herman 2002), to Mahler’s music as a way of integrating various ongoing musical processes. Following typical approaches to Mahler’s music (by Monahan, Floros, Darcy, and others) I will employ Classical formal categories and standard tonal narratives as relevant cognitive frameworks for the interpretation for two of Mahler’s late Adagio movements: the Finale of the Ninth Symphony and the first movement of the Tenth. Rather than reproducing existing stereotypical event sequences, Mahler problematizes the script concept, forcing interpreters into less familiar techniques of narrativization (Fludernik 1996). Analyzing these movements as manifestations of tension between two different background competencies explains some of their more puzzling aspects, while also reflecting Mahler’s polyvocal style.



9:00–10:30 Modernist Approaches
  Chair: Jonathan Kochavi, Swarthmore College

Ravel's Octatonic Scripts
Damian Blättler, Rice University

Abstract: This paper investigates the use of the octatonic scale as a framework for pan-triadic motion in several works by Ravel. In these pieces, motion within or across chord/key cycles by minor third, or the more abstract linking of triads through shared membership in specific octatonic scales, informs the work’s tonal trajectory; these pan-triadic scripts then interface with and are animated by octatonic scales and sonorities at the musical surface. Ravel’s structural use of the octatonic spans his compositional output; works discussed include the first movements of the String Quartet, Piano Trio, and 1927 Violin Sonata, Introduction et allegro, À la manière de… Chabrier, and the Scherzo from the Piano Concerto for the Left-Hand. Analyzing these octatonic scripts moves discussion of Ravel’s use of octatonic scales beyond the surface details to which research has generally been confined, and also suggests a particular thread of technical inheritance present in Ravel’s professed admiration for the music of Liszt, Schubert, and Chopin.

Harmony, Rhetoric, and Linearity in Morton Feldman's Piano and String Quartet
Ryan Howard, William Paterson University

Abstract: Morton Feldman spoke early in his career about his desire to create a music free from “compositional rhetoric,” yet examination of the works written late in the composer’s life reveals a far more complex relationship with musical rhetoric than has often been acknowledged. In his later writings Feldman hinted at the notion of illusory function and directionality in his music, as well as to the phenomenon of “negation”—suggestive statements that, I contend, are richly reflected in his extended-length compositions of the 1980s, which frequently feature tantalizing suggestions of conventional musical argument and narrative. In Piano and String Quartet, composed in 1985, these characteristics are, I argue, most centrally evinced in the domain of harmony, frequently in the form of contrasts between highly chromatic and more consonant, at times diatonic, sonorities; this paper uses Ian Quinn’s theory of “fuzzification” of prototypical genera to measure Feldman’s harmonies in terms of their proximity to the chromatic, octatonic, and diatonic genera, in order to illuminate how harmonic contrasts in Piano and String Quartet fulfill formal and rhetorical functions on both a small and large scale. On a local level, Feldman’s harmonies fluctuate between degrees of chromaticism, octatonicism, and diatonicism to form arrangements that are, at times, suggestive of familiar phrase structures, while over larger time-spans, temporally separate harmonies suggest trajectories by means of incremental increases or decreases in chromatic, octatonic, or diatonic force, and occasional sudden and substantive shifts in harmonic qualities seem to articulate formal divisions. 

Jean Langlais's Sharpwise Inflections
Nathan Lam, Indiana University

Abstract: Sharpwise inflections—Lydian #4^ from major and Dorian #6^ from minor—have been a staple of Modernist French harmony. For French organist-composer Jean Langlais, sharpwise inflections not only were an integral part of his diatonic language, but their modal and harmonic implications were also creatively employed. In this study, I show five interrelated modal techniques frequently seen in his diatonic music: (1) surface emphasis of the rare interval, (2) general sharpwise trajectories, (3) oscillations between adjacent diatonic collections on the line of fifths, (4) the use of these oscillations to cross mode-family boundaries, (5) and supermodes that accrue from gradual sharpwise inflections. I begin with the minor modes in his hymn Dieu, nous avons vu ta gloire, Suite bréve for organ, and Cinq mélodies for voice and piano. Together they demonstrate a range of techniques, from simple oscillations to complex maneuvers that involve shifts in centricity, mode family, and diatonic collection. Then I discuss Langlais’s alternative sharpwise tactics in a Lydian environment; the thornier sharpwise departure from the Lydian mode, unlike the Dorian mode, obliterates the tonic.

In this paper I deliberately equate inflection and mixture as mode, since Langlais’s harmony seemingly fuses the three interrelated concepts. This study, then, is an account of his modal techniques through inflections and scalar shifts.

