Music Theory Midwest

2001 Twelth Annual Conference
College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati
20-21 April 2001 - Cincinnati, OH


Abstracts

Friday, April 20


8:00-5:00 Registration, Coffee

Issues in Opera, 9:00-10:30
Session chair: Rebecca Leydon, Oberlin College Conservatory

Puccini and the Twentieth Century: Juxtaposition, Stratification, and Integration in Act I of Turandot
Andrew Davis, Indiana University

Puccini's last opera, Turandot, is used here as a case study for how musical structure and design are operative in Puccini's music and, more broadly, how we might understand Puccini in the musical context of the early twentieth century. The basis of the analysis presented is an awareness that Puccini organized the opera around the use of three distinct musical styles: the dissonant, romantic, and exotic. The presence of these styles accounts for a certain discontinuity heard in the opera, and their use is explained in terms of three modes of interaction: juxtaposition, stratification, and integration. The styles are revealed to be an essential musical-structural element in the work: they suggest a reading of large-scale musical organization over the course of the entire act and, in terms of their dramatic associations, undergo transformations that precisely mirror the character transformations around which act 1 centers. I conclude by suggesting that the musical structure revealed here in Turandot both squares with more traditional views of Puccini's style and musical-dramatic organization and suggests new ways in which we might understand him in the context of twentieth century theatrical composers such as Debussy, Strauss, Bartok, and Stravinsky.

Britten's "Musical Syllables"
Shersten Johnson, University of Wisconsin--Madison

In a striking moment in Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice (1973), the music temporarily breaks away from the narrative and boldly reveals what the main character, Aschenbach, has been struggling to deny: his psychosexual obsession with a young Polish boy, Tadzio. In that instant, distortions of timbre, instrumentation, dynamics, motivic construction, and particularly metrical placement condense in Aschenbach's utterance of the boy's name. Expanding on ideas in Mann's novella, Der Tod in Venedig (1912), in which Aschenbach first hears Tadzio's name as "musical syllables," Britten casts this moment as a prominent node in a network of leitmotivic treatments of that name. This paper follows the musical transformation of these syllables from "Addio" to "Adgio" to "Tadzio" and finally just "Aa-oo." It demonstrates the resonant associations that enrich the form of this opera with a wealth of sonorous signification, tying together global notions of departure, desire, and damnation acoustically within the persona of Tadzio.

It Ain't Necessarily So: Success and Failure in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess
Edward D. Latham, University of Minnesota--Twin Cities

Incorporating a method of dramatic analysis created by Konstantin Stanislavski (1863-1938), the Russian actor and director, this paper demonstrates an analytical approach to opera that focuses upon linear aspects of musical and dramatic structure. Stanislavsky's hierarchical conception of dramatic objectives is compared and contrasted with Schenker's theory of structural levels, with particular attention paid to the notion of large-scale interruption. Two of the protagonists from Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess, Sporting Life and Porgy, are examined in terms of their attainment of musical and dramatic closure, and linear-dramatic background structures for each character that encompass multiple numbers in the opera are constructed. The paper closes with some general remarks on the implications of linear-dramatic analysis for opera performance.

10:30-10:45: BREAK

Tonality as a Unifying Force, 10:45-12:15
Session chair: Marianne Kielian-Gilbert, Indiana University

'Together In Unity': The Approach To Tonality In Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms
J. Wesley Flinn, University of Cincinnati College--Conservatory of Music

Most of Bernstein's writings speak of the innate need for tonality in music, and this is reflected in his own compositions. But is this use of tonality in itself a conscious construct, or a true reflection of what Bernstein felt was a musical necessity? From Bernstein's writings, I will establish his parameters for tonality and how these standards are implemented in tonal music of the middle to late 20th century. I will also examine Bernstein's views on non-tonal music and violations of "natural" tonal order. Then, Bernstein's writings will be examined through a filter of tonality as "memory." By way of analysis, I will examine Bernstein's Chichester Psalms (third movement) using both Bernstein's own approach to tonality and through the filter of "memory" as put forth by Michael Cherlin. I will give a thorough analysis to show both Bernstein's non-traditional methods of organizing tonal material and developing tonal relationships towards a larger unity of tonality. I believe that Bernstein's harmonic language can evoke an artificially constructed tonality, and this will be shown in the analysis. I shall also relate the use of tonality to the text of that movement. Through this, I hope to show Bernstein's idiosyncratic use of tonality.

