(alphabetical by author's last name)
The relationship between the native language and compositional style of a composer has been the subject of several recent studies. Researchers have used the normalized Pairwise Variability Index (nPVI), which looks at moment-to-moment durational successions, to compare rhythmic features of spoken language with those of music. Musical corpus studies have shown the nPVI to be especially helpful in identifying trends that distinguish English instrumental music from French (Patel and Daniele 2003; Huron and Ollen 2003) and nineteenth-century German art song from French (VanHandel 2005).
While the nPVI is helpful in identifying such large-scale trends, it is also somewhat misleading. Because it averages the differences in rhythmic variability among durations, the nPVI cannot compare specific pronunciations with specific musical settings of a given word. More importantly, it suggests that the similarity between music and spoken text can be conveyed exclusively in the rhythmic domain. This paper offers a more complete and context-sensitive study of the relationship between spoken and musical text. It compares specific settings of a word or phrase with the spoken declamation of the same text, in an attempt to compare the extent to which different composers use spoken patterns as inspiration for musical settings. It uses only texts and settings of native speakers to avoid issues with fluency; uses Hungarian songs to allow the study of both rhythmic and pitch elements, capitalizing on that language’s uniquely musical qualities; and focuses on four contemporary composers, to avoid changes of aesthetic over time: Zoltán Kodály, Béla Bartók, György Ligeti, and György Kurtág.
The Hungarian language is unique among European languages for its distinctive rhythmic and melodic constructions. This study tracks four areas of Hungarian prosody, two of which are rhythmic and two intonational. The rhythmic contexts address doubled consonants and long vowels, both of which are approximately doubled in duration in normal speech. The pitch contexts address melodic contour in questions that are set to music. Questions using the “mi” prefix, such as “who,” “what,” “why,” or “how,” use a straight descending contour. Yes/No questions, on the other hand, have an ascending contour until the last syllable of the question, when the pitch drops sharply. The latter settings are particularly interesting because in speech, the intonational contour alone differentiates a statement from a question.
This study suggests that, while all composers show a significant degree of speech-inspired settings, certain composers tend to treat certain elements more consistently than others. For example, Kodály is the most likely to set Yes/No questions in speech-like intonational contours. Bartók, on the other hand, is the most likely to reflect the spoken durational patterns in doubled consonants and long vowels. Ligeti and Kurtág are much more similar to one another, but only Ligeti tends to set “mi” questions with speech-inspired patterns. By taking specific contour and rhythmic information into account, this study attempts to show more completely how spoken text declamation might inform musical settings.
Meyer (1967) writes, “Understanding music ... involves relating sounds to one another
... [so] that they form patterns” (46). Yet, music theorists rarely consider how pattern perception depends on who is listening, instead assuming an “experienced” listener (e.g. Lerdahl and Jackendoff 1983). This paper argues that listeners use the cognitive process of analogy (Gentner 1983) to make connections across pieces, and analogies they make depend on musical familiarity. I create a cognitively-based pattern matching taxonomy to analyze ways different listeners perceive patterns in music.
Building on Gentner’s (1983) cognitive model of analogy and Larson’s (2012) use of analogy, I create a framework for analogy during listening. When making an analogy, someone interprets a novel domain through a distant but familiar domain. Its steps include: retrieval, mapping, and evaluation (Gentner and Smith 2012). A person retrieves a familiar situation in long-term memory (retrieval), associates elements of the familiar structure with elements in the unfamiliar structure (mapping), and interprets the mapping in context (evaluation). To make a musical analogy, listeners interpret novel musical patterns through familiar musical patterns. Here, I define patterns as themes/melodies or musical topics (e.g. Monelle 2006). As part of mapping, I create a pattern matching taxonomy dependent on “belonging”: whether a pattern is historically appropriate, or whether a pattern’s interpretation changed over time. Retrieval depends on listeners’ past experiences and evaluation considers listeners making sense of patterns in context.Analogy benefits music analysis by recognizing context shapes pattern perception, demonstrating that patterns are not static scores but emergent and flexible, and giving theorists space to discuss patterns in relation to listener familiarity. This framework contributes to a listener- and cognition-focused trend in music scholarship.