10:45–12:15 Short Paper Session 2
  Chair: Edward Latham, Temple University

Brahms and the Construction of the Ballad Genre
Jacob Gran, Louisiana State University

Abstract: In 1854, Brahms composed four ballades for piano that he published as his op. 10—a set of pieces that have been criticized for their problematic projection of genre (Parakilas 1992, 139).  Although the first ballade conforms to its generic expectations by projecting epic narrativity and topical associations of the ancient past, the three subsequent pieces frustrate the genre expectations that Brahms seemingly endorsed in the first ballade. Did Brahms mislabel these pieces? Following the theories of genre proposed by Jeffrey Kallberg, Jim Samson, and Robert Pascall, I suggest that the pieces of op. 10 carve out their own generic space for which the term “ballade” is entirely appropriate.  Over the course of op. 10, Brahms tropes the signifiers of epic narrative that are common to the genre he inherited with signifiers of lyric interiority. The end result of Brahms’s troping is the fusion of the three poetic genres—epic, dramatic, and lyric. Goethe identifies this fusion as the central feature of modern balladry in his 1821 essay “Ballade: Definition and Reflection.” The genre of op. 10 is not the ballade in the narrow, traditional sense, but a modern, Romantic ballade that Brahms actively constructs.

The Tonal Problem as a Source of Narrative in Brahms's Unbewegte laue Luft, Op. 57 no. 8
Loretta Terrigno, City University of New York Graduate Center

Abstract: In seeking ways to explain music’s ability to express narrative—or events unfolding in time—scholars have invoked chromatic pitches’ progress through a piece as a metaphor for dramatic events (Cone 1982; Carpenter 1988; Schachter 1999), defining “tonal problems,” or “promissory notes” as chromatic pitches that: (1) enter early in a piece; (2) threaten the governing tonality’s “sovereignty,” and (3) signify a conflict that the piece’s narrative must resolve. Edward Cone’s reading of Schubert posits E-natural’s inability to be fully assimilated, expressing “the occurrence of a disquieting thought to one of a tranquil, easy-going nature.”

Building upon these interpretive models, this paper shows how meaning ascribed to “tonal problems” in Brahms’s song “Unbewegte laue Luft” (Op. 57 no. 8) interacts with Daumer’s poetic portrayal of narrative time, conveyed by two opposed emotional states: nature’s calm external rest and the protagonist’s passionate internal desire. Brahms’s E-major song models the poem’s progression from internal to external and present to future, invoking F-natural and C-natural to signify (1) the poetic protagonist’s suppressed desire (the present tense); and (2) later respelled as E# and B#, emergent desire and its implied fulfillment (an imagined future). This change occurs in three stages: (1) The piano’s motives (E–F-natural and B–C-natural) signify the protagonist’s perception of his dormant passion in nature’s deep rest; (2) C-natural becomes V of bII, stabilizing F-natural as the protagonist’s latent desires become conscious ones; (3) F-natural transforms into E# in the C section, preventing F-major’s arrival as the protagonist imagines future fulfillment.

Reconsidering Style Register in the Late Baroque
Gregory Decker, Bowling Green State University

Abstract: Recognition of style register has become part and parcel of the music-and-meaning literature. Semiotic analyses and hermeneutic readings often incorporate musical references to the high, middle, and low styles. But the ways in which style register is determined reveal an implicit dichotomous methodology: stylistic level is gleaned from musical topics but also from musical structure, specifically its relative complexity, equating attributes like contrapuntal writing with “sophistication” (Newcomb 1997, 150–52). To be sure, topic, style, and musical structure are not separate entities, and a work’s structure may be bound up in the original function of the style. But analysts tend to prioritize either cultural implications or musical sophistication. Further, sixteenth- and seventeenth-century sources share this entangled yet divergent categorization (see especially Palisca 1983). These differing signifiers for style register call for more consistent interpretive strategies and for investigating demarcations among topic, structure, genre, and style register. In this paper, I move toward this goal in proposing that a piece may have two “levels” of style register: one grounded in the expectations for musical structure at the level of genre and another based on piece-specific uses of topic and style. I focus on the solo-voice aria because the frequent use of dance and other topics in these works provide fertile ground for stylistic interpretation. I posit that genre in the late Baroque suggested generalized compositional rhetoric that composers could elevate or lower relatively through strategic stylistic allusions. Unraveling these issues will provide insight into musical discourse and interpretation in the late Baroque with more accuracy.

How to Forge a Missing Link: Winfried Michel's Haydn and the Style-Historical Imagination
Frederick Reece, Harvard University

Abstract: Forged musical works are surprisingly common. Since Guido Adler’s (1911) assertion that authorship and historical periodization are always legible in the styles of works themselves, authentication has been haunted by expert endeavors to court authorial misattribution through compositional mimicry. This paper explores one such case from 1994, when, at the height of the new-musicological moment, the news broke that six recently rediscovered Haydn sonatas (dubbed “The Haydn Scoop of the Century” by H. C. Robbins-Landon) were not by Haydn at all.