Large-Scale Tonal Coherence in Scott Joplin's Rags
Peter Silberman, Oberlin College Conservatory

One of the rules of tonal composition is that of tonal closure - tonal works begin and end in the same key. However, much of the ragtime repertoire, although tonal, violates this rule. Twenty-three of Scott Joplin's fifty-three rags and related piano compositions, for example, end in the key of the subdominant. Further, ragtime compositions usually consist of a chain of seemingly independent sections, called strains, that are often in unrelated keys and lack surface connections such as repeated rhythmic or melodic figures. For example, Joplin's "Real Slow Drag," from the opera Treemonisha, has strains in b minor, F major, and Bb major. In the absence of tonal closure and thematic unity, how does a ragtime composer create large-scale tonal coherence? This paper will answer that question by examining several of Joplin's rags using standard Schenkerian techniques to show that networks of middleground motives span entire rags, thus creating unity across sectional divisions. Further, an investigation of rags whose first strain is modeled on the first strain of the "Maple Leaf Rag" will reveal characteristic motives that reappear throughout Joplin's works. Joplin's use of these motives grows increasingly more sophisticated, culminating in the Prelude to Act III of Treemonisha.

On Tonal Design in the Classic Hollywood Film
Ronald Rodman, Carleton College

This paper explores the idea that some Classic Hollywood film music contains coherent tonal designs that complement a film's narrative. A tonal design is considered to be present in a film when the musical/tonal relationships exhibit a conformant relationship with the narrative or some other discursive aspect of a film. Such a relationship results in "closure," here used according to Agawu's [1987] definition, as the combined result of syntactical musical structures that are in place to signal a tonal course from a beginning to an ending.

Specifically, four film scores of Herbert Stothart (the music director of MGM studios from 1929-1947) are analyzed using the notions of associative networks (Straus), position asserting (Harrison), key symbolism (Balthazar), and double-tonic complexes (Kinderman). A musical/narrative hermeneutic is evident in these films by comparing tonal design with a film's narrative type. Theories of literary narrative taxonomies have been formulated by Ronald Crane [1952], and include "plots of action," "plots of character" and "plots of thought." Other tonal designs may be compared to the discursive properties of a film, such as Northrop Frye's notion of epos, in which the narrator of a story is foregrounded.

12:15-1:45: LUNCH

Temporal Issues in 20th Century American Music, 1:45-3:45
Session chair: Michael Buchler, University of Iowa

Borrowing, Time, and Temporality in Selected Chamber Works of Charles Ives
David Thurmaier, Indiana University

While there have been several important recent studies about the music of Charles Ives, very little has been said regarding the impact of borrowing on temporality in Ives's music. Since borrowing is an integral process of Ives's compositional thinking, the question of its influence on time and process is a logical one. I will argue that temporal aspects--for example, passage of time, and the sense of forward motion--of pieces with significant borrowed material progress differently from those without borrowed material. To frame this argument, I will incorporate excerpts from three chamber works: the first movement of the First Violin Sonata, a work with borrowing; the Largo for violin, clarinet and piano which contains no borrowing; and Central Park in the Dark, which has both juxtaposed.


Metrical Issues in John Adams's Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Stanley V. Kleppinger, Indiana University

John Adams's Short Ride in a Fast Machine (1986) is an engaging work that brings its listeners to the very edge of metrical experience. According to the composer, this orchestral fanfare is inspired by the experience of driving a too-fast sports car. In its first thirty seconds meter is manipulated in such a way as to make its very presence uncertain at best-though enough regularity (i.e., periodicity) is present at multiple hierarchical levels to tease the listener into making constant attempts to discover and latch on to a metered surface. The resulting aural sensation reflects that of wrestling to keep control over a powerful machine, as the title suggests.