In recent years, music theorists have become increasingly interested in the analysis of musical performance and the use of empirical methods to study performative expression. However, attempts to analyze expression in performances of post-tonal music are complicated by questions of notational over- and under-determination and by the plurality of contemporary music styles and performance practices. This project explores these issues through analysis of two recordings of Salvatore Sciarrino's Canzona di Ringraziamento for solo flute(1985). The two performers (Roberto Fabbriciani, b. 1949, and Mario Caroli, b. 1974) have both worked with the composer and recorded many of his works; each can be considered the expert performer of Sciarrino's flute music of his generation, yet their interpretations differ greatly. My analysis pinpoints differences in timing, dynamics, and physicality in order to show how the two performers present opposing interpretations of the work, each prioritizing different musical continuities in their realization of the notated score. The analysis demonstrates that expressive performance decisions can have important implications for our understanding of the musical work as a whole. Through comparison to more recent performances, I show that the two interpretations have also had long-term consequences for the work's identity by becoming models for future performances (Davies 2001). My conclusions emphasize the role of such performances in the evolving identity of the musical work (Bowen 1993), and the unacknowledged role of specific specialist performers in the creation and transmission of certain contemporary musical works.
French-Canadian composer Claude Vivier (1948-1983) is one of the few composers - perhaps the only one - to use an invented language throughout his entire compositional career. Vivier's use of what he called his langue inventée (invented language) spanned the first vocal work in his catalogue - Ojikawa (1968) - to his final work, Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele (Do You Believe in the Immortality of the Soul, 1983), completed only shortly before his murder in March 1983. Despite the pervasiveness of this technique, relatively little attention has been given to his langue inventée in scholarship.
This paper describes Vivier's langue inventée in three parts, beginning with a general introduction to the invented language tradition in music. The second part presents Vivier's langue inventée as a product of automatic writing and engages directly with Vivier's sketches, housed at the archives of the Université de Montréal, to propose a method that Vivier likely used to write much of his langue inventée text. Vivier's writings and letters only discuss the langue inventée in scant detail and merely a handful out of thousands of sketch pages aid in deciphering the languages many riddles. When compared with their corresponding implementations in Vivier's final scores, these sketches suggest a variety of meta-organizational principles that Vivier employed, which loosely directed his stream-of-consciousness-like writing.
The final section of this paper casts the langue inventée as a form of grammelot, a term revived by playwright, actor, and director Dario Fo (1926- ), which is associated with the dialect theatre of the Commedia dell'arte tradition. Grammelots are nonsensical utterances that are meant to emulate or represent natural languages. In this light, Vivier's langue inventée is not a just a string of unintelligible nonsense syllables, but rather a very purposeful grammelot, freely composed in a two-stage approach to automatic writing, that reaches beyond linguistic semantics.
Several authors have noted that starting in the 1970s, Boulez began to concern himself with the perceptual challenges posed by modern music (Goldman 2011; Nattiez 1993). Abandoning a heavy reliance on serial techniques to bring coherence to a work, Boulez began to employ several compositional strategies to aid in the perception of musical form such as formal signals, envelopes, and a return to thematicism. This paper will argue that in addition to the techniques listed above, phrase structure plays a pivotal role in Boulez’s later solo works, including Incises and Une page d'éphéméride for piano, and Anthèmes I for violin. Two current theoretical concepts help clarify the phrase structure: the durational projections of Christopher Hasty and William Caplin’s concept of formal functions.
Durational projections are made perceptible through an emphasis on secondary parameters such as playing style, articulation, and timbre. These projections, along with the use of initiating gestures, two-part basic ideas, and concluding gestures, organize the music into presentation phrases, continuation phrases, and, at key formal moments, cadential phrases that feature motivic liquidation. I also present a third concept that seeks to explain sections that do not rely on either projections or formal functions, in which large-scale formal processes govern the phrase structure.
Two-part basic ideas form the building blocks of numerous sections of Boulez’s later solo works. The Boulezian basic idea is invariably made up of two short, distinctive motives. Each motive is differentiated by a unique melodic contour, articulation, dynamic level and/or playing style. Often both motives have the same rhythmic profile, though the grouping structure normally differs. Importantly, one motive is usually more harmonically stable than the other. Finally, the initial presentation of a basic idea is almost always relatively tight-knit, featuring a balanced grouping structure and presented with a high degree of functional efficiency. A set of continuation phrases follow that develop the basic idea and which feature asymmetrical phrase structure.Tom Coult notes “having revolutionized the musical language in the 1950s and 1960s, Boulez has set about honing its syntax.” Phrase structure is an integral part of the syntax of the late solo works, and plays a decisive role in shaping how the pieces are perceived.
This presentation explores aspects of musical analysis that are best called phonological, in that they involve the categorization and mental representation of actual sounds and they speak to the realization of musical scores as sound. I show how Narmour’s Implication-Realization model of melody in music (I-R) also handles several phonological aspects of speech intonation and prosody in language. This demonstration of an overlap between music and language prompts a consideration of what might be gained by treating musical analysis as a form of phonology.