The forgeries, produced in the early 1990s by Winfried Michel, were compelling not only because they were based on 4-measure phrases recorded in Haydn’s Entwurfkatalog, but also because these incipits corresponded to a crucial yet ill-documented period in Haydn’s chronology. The radical technical innovations posed by the Sonata Hob. XVI: 20 of 1771 have no precedent in the authenticated corpus of Divertimento Sonatas dated prior to 1767, making the discovery of lost works from the 1767-1770 “missing-link” period a style-historical holy grail.

In exploring how Michel’s sonatas rang true against a background of established authentication methodologies and theoretical accounts of the Galant and Sturm und Drang paradigms, my own detailed stylistic analyses of the forgeries are complemented by original interviews with Sotheby’s manuscript specialists whose testimony was responsible for their falsification. Reading Michel’s sonatas as artifacts of aesthetic prejudice, the practice and reception of forgery is adopted as a lens through which to contemplate the style-historical imagination as a construct that continues to shape musicological discourse.

Improving Retention Through Curricular Revision at a Small Comprehensive University
Anna Stephan-Robinson, West Liberty University

Abstract: Many first-year students lack a solid grasp of theory fundamentals such as scales, key signatures, rhythmic notation, intervals, and chords. Students lacking fluency may fail a Theory or Ear Training class, and may ultimately drop out of a music program. The solution implemented by my department in a public, comprehensive regional university was a curricular revision. The new theory curriculum begins with Musicianship, a four-credit course designed to introduce the fundamental reading, listening, performance, and study skills students will need to succeed. In this presentation, I will address the impetus and logistics underpinning the revision, assess preliminary results, and examine student and faculty feedback. I will also present suggestions and warn against potential pitfalls for faculty who may wish to consider spearheading a similar change. Every department faces unique challenges, but recruitment, retention, and student readiness may be universal concerns at all but the most high-profile music schools. Though institutions such as mine may face some inevitable rate of attrition, my department believes it is our mission to provide each of our students with every opportunity to succeed. The present curricular revision shows great promise in this regard, and can provide useful lessons for faculty in a wide range of situations.

Harmonic Function in Popular Music
Ian Quinn, Yale University; and Christopher White, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Abstract: This paper presents an empirical model of harmonic function in pop/rock music. Using machine-learning techniques to analyze a corpus of songs from the “Billboard Hot 100,” we find that four primary functional categories ideally describe this repertoire. The model is characterized by several novel features. First, it does not rely on a traditional three-function foundation: while much scholarship has attempted to adapt pop music’s idiomatic practices to traditional functional models, our data driven approach has no such predispositions, deriving a model solely from the properties of the corpus. We will argue that this model is particularly attractive due to its applicability to analysis, paying focusing on Meat Loaf’s 1977 “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” We will end with a discussion of the pedagogical and sociopolitical benefits of this model: a corpus-derived model mitigates the hegemonic influences of the Western-European common practice, an invaluable asset to music theory teaching and academic discourse.

3:00–4:00 Eighteenth-Century Music
  Chair: Scott Burnham, Princeton University

Cognition in Scottish Common Sense Music Theory, 1770-1786
Carmel Raz, Yale University

Abstract: Scottish Common Sense music theory constitutes a distinct tradition of applying insights derived from the philosophy of Thomas Reid toward solving problems of harmony, rhythm, and tuning. Close reading of treatises by John Holden (1735-1771), Walter Young (1745-1814), and Thomas Robertson (died 1799), reveals many key intuitions commonly associated with contemporary music cognition. These include a two-second temporal limit on entrainment, subjective rhythmization—i.e. our involuntary tendency to group beats into pairs— and the cognitive strategy of chunking, the grouping of larger numbers of items into a limited number of sets. These Common Sense music theorists are notable in assigning agency to the mind, the ear, and the faculties of memory and attention in determining perceived sounds and rhythms. Building theoretical systems that regarded harmony and rhythm as governed by an innate cognitive preference for “isochronous parcels,” they came to innovative conclusions about the nature of musical hearing. I focus on two thematic strands in their work: theories of harmony and divided attention, and theories of rhythm and chunking. The remarkable similarities between Scottish Common Sense music theories and principles espoused by contemporary music cognition can serve to further our understanding of continuities and ruptures in conceptions of harmony and rhythm within Western Classical repertoires.