This analysis uses several potential rebarrings to represent the ways in which a listener might apprehend the music's complex metric features. The discussion surveys the multiple levels of metric dissonance present in this fanfare's opening, as different phenomenological elements blur the perception of metric subdivisions, the tactus, the (periodic) measure, and the hypermeasure. The analysis also includes consideration for the perception of metric modulation and/or multiple simultaneous meters.

Convergence Points and Their Formal Significance in the Tempo Canons of Conlon Nancarrow
Julie A. Scrivener, Michigan State University

The forty-nine numbered Studies for player piano by Conlon Nancarrow include twenty-three works entitled "Canon." The majority of these works are based at least partially on the concept of "tempo canon," or the simultaneous presentation of the same musical material at different or varying speeds.

Tempo canons can be classified into four types: converging; diverging; converging-diverging (arch); and diverging-converging. Unlike conventional canons, tempo canons present the possibility for one or more convergence points (CPs) between the canonic voices because the voices are either converging or diverging most of the time.

The focus of this paper will be the presence and placement of CPs in Nancarrow's tempo canons and their significance related to the overall structure. CPs will be examined in their more conventional uses in the canons, and other devices examined will include tempo switches and overlaps (which can be used to create additional CPs), false CPs, and methods for emphasizing and de-emphasizing CPs. Several of Nancarrow's more complex works feature many CPs, and further complexity is possible through the addition of more voices to a canon, providing opportunities for interior CPs among smaller groups of voices.

The Interaction of Irrational Proportions and Temporal Dissonance in Nancarrow's Study No. 41 for Player Piano
Margaret Thomas, Connecticut College

The Studies for Player Piano of Conlon Nancarrow (1912-97) are known principally for their stunning virtuosic effects, frequent use of canon, and simultaneous, proportionally-related tempos. Most of the studies are short, single movements, often two to five minutes in length. Containing three movements, and lasting approximately twenty minutes, Study No. 41 stands out rather obviously among Nancarrow's works in its scope, but it is also remarkable for its proportional complexity, motivic intricacy, and textural density. The first and second movements (Nos. 41A and B) are tempo canons played on single pianos. In the third movement, 41C, the first two movements are played simultaneously on two pianos. This paper begins with an overview of this extraordinary study. An explication of two provocative, but, as yet, under-explored, features of the work drives the ensuing analysis: its irrational tempo proportions, and its "temporal dissonance," a concept proposed by Nancarrow to describe the characteristic tempo and rhythmic multiplicity of his music.

3:45-4:00 BREAK

Metric and Rhythmic Topics, 4:00-5:00
Session chair: Nancy Rogers, Lawrence University Conservatory of Music

Schoenberg's Bells
Daniel J. McConnell, University of Wisconsin--Madison

Like many accounts of the sixth of Arnold Schoenberg's Sechs kleine Klavierstucke (1911), those of Willi Reich and Dika Newlin trace the music's origin to Mahler's burial. The funeral bells these authors hear ringing in Op. 19/6--ostensibly registered in its right and left-hand trichords--give rise to a clear (if pliable) sense of meter: their alternation becomes predictable, or so it seems--we project their periodic repetition into the future. Yet the meter that arises from these trichordal bells is far from reliable in any traditional sense, for the timing of their strikes never conforms to a single metrical profile, a durational sequence we might expect from the movement's notated four-four meter. The periodic swings of these trichordal bells instead define a paranormal meter, one that gives the music a sense of temporal measure without committing to one specific metrical pattern.
Using Christopher Hasty's projective theories as a guide, this paper will rehearse the movement to consider how its alternating trichords suggest a metrical experience different than the one Schoenberg's notation implies. Because 19/6's bell history figures so prominently into the music's acoustics, the paper will also investigate how the tensions between the movement's notated and experiential meters resonate in its anecdotal origins.

