(alphabetical by author's last name)

The Hunt for Form in Wolfgang Rihm’s String Quartet no. 9 “Quartettsatz


Robert Baker, Catholic University



The Problems of Repetition and Ligeti's Solutions


Sara Bakker, Utah State

This paper examines a conflict between local repetition and large-scale closure in two Piano Etudes: Désordre (1985) and En suspens (1994).  These études consist of rhythmic ostinati that line up in different ways because they repeat at different rates.  Once the ostinti return to their starting alignment, they complete a cycle.  The cycle, which often defines formal units, is here too long to be completed, highlighting an existential conflict between form and content.

Although both études create impossibly long cycles, they arrive at divergent repetition-based solutions.  Désordrereworks its ostinati to define cycles that are short enough to be completed, while En suspens reworks them to be the same length, bypassing the cycle altogether, and relying instead on thematic connections to achieve closure.  These divergent solutions highlight the important role of repetition as creative generator in Ligeti's late music.


“Little High, Little Low”: Hidden Repetition, Long-Range Contour and Classical Form in Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody


Jack Boss, University of Oregon

The existing literature on “Bohemian Rhapsody” seems preoccupied with the same issues that influenced the reactions of many teenagers to it in the 1970s: the sexual orientation of the musicians and the recording technique.  Sheila Whiteley, Judith Peraino and Ken McLeod explore the ways in which the song represents and legitimatizes the “coming out” experience (which Freddie Mercury was living through as he wrote the song).  Numerous other studies describe the complex procedure of recording the song and the subtle variations in timbre that resulted, such as Mark Cunningham’s chapter on it in Good Vibrations and two documentaries that were filmed recently.

But there are other musical features of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that captivated certain teenagers back in 1975 and are still worthy of exploration, which the literature has not addressed.  I will consider them from three perspectives: the first two have become widespread in popular music analysis in recent years, but the third is not as common.   First, I will use Schenkerian analysis, to provide a large framework and discuss motives at multiple structural levels as “hidden repetitions”; second, neo-Riemannian analysis, to account for certain progressions in the “operatic” section; and third, a traditional approach to sonata form.


Metric Dissonance and Greater Metric Dissonance in Late Fourteenth-Century Music


Timothy Chenette, Utah State University

 Treatments of rhythm and meter in Medieval music are nearly all historicist, viewing alterations to the mensural cycles of tempus and prolation through syncopation, coloration, and polymensuralism as alternative, competing meters. Yet modern psychological perspectives on meter suggest that entrainment to a single repeating metric cycle is a cross-cultural part of listening to music. This presentation will consider whole textures of polyphonic pieces and the perspective of the listener to determine what might be “true” meters in these pieces, and what might be considered “metric dissonance.” I will show that notation both constrains and suggests the kinds of metrical experiences composers may create. In performance, I suggest that the assumption of a primary meter may not be anachronistic, so long as that meter is not confined to single common practice meters; and that displaced cycles should be performed and heard as emanations from those primary metric layers.


“Of Eros I Sing..." The Influence of Irredentism in Dallapiccola’s  Due Liriche di Anacreonte


Michael Chikinda, University of Utah



Mozart's Common (yet Uncommon) Common-Tone Modulations

Susan de Ghizé, University of Texas, Brownsville

A common-tone modulation is technically defined as a modulation that uses one pitch in the original key to modulate to another key that shares the same pitch, thus the name, “common tone.”  The works of such composers as Schubert and Liszt are well known for their use of typical common-tone modulations.  Although it has evolved to imply a modulation to a distantly-related key a third away, the common-tone modulation has a diverse range of possibilities.  In particular, Mozart’s compositions are rife with unconventional common-tone modulations that continually surprise the listener.  A survey of Mozart’s piano sonatas alone shows that there are no less than 50 instances in which he uses common tones to modulate.  In this paper, I will show how Mozart’s piano sonatas illustrate his use of common-tone modulations, which are not only as common as those used by Schubert and Liszt, but also are of the more uncommon varieties.