Although I-R has largely been received as a theory of listeners’ expectations, I am more interested in I-R’s identification of attentional targets that anchor significant musical events. These targets are I-R’s points of “closure” or “transformation,” where the expectancy generated by previous melodic tones is low, having either been satisfied or suppressed. Linguistic phonology similarly relies on identifying targets of attention. To be sure, I-R’s closural target points are related to salient tones identified in a great many analytical theories of music. But I-R also theorizes shaping and scaling between targets and, like linguistic phonology, aims for a coherent functional description encompassing all aspects of the sound.
William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience is a polystylistic cycle of 55 songs based on William Blake’s collection of illuminated poetry. This paper explores Part I of this cycle, which contains the most innocent and pastoral poems of the collection, including such poems as “The Lamb,” “The Shepherd,” and “The Ecchoing Green.” The common pastoral topic of the poems and their illuminations presents an opportunity to explore how a variety of musical styles are used to portray the pastoral topic, whether through folk song, country/western music, or a post-tonal aria.In addition to questions of musical topic, this paper considers the interaction of music, image, and text using conceptual integration networks (CINs). The CINs provide a model for blending analyses of the individual domains to uncover emergent meaning that may not be evident from the analysis of any one domain. Two songs in particular, “The Lamb” and “Infant Joy,” present problems with regard to their blend of music, text, and image and the apparent cross-domain mappings suggested by the other songs. A close analysis of the musical, visual, and poetic details in all of the songs resolves these apparent contradictions and creates an emphasis not on the pastoral qualities of innocence, but rather on the controlled and constructed environment in which our conception of innocence exists.
Twentieth-century composers experimented not only with the organization of pitch structures, but also with rhythmic and metrical structures. Yet research exploring these latter elements is limited in scope. My paper aims to expand theories of rhythm and meter to explore the relationship between these musical elements and temporality in unmetered music. Within this study, the term “unmetered” is used in reference to music that is characterized by irregularity and is often unpredictable and discontinuous in relation to the flow of events. At times the music may have a pulse, but this pulse may be disrupted, conflicted, or abandoned. Brief, localized metrical structures may emerge and dissolve, but meter is not a constant in such music, it is, at most, a moment. Such music affords a different temporal experience than more strictly metrical compositions.I identify a set of mechanisms used by composers that contribute to fluctuations in the listener’s perceived passage of time. These mechanisms are grounded in psychological studies addressing influences on the perception of time passing through an examination of external (experienced events) and internal (directed attention) forces. Through a set of analytical vignettes focusing on the work of George Crumb, I show how the repetition of certain rhythmic motives, the presence of competing pulse streams (Roeder 1994; 2001) and the occurrence of metrical emergence and dissolution (Horlacher 1995) can be used to manipulate the perceived passage of time within the music. By developing a theoretical framework that emphasizes the interaction between rhythmic and metrical elements and our perceptual experience of time, I demonstrate how composers can and do systematically manipulate time in unmetered music
The “scalar tradition”, as termed by Dmitri Tymoczko (2004), began as a trickle in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, and became a torrent by the start of the twentieth. Composers tired of the limited resources of common practice tonality, and gained new inspiration from their increased contact with non-Western and ancient music. In addition to the symmetrical “modes of limited transposition” that have been a source of considerable study in recent decades (van den Toorn 1983, Taruskin 1996, Woodside 1990), a considerable number of theorists and composers involved in the emergence of this scalar tradition, including Hatherly (1892), Busoni (1907), Barbour (1929), and Foulds (1934), instead focused their efforts toward exploring new heptatonic species. This allowed them to build upon a familiar framework, and tap into the modal traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean and India.
Recent theorists who have taken up heptatonicism have either taken a generally post-tonal approach, with inversional and rotational equivalence (Rahn 1991), consider a limited scalar vocabulary with a mixture of other cardinalities (Callender 1998, Tymoczko 2004), or use various mathematical properties to focus on the appeal of diatonicism (Carey 2002, Clampitt and Noll 2011).In this discussion, I renew the earlier approaches of the earlier heptatonic expansionists, approaching the modes as individual ordered entities, without inversional and rotational equivalence. To better facilitate this, I outline a new cataloging system for the heptatonic modes, as well as two pitch space graphs, the Diatonic Plane and the Heptatonic Manifold. I use these graphs to shed light on the earlier heptatonic expansion attempts, and demonstrate their use as transformational network graphs, and in describing polymodal complexes and gapped collections, building on the work of Bartók (1943) and Rahn (1991). Finally, I discuss the problems of the current inconsistent nomenclature for non-diatonic heptatonic modes in the literature.