Some Non-Isomorphisms Between Pitch and Time
Justin London, Carleton College

Contrary to the claims of musicians and theorists past and present, it is argued that tonal and temporal spaces are non-isomorphic. First an overview of various claims of pitch-time isomorphism will be given. Next various Tonnetz representations of tonal space and a graphic representation of metric space are presented. Using mathematical graph theory, the differences between Tonnetz representations of tonal space and a graphic representation of metric space will then be explored. Specific attention will be paid to their respective vertex and edge relationships, connectedness, poly- gonality and planarity. The non-isomorphisms between the spatial representations for pitch and meter call into question the validity of broader claims about the unity of pitch-time relationships. For if the two spaces are non-isomorphic, then there are fundamental problems in trying to map elements or relationships (i.e., by way of functions which employ those elements) from one space to another. Lastly, the relationship between the formal nature(s) of tonal and metric spaces and our perceptual and cognitive faculties will be discussed.

5:30-6:30 Reception

8:00 Concert


Saturday, April 21


8:00-5:00 Registration, Coffee

New Theories for 20th Century Music, 9:00-10:30
Session chair: Candace Brower, Northwestern University

Fractured Relics and Forged Reproductions: Schnittke's String Quartet No. 3
Gregory Brown, University of Wisconsin--Madison

In contrast to the concert-going public's enthusiasm for Alfred Schnittke's music, the published critical reaction to it has been somewhat negative, often suggesting, for example, that his compositions are little more than an arbitrary and even forced pastiche, smacking of disingenuousness. String Quartet No. 3 (1983) is perhaps Schnittke's most unabashedly "polystylistic" composition. The first movement begins with three quotations that provide much of the quartet's musical material: two cadences from the Lassus Stabat Mater, the subject of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge, and Shostakovich's musical monogram, D-S-C-H. The second movement opens with a passage that, while not a direct quotation, nevertheless strikes us as projecting a compositional voice not Schnittke's own, but rather Beethoven's. In this paper, rather than belittling critical responses to Schnittke's flagrant stylistic juxtapositions, I instead propose that the passages from the first and second movements indeed beg such scrutiny. A close inspection of the three quotations reveals they have been altered by a meticulous-if not subversive-composer. In turn, contrasting the second movement's opening measures with my own Beethoven-like recomposition of the passage, I re-examine the gradual process through which the listener comes to sense the presence of Schnittke's "own" compositional voice.

Toward A Theory of Timbre
David Huron, School of Music, Ohio State University

In the analysis of music, timbre remains an enigma. Studies in popular and non-Western musics remind us that tone color often plays a critical role in defining and differentiating various genres, styles, treatments, and gestures. Yet modern scholars are able to draw on only modest theoretical foundations when characterizing timbre. Theories of timbre are rare (e.g., Slawson, 1985) and those that exist are contentious (see McAdams, 1986). Analytic descriptions of timbre are often impressionistic, and in the case of non-Western musics, the scholar must guard against possible cultural bias. This paper proposes an ecological theory of timbre. The presented theory distinguishes two components to timbre perception: a denotative and an associative component. The associative component entails learned aspects of timbre perception, whereas the denotative component entails acoustic cues that inform listeners about the state of sound sources. The theory is illustrated by referring to experimental research on acoustic cues for aggressivity, timidity, cuteness, and intimacy (Hogg, 1992; Huron, Kinney, and Precoda, 2000). Limitations of the theory are discussed, including issues of cross-cultural validity.

Inversional Symmetry and the Index Zone
Philip Stoecker, Graduate Center, City University of New York, Mannes College of Music

In an article forthcoming in Perspectives of New Music, Philip Lambert discusses the concept of the "index zone." An index zone occurs when a passage of music is saturated with inversional relationships surrounding a single symmetrical axis, or multiple axes related by an octave or a tritone. Since the inversional pairings in such an environment all sum to the same "index number," they can be interpreted to constitute a "zone" in which a particular index number is pervasive. Using David Lewin's transformational theory as a point of departure, Lambert offers three means by which an index zone may be perpetuated: 1) inversional symmetry is maintained about a single pitch axis; 2) further inversional relations surround a different pitch axis but continue the same index number; and 3) pitch classes summing to that same index number paired without participating in larger symmetrical configurations. I will examine the concept of the index zone in compositions by Anton Webern, Joan Tower, and George Perle. In addition, I will show different contexts in which inversion can appear and use the index zone to interpret passages in which absolute mirror symmetry is subtle or distorted.