In Disguise: Borrowings in Elliott Carter's Early String Quartets


Laura Emmery, University of California, Santa Barbara

Elliott Carter's string quartets feature some of the composer's most innovative, personalized, and boldest ideas. The first three quartets (1951, 1959, and 1971) were particularly exploratory in nature, leading to the development of techniques that mark Carter's mature and late periods. Carter attributes the inception of his rhythmic expression to the techniques of Ives and Nancarrow, composers which he quotes in his First String Quartet.  However, a close study of the sketch material reveals that the works of Bartók and Webern served as an inspiration and even the conceptual point of Carter's Second Quartet. More specifically, sketches show careful reworking, re-composing and disguising of segments from Bartók's Third String Quartet and Webern's Bagatelle No. 6. In this essay, I examine the purpose, function, meaning, and different uses of existing music in Carter’s early quartets, following the typology set forth by J. Peter Burkholder in his studies on musical borrowings.


A Critical Comparison of Aristoxenus' and Ptolemy's Genera


Matthew Ferrandino, University of Oregon

The history of music theory is continually marked by a dichotomy between theory and practice. There are many early defenders of both approaches, and one of the earliest examples of such a conflict can be seen in a comparison of Aristoxenus' Elementa harmonica (c. 375/360 BCE) and Ptolemy's Harmonics (c. 127-148 CE). Both theorists construct a system of tuning tetrachords, or genera, and I argue that the Aristoxenian method represents a practical approach to musical scholarship while Ptolemy's method represents a theoretical approach. By reconstructing both systems I intend to show that while they arrive at similar mathematical conclusions the application of their systems differs drastically. Studying the underlying distinctions between the two treatises and their respective authors' intentions—Aristoxenus as a practical musician and Ptolemy as a theoretical musician—helps us to better understand the historical precedents to practical and theoretical music theory.


Analyzing Wagner's Der Engel: Questions Posed After Application of Recent Transformational Theories


Barbora Gregusova, University of New Mexico

What results can recent transformational theories generate in a detailed analysis of an entire piece from the New German School music? What strengths and what avenues for further development are revealed when such an analysis is applied to pieces these theories were originally designed for?

I examine Wagner's “Der Engel” from Wesendonck Lieder using Cohn’s monist (Audacious Euphony, 2012) and Hook’s dualist (“Uniform Triadic Transformations,” 2002) perspectives. Considering the conclusions from the analysis, I develop a list of uncovered issues, not accounted for in the respective theories, and identify areas for future research. Finally, I present some possible interpretations and ways of explaining these phenomena. I model ways in which these tools, used for explaining local chord successions, can not only uncover structural cohesion of an entire work, but also offer some promising readings of text-painting techniques employed in the piece.


Structural Cyclicity in Trecento Ballate


Heather Holmquest,, University of Oregon

Using modern analytical techniques to describe features of early music repertoire is a necessary process; when we perform early music, is it though a modern filter, executed by modern musicians. As a case study, I focus on the structural analysis of monophonic ballate in the Rossi and Squarcialupi manuscripts. Each monophonic work contains indications of a descending linear structure that concludes on the finalis of each piece. There is an internal logic that connects the two formal sections of a ballata together, which indicates that the songs end exactly where they were supposed to, given musical cues presented throughout the songs. I will demonstrate that the sections of these ballate are not only linked melodically, but also structurally, particularly in the songs of the Squarcialupi Codex. I also note certain implications of these structures for the performance of this repertoire.


Formal, Impulse, and Network Structures in Martino's Impromptu No. 6


Aaron Kirschner, University of Utah



The Language of Intuition: A Schematic Grammar of Free Jazz Improvisation


Paul Koenig, Pomona College

Lerdahl and Jackendoff’s influential study A Generative Theory of Tonal Music (1983) attempted to describe the intuitions by which “competent” listeners evaluate the well-formedness of musical utterances. In this paper, I investigate well-formedness, broadly considered, and meaning in free jazz. The paper aims generally to develop a notion of musical grammar for “intuitive” music—that is, music created in conscious opposition to prevailing modes of creating and listening, with an aesthetic orientation towards uninhibited expression or greater freedom. Free jazz provides a valuable case study in part because the “intuitive” project itself raises questions of comprehensibility and tends to pose particular challenges for a listener. Unsurprisingly, then, many critical voices have condemned free jazz as nonsensical and misguided (see Litweiler 1993 for an account of Ornette Coleman’s early struggles). I do not share this view, and wish to understand in what way one makes sense of this music.