Menuets Vicieux, Z Figures, and Sonic Analogues:  Embodied Meanings of Hypermeter in Haydn and Mozart's Symphonic Minuets
Olga Sánchez-Kisielewska, Northwestern University

Abstract: On and off the dance floor, composers relied on listeners’ embodied knowledge of dance for expressive purposes. Riepel mentioned that three-bar phrases made minuet dancers “jump around” as “crazy”. Similarly, in the minuet of a piano sonata, Vogler highlighted a five-bar phrase where “the feet cannot settle into their prescribed steps”. This paper explores communicative implications of this embodied, cross-domain knowledge in Haydn and Mozart’s symphonies through corpus study. My methodology combines Mirka’s parallel multiple analysis model, Caplin’s formal functions, and brings them into dialogue with treatises of composition and dance.

Certain compositional procedures underlying hypermeter appear with significantly higher frequency in symphonic minuets than in those composed for the ballroom or the chamber. I interpret these hypermetric manipulations as sonic analogues (Zbikowski 2008), musical imitations of various aspects of the danced minuet. For example, a two-bar group often follows four-bar units, thus denying the projection of a 12/4 hypermeter. This functionally redundant two-bar unit—which I call courtesy Anhang—evokes a reverential gesture enacted by the dancers while staying in place. Minuet reprises frequently display a 4+4+4 structure in which each unit articulates a distinct formal function. These three-part phrases parallel the ternary geometry of the Z figure, a fundamental floor pattern in the minuet’s choreography. Minuets that defy convention tend to receive more analytical attention, but I argue that symphonic minuets are most commonly expressive by virtue of being overly well behaved, mimicking bodily movements to convey the multimedia experience of dance in a purely aural fashion.

4:00–5:00 Long Paper Session
  Chair, Daniel Zimmerman, University of Maryland

Functional Neo-Riemannian Theory and Perceptual Voice-Leading Distance - A Lewinian Perspective
Andrew Aziz, Florida State University; and Trevor Haughton, Eastman School of Music

Abstract: Within the past decade, the concept of voice-leading distance has been described by Tymoczko as essentially a Euclidean concept, measured as a “magnitude” in geometric space. Prior to Tymoczko, scholars such as Lewin, Hyer, and Cohn—among others—have adapted Riemann’s functional concepts by re-defining them as transformational voice-leading operations (Neo-Riemannian theory). Our work serves to provide a different perspective on Tymoczko’s claim that voice-leading size should depend “only on how far the individual voices move, with the larger motion leading to larger voice leadings” (Tymoczko 2011, 50). This will be done through a model that generates contextual voice leading intervals, a Lewinian GIS based on the recent work of Cohn, who shows (2012, 128) that each triad can function within a “Weitzmann” or “Hexatonic” context

Part I of the paper proposes a direct-product GIS (S, IVLS, int), modeling motion through both Weitzmann and Hexatonic spaces. Each of the twenty-four triads can be partitioned into eight pitch-class sums: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, with the remaining four sums representing respective augmented triads. Every major or minor triad can thus be viewed as an “upshift” or “downshift” (by 1) of an augmented triad, or, alternatively, as belonging to one of four Hexatonic regions. “S” represents both the Weitzmann and Hexatonic triads as three-dimensional ordered triples, taking into account the pitch-class sum, the up/downshift increment, and pitch-class root. To demonstrate the value of this approach, Part II provides sample analyses of Schubert’s Sonata in Bb, D. 960 as well as Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier.”

Promissory Note Narrative Strategies in Schubert's Three-Key Expositions
Aaron Grant, Eastman School of Music

Abstract: Recent analytical work has shown that Schubert’s “three-key expositions” find their origins in the eighteenth-century trimodular block strategy. Such an understanding invites the listener to partake in a musical narrative in which the secondary thematic zone (S) must overcome a particular “flaw” before arriving at the “correct S” and achieving resolution at the moment of essential expositional closure (EEC).

This study demonstrates how Schubert developed this narrative strategy within his employment of the three-key exposition, showing that the early-S tonal digression can be seen as more than simply the middle of a trimodular block. Instead, this material may be viewed as part of an overarching conflict narrative spanning the entire movement, involving a fundamental opposition between a problematized pitch-class (à la E.T. Cone’s “promissory note”) and the surrounding sonata, which endures incursions on multiple scales. Furthermore, though both Cone and Fisk associate Schubert’s “promissory note” strategy with his mature works, this study demonstrates not only that the composer employed this narrative tactic as early as 1813, but also suggests that this strategy may have driven his initial conception of three-key expositions.

Part one of this paper gives a brief overview of the origins of three-key expositions while concurrently establishing the narratives typical of trimodular blocks. Later, I show Schubert’s mature appropriation and elevation of this narrative tactic within his later works. Finally, I demonstrate how even from his first attempts at this expositional strategy, the young composer imbued his compositions with this embedded conflict.

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