10:30-10:45: BREAK

Asian Music and Serialism, 10:45-11:45
Session chair: Lee Blasius, University of Wisconsin--Madison

Pentatonicism Through Serialism A Study of Three Modes of Integration
Nancy Yunhwa Rao, Rutgers University

This paper explores the structural, aesthetic, and stylistic issues that arise from Chinese contemporary composers' integration of pentatonic tradition and serialism. Three different modes of integration will be discussed, examining the different historical backgrounds they are associated with and analyzing how they, through adoption of serialism, reinterpret the pentatonic traditions. The reinterpretation reveals much about the complexity of cross-cultural strategy. The discussion will focus on the sampling of three pivotal figures and their compositions. (1) Mainland composer Luo Zhong Rong, regarded as the father of Chinese modern music, has devised several serial designs that maximize the sonority of pentatonic scales and thus elevate pentatonic sonority to abstract levels. (2) Chinese French composer Chen Qigang, a graduate of Beijing Conservatory and a student of the late Messiaen in the 80s, has devised a loose serial technique that uses complements of pentatonic scales as a dramatic device. (3) Lu Yen, the first in a generation of American-trained Taiwanese composers, returned in 1983 to Taiwan after fifteen years in US and became an influential composition teacher. His unambiguous and almost funky quality of quotation of pentatonic melodies is antithetical to his design of non-pentatonic tone rows. His unusual serailism serves to underscore his free play with pentatonicism.

"Gagaku, Serialism, and Beyond: Yoritsune Matsudaira's Silent Quest"
Yayoi Uno Everett,

The proposed paper explores the sociological, aesthetic, and music-theoretical dimensions that have led the Japanese modernist composer, Yoritsune Matsudaira, to integrate elements of gagaku-traditional court music of Japan-with Western techniques of serialism and indeterminacy. The paper begins with a brief historical overview of gagaku, developments in contemporary art music in post-Meiji era Japan (1868 onward), and the classification schemes offered by Japanese scholars on established techniques for integrating traditional Japanese and Western avant-garde musical idioms. Evolution of contemporary music in Japan attests to the shift in emphasis from the collective-based lineage system (ie) to the individual-based autonomy of the composer, following the doctorine of l'art pour l'art.

Matsudaira, whom Judith Herd attributes the term, the Japanese "Charles Ives," has emerged as arguably the most eccentric and enigmatic composer in postwar Japan. He has experimented with open-form structures derived from gagaku notation a decade before John Cage's music was popularized in Japan in the 1960s. His compositions, stemming from Theme and Variations (1951), Bugaku (1961), Somakusha (1961), Rhapsodie on a thème of Gagaku (1982), Bairo (1983), Variations on Embu (1980), Shun-no-Den Suite (1992), etc., show a progressive development in his strategies for interweaving serial techniques with resources and formal structure of gagaku. He has received numerous awards through the International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) in Europe and has won accolades from his European peers that include Olivier Messiaen and Klaus Huber. Nonetheless, he has not received significant recognition within Japan until after 1972. The paper concludes by reflecting on his poetics (aesthetic testimony) for reconciling modernism with nationalism and the paradoxical reception of his music within Japan and abroad.