To this end, two free jazz compositions are analyzed: “Free,” from the Ornette Coleman recording Change of the Century, and “Sidesteps,” from the David Murray Quartet’s Death of a Sideman. The first analysis focuses on melody in Coleman’s solo, and the second, after Ingrid Monson’s Saying Something: Jazz Improvisation and Interaction (1996), on interaction between musicians in group improvisation. My analytical method is primarily inductive; that is, I identify patterns first and then draw conclusions from these observations. Following on the work of Ekkehard Jost (1974), David Such (1993), and Steve Larson (2012), an array of techniques are applied in each analysis, and the resulting observations take the form of pragmatic recommendations not unlike those shared between jazz musicians. The main findings of these analyses are listed below, in Boxes 1 and 2.

In these lists, I see the suggestions of a pattern which may form a conceptual basis for free jazz grammar as a whole. The pattern is towards an emphasis on coherence systems with some degree of inherent generality—ways of meaning which rely on “coarse” musical parameters. In Ornette Coleman’s solo on “Free,” motivic connections do not require exact intervallic similarity; rather, motivic identity depends primarily on contour and rhythm. Interaction in “Sidesteps” relies on “mappings” which generate similarities in such unspecific musical entities as feel, role, and process. On this basis, I posit that the “laws” of free jazz grammar may be most productively conceptualized as generalized schemas. Schema theory, represented in music scholarship by e.g. Robert Gjerdingen’s Music in the Galant Style (2007), traffics in generalities, identifying formulas (schemas) which can be varied, combined, and applied in a variety of musical situations. This theory reflects the pragmatism of the grammars proposed: schemas are useful, and used, cognitive structures situated within a broader performance practice. Ornette Coleman famously said, “Let’s play the music and not the background,” and it is my contention that within free jazz, “the music” must in some way be understood as the spontaneous but often schematic construction of abstract relationships between sonic entities, and between musicians, past and present.


Music for the Bottom Drawer: The Twelve-Tone Sketches of György Ligeti


Ben Levy, University of California, Santa Barbara

György Ligeti's problematic relationship to serialism and twelve-tone technique has been the source of much debate, yet the extent of his exposure to dodecaphony while still in Hungary remains particularly hazy.  The composer downplays his early knowledge of dodecaphony, and the commonly accepted narrative is that he only had a desultory understanding of the technique.  Building on work by Friedemann Sallis, I analyze the sketches and drafts of pieces from 1955-56, discussing Variations Concertantes, the Chromatische Phantasie, a Requiem draft, and Istar pokoljárása (Istar's Journey to Hell), an oratorio on Sandor Weöres's poetry.  These sketches reveal a more systematic assimilation of knowledge from Hanns Jelinek's Anleitung zur Zwölftonkomposition, reflected in a series of increasingly sophisticated drafts.  This record also points to the beginnings of Ligeti's attempt to synthesize ideas from dodecaphony with the music of Bartók—an enduring project that connects Ligeti's Hungarian and Western-European works.


Serial Poetics in Post-War Italy: What the Sources (Don't) Say


Christoph Neidhöfer, McGill University


Schenkerian versus Salzerian Analysis of Jazz


Richard Pellegrin, University of Missouri

The debate over whether to use a strict Schenkerian approach in analyzing jazz has recently been renewed with the passing of both Steve Larson and Steven Strunk, as well as with the re-publication of Larson’s dissertation as Analyzing Jazz: A Schenkerian Approach.  As in the classical idiom, problems arise if one attempts to apply a strict Schenkerian analytical approach to music that falls outside of certain boundaries; these boundaries may be clearly defined in theory, but in practice there will be a multitude of gray areas; and the repertoire amenable to a strict Schenkerian approach only represents a small portion of the jazz canon.  A less strict—i.e. “Salzerian”—analytical approach to much jazz is therefore necessary if one wishes to examine it from a “structural” perspective.  Such an approach must accord increased weight to salience, as opposed to pitch stability and tonal resolution, as one encounters music which is less tonal.