Phrase structure and cadences did not expire with the suppression of common practice tonality. Joseph Straus points out the increased importance of thematic contrast to delineate sections of the sonata form in the beginning of the nineteenth century. Igor Stravinsky exploited other musical elements (texture, range, counterpoint, dynamics, etc.) to delineate sections in his neoclassical works. While theorists have introduced large-scale formal approaches to Stravinsky’s works (block juxtaposition, stratification, etc.), this paper presents an examination of smaller units to determine how they combine to form coherence within and between blocks.The four movements of the Sérénade present unique variations of phrase construction and continuity between sections. The absence of clear tonic/dominant relationships calls for alternative formal approaches to this piece. Techniques of encirclement, enharmonic ties, and rebarring reveal methods of closure. Staggering of phrases, cadences, and contrapuntal lines aid coherence to formal segments. By reversing the order of phrases in outer sections, Stravinsky provides symmetrical “bookends” to frame an entire movement. Many of these techniques help to identify traditional formal units, such as phrases, periods, and small ternary forms. The results add to the repertoire of formal analysis and open the way to a theory of formal function in Stravinsky’s neoclassical works.
This presentation will feature a reductive analysis of a complete performance of “Green Chimneys” by the Thelonious Monk Quartet, that which appears on Columbia Records’ 1996 reissue of Straight, No Chaser (1967). Because this composition and performance fall outside of the bounds of tonal jazz, a less strict - i.e. Salzerian - approach is adopted, according increased weight to salience, as opposed to pitch stability and tonal resolution. My analysis will demonstrate that the same type of sophisticated large-scale organization Schenker, Salzer, and Larson have found in the repertories with which they are most associated may also be found in postbop jazz. Motivic parallelism is shown to be present on all structural levels - that of a complete multi-chorus improvisation, a complete single-chorus improvisation, the solo section taken as a whole, the composition itself, as well as various lower levels.
Chords and scales are inextricably linked in modern jazz thinking. The process of applying scales to chord symbols may occur as a jazz musician is spontaneously improvising a melody over a series of chord progressions or when a jazz composer is meticulously orchestrating instrumental parts in a score. The discussion of scales and their compatibility with chord symbol qualities, extensions, and alternations permeates much of the jazz theory and pedagogy literature.
The scale-to-chord connection process discussed in nearly every jazz theory and pedagogy book is consistently of the same kind - the application of a single chord-scale over a given symbol for the temporal duration of that symbol. Along with this scalar application type (which I refer to as “simple scalarity”), late twentieth century jazz big band composer Thad Jones also implements three other scalarity types in his writing not discussed in any jazz theory, arranging, or pedagogy book and as of yet unknown in the jazz community.
In this paper, through the use of musical examples from Thad Jones’s “Cherry Juice” written in 1975 for the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band, I will demonstrate not only Jones’s use of simple scalarity but also three additional scale-to-chord application types and their use as a compositional method. I label these as scalar toggling, polyscalarity, and blended scalarity. I will show that these four scalar application types form an orchestrational palette from which Jones derives his signature sound - one marked by a high level of dissonance yet highly organized.
During 1920-23, Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) experimented with ordered and unordered pitch collections of various lengths, describing his compositional technique as “working with tones of the motive” (Shaw & Auner, 2010). Although Schoenberg used serial ordering as a fundamental principle of organization in Five Piano Pieces Op. 23, No. 1 (1920), his complete twelve-tone series was first evident in Op. 23, No. 5 (1923). Ethan Haimo indicates that the basic row of this piece is P1 [1, 9, e, 7, 8, 6, t, 2, 4, 3, 0, 5] from the right hand. In contrast, Michael Friedmann contends that the left-hand part forms the basic row––P6 [6, t, 2, 4, 3, 0, 5, 1, 9, e, 7, 8], a rotation of the right-hand part. This paper investigates Schoenberg’s other compositional techniques to determine whether the basic row derives from P1 or P6 in his Op. 23, No. 5.
I compare the order numbers of Friedmann’s P6 with Haimo’s P1 and discuss the implications to the formal organization of the piece. The examination of main motives and segments demonstrates that the significant motives, 3-3 (014) and 3-12 (048), invoke the discrete trichords of P6 - (048), (014), (048), (014) - and that the dyadic subsets from P6 are more prevalent than those from P1. Here, I suggest that Schoenberg frequently drew upon the dyad (04), a subset of P6’s discrete trichords, as a means of developing variation on Friedmann’s basic row, and that he further rearranges the derived PC-sets to produce kaleidoscopic puzzles in the motivic organization of Five Piano Pieces Op. 23, No. 5.