11:45-1:15: LUNCH

Form and Structure in Tonal Music, 1:15-3:15
Session chair: Joseph Lubben, Oberlin College Conservatory

The LRP Cycle in Schubert's "Trost"
Michael A. Siciliano, University of Chicago

Of the many cycles that can by constructed using the Neo-Riemannian operations L, R, and P, the cycle using all three of them, the LRP cycle, has received perhaps the least attention. Richard Cohn briefly discusses this sort of cycle (in "Neo-Riemannian Operations, Parsimonious Trichords, and Their "Tonnetz" Representations, in the Journal of Music Theory 41/1 (Spring 1997); 1-66). He observes that all the triads in such a cycle share a single pitch, and shows several passages from the later nineteenth century that use the cycle to support a single pitch with a variety of different harmonies. I will show that Schubert, already in 1817, uses the cycle to accomplish an interesting harmonic move in his song "Trost". The song begins and ends in different keys, and Schubert uses various characteristics of the LRP cycle in addition to the shared pitch, first to establish the opening tonic, then to undercut it, and finally to establish the ending tonic.

The Journey of a G-Flat: Motivic and Tonal Strategies in Schubert's Sonata in B-Flat, D. 960, First Movement
James MacKay, Loyola University--New Orleans

In the first movement of the Sonata in B-Flat, Schubert introduces a striking musical gesture early on: a mysterious trill on G-flat in the piano's lowest octave interrupts the periodic structure of the main theme. This note, isolated in register from the lyrical flow of the main theme, foreshadows its importance to the work's overall tonal design. Most of the exposition composes out the Gb-F tonal space, and the G-flat retains its influence until nearly the end of the recapitulation. In this paper, I will examine how Schubert introduces the G-flat as a musical subplot that runs parallel to the main thematic plot of the movement, and how he uses this note to undercut formal boundaries in the exposition. I will examine especially the exposition's lengthy transition (measures 19-79) that makes two attempts at resolving the anomalous G-flat into F major, the exposition's ultimate goal. Finally, I will show how Schubert recomposes and compresses the transition in the recapitulation to limit G-flat's influence as the work approaches its conclusion. Finally, I will show how G-flat returns to B-flat major via a circle of fifths progression, thus neutralizing the influence of this pitch on the remainder of the work.

Domenico Scarlatti's Keyboard Sonatas and the Binary Sonata Tradition in the Mid-Eighteenth Century: Bipartite and Tripartite 'First Halves' in the Venice XIII Collection
Alan Campbell, McGill University

In the past, music scholars have dismissed the keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti because they do not fit the conventional, nineteenth century sonata form paradigm. Research since the 1980's by such scholars as Joel Sheveloff and Malcolm Boyd, however, suggest that the Scarlatti sonatas are not so different from the developing mainstream sonata form as their surface features may imply. This paper discusses the form of the "first halves" in the Venice XIII collection (K 514--K 543) and reveals links to contemporaneous works, which suggest relationships to the development of the sonata genre. The study proposes a theoretical base for critical analysis of mid-eighteenth-century sonata forms. The arguments of Michelle Fillion, J.P. Larsen, and Wilhelm Fischer are central to the discussion. Studies by William Caplin, Barbara Foster, Klaus Heimes, Ralph Kirkpatrick, and James Unger also contribute to the development of the theoretical base. In particular, the paper focuses on the three-part (tripartite) "first half" versus the traditional two-part (bipartite) exposition in mid-eighteenth-century sonata forms. A few comparative analyses suggest that Domenico Scarlatti shares with his contemporaries many of the methods and devices employed in the Venice XIII collection.

Brahms's Sonata Form, Schenker's Formenlehre, and the Idea of Dimensional Counterpoint
Peter H. Smith, University of Notre Dame

Charles Smith's critical account and revisionist suggestions represent the most comprehensive attempt to address Schenker's Formenlehre. His proposals center on a fixed repertoire of middleground paradigms intended to correspond with traditional formal types. The problem with this approach is that it forces interpretations that may not be confirmed by details of the foreground. Smith is correct to assert that a theory of form must allow room to acknowledge traditional formal types. He does not leave enough space, however, to explore diverse ways in which tonal structure might relate to thematic design and key scheme.

What I propose as an alternative is the concept of form as a counterpoint among these three dimensions. The importance of viewing form as dimensional counterpoint is demonstrated through analyses of four of Brahms's sonata-form movements. The focus will be on: articulation of the secondary key in the exposition; the arrival of the dominant at the end of the development or in the recapitulation; and the presence or absence of an interruption in the fundamental structure. The concluding section traces the idea of dimensional counterpoint back to Schenker's own analytic practice. Recognizing the roots of the idea in the theorist's work is important because it reveals a mutual response to classical form in Brahms and Schenker.

3:30-4:00: MTMW Business Meeting

4:00-5:00: Keynote address by Kofi Agawu

5:30-7:30: Scheduled dinner at Faculty club

8:00: Concerts


Papers for joint sessions (to be scheduled in coordination with SEM-MW)

On the MTMW/SEM-MW program for Friday, 2:15-3:45--"Just As I Am": Religious Identities

Kol Nidre as Text, Composition and Service
Steven J. Cahn, University of Cincinnati, College--Conservatory of Music

This paper elucidates the relationship between the Kol Nidre service as established according to Ashkenazic custom and practice, and the Kol Nidre, op. 39 (1938) composed by Arnold Schoenberg with Rabbi Dr. Jacob Sonderling. While there are noteworthy modifications to the service (the use of English, full orchestra, the inclusion of a Kabbalistic "legend"), there are also fascinating compositional problems posed by the formal and dramatic constraints of the traditional service.

The Kol Nidre text comprises many historical layers: a verse from Psalms (OT), the ancient Kol Nidre formula (Palestine, pre 7thc. BCE), the Kabbalistic legend (Safed, 16th c.), the legal formula for a tribunal (Germany, 13th c.), and the statement of mission (20th c.). The composer's task necessarily becomes one of both delineating these various strands, and enabling them to cohere. Relying on the resources of the musical figures traditionally used for Kol Nidre, Schoenberg arrives at a striking synthesis of the traditional and the modern.

Improbable as it seems for this ancient and arcane text from the middle east to transcend time and geography, Kol Nidre comes to the aid of newly arrived German-Jewish émigrés trying to coalesce as both a cultural community and a religious one.

On the MTMW/SEM-MW program for Friday, 4:00-5:30--Crossing Over: Folk Music and the Concert Hall

Pentatonic Ragas in South Indian Music
Lewis Rowell, Indiana University

Although some catalogs of South Indian (Carnatic) ragas list as many as 2,000, no more than 10-15% of these are heard with any regularity. Of these, about 18 are pentatonic--a small class, but one that includes several of the most frequently performed ragas. But despite their popularity, they have never been studied as a class, nor have scholars given much thought to their historical evolution or theoretical status. What is different about, and characteristic of, pentatonic theory and practice on the Indian subcontinent? For one thing, it has a more explicit and accessible history than any of the other major world dialects of pentatonicism. And although pentatonic ragas are popular today in both Hindustani and Carnatic music, they are supported by different theoretical systems, and the reasons for their divergence from a common ancestral tradition can be deduced from surviving Sanskrit and Tamil treatises. A characteristic feature of Indian modal practice is that pentatonic collections are almost always referable to a parent diatonic.

On the MTMW/SEM-MW program for Saturday, 9:30-11:00--Ethnomusicology: Processes of Perception, Transmission, and Transcription

An Ethnomusicological Approach to the History of Theory: Cultural Meanings Embodied in the Fundamental Bass
Karl Braunschweig, Wayne State University

If ethnomusicology, in its broadest sense as anthropology, seeks a deep understanding of culture through the medium of music-rather than traditional musicology, whose object of interpretation is music and its role within a socio-cultural context-its orientation offers an additional and potentially profound dimension to explanations in the history of music theory. Such an "ethnomusicological" approach would read through musical theories to discover the underlying cultural order of a particular society, and would reveal otherwise hidden connections between belief systems and their projections into a musical domain. As an example of this approach, the present paper reads through Rameau's fundamental bass to a unique moment of convergence within Enlightenment thought, a synthesis of new notions of universal human nature and reason, new modes of representation (philosophical, political), and new forms of genealogical legitimacy. We can reconsider the quarrels surrounding Rameau's work within new contexts, and we can read Kirnberger's double definition of the six-four chord not only as a musical reconciliation between differing ideas and practices, but as a social and epistemological