Peter in Motion: Early Animated Adaptations of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf


Deborah Rifkin, Ithaca College

Adapting the vivid programmatic music of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf (1936) into an animated film could have been a straightforward process, yet the first animated versions took significant artistic liberties with Prokofiev's symphonic tale, projecting vastly different interpretations of the story. Walt Disney produced the first animated adaptation in 1946 as a segment in Make Mine Music, which was an anthology of shorts released to theaters. In 1958, Soyuzmultfilm—a Soviet Studio—created a stop-motion puppet version. Both screen adaptations make cuts to Prokofiev’s score, re-order musical segments, and re-write parts of the narrative. A comparison of Prokofiev's concert version with these animated adaptations reveals a fascinating reception history over two decades from both Soviet and American perspectives. Although deceptively simple on the surface, these animated films are sophisticated expressions of culture conveying nuanced political and cultural values.


Exploring New Paths through the Matrix in Ursula Mamlok's Five Intermezzi for Guitar Solo


Adam Shanley, University of Oregon

The music of Mario Davidovsky has been seldom analyzed past the timbral implications of his electronic pieces and gestural aspects of his phrasing, and there has been virtually no attention paid to its pitch organization, despite the composer's longstanding interest in writing for acoustic instruments. In this paper, I demonstrate that the interval cycles, specially characteristic combinations of the 1-cycle and the 5-cycle, form a consistent resource for the organization of pitch in Davidovsky's music. In particular, I propose a compositional space that can be inferred as the structural source of harmonic and melodic combination in his Quartetto for Flute and String Trio (1987).



Compositional Spaces of Mario Davidovsky's Quartetto (1987)


Inés Thiebaut, CUNY Graduate Center



Octatonicism and Embedded Interval Cycles in Benjamin Britten's Nocturnal After John Dowland


Dale Tovar, Eastern Oregon University & University of Utah

Benjamin Britten's classical guitar piece Nocturnal After John Dowland is a theme and variations with the theme concluding instead of beginning the piece.  The theme is based on Come, Heavy Sleep by John Dowland.  Much of the melodic contour and form of each of the variations remains similar, if not the same as the theme.  However, some defining aspects including the melodic content do not at all resemble Dowland's piece.  For this, Britten uses octatonicism and interval cycles.  Britten establishes octatonic collections through predominant subsets that he uses on a foreground level, modulates between the different octatonic regions, and uses ordered pitch-class interval cycles on multiple structural levels. The discussion of this piece will involve explaining the different ways in which Britten uses octatonicism and interval cycles in Nocturnal, a detailed analysis of how Britten uses octatonicism and interval cycles in the first two variations, and finally a comparison of the remaining variations to the first two variations.


A Reconsideration of Interval-Class Space through the Perspective of Joseph Straus's Evenness and Spaciousness           


Yi-Cheng Wu, Soochow University

In his 2005 article, Joseph Straus's offset number implies ic6 as projecting both the greatest quality of spaciousness and that of evenness among ics1-6.  These two qualities, however, are essentially incompatible with each other.

To perceive ic6 as the most even, we must locate it in the space of an octave, for it equally divides an octave into two even halves.  But ic0 representing an octave is missing in Straus's discussion.  To satisfy Straus’s notion of evenness, we must consider it.  However, how do we know ic0 only ever represents an octave?  Also, once we consider ic0,ic6 no longer projects the most spacious ic, for ic0 —the octave —has a bigger space than that of ic6. 

Inspired by this incompatibility, my paper re-conceptualizes the space of all ics, and then extends this new ic-reconceptualization to develop a harmonic measurement testing the degree of chromaticness of a chord.


Maus and the Meter Cycle: Three Narrative Analyses


Brent Yorgason, Marietta College

In his influential article “Music as Drama” (1988), Fred Maus criticized theorists for limiting the scope of their analyses to the description of musical structure, neglecting other matters such as “the nature of the musical experience.” His analyses attempt to describe what is happening now in the development of the musical plot, presenting analytical observations as part of a narrative that describes musical events in terms of agents and dramatic action.

Analytical narratives commonly focus on pitch analysis—with notes, chords, or keys acting as the agents. In this paper, I present three narrative analyses that use meter and expressive timing as the principal basis of the plot, with a particular focus on expressive asynchrony. Each of these pieces—Brahms’s Capriccio, op. 76 no. 6, Tchaikovsky’s Dialogue, and Schumann’s Davidsbündler, op. 6, no. 17—can be seen as a type of dialogue between two characters that alternatively cooperate and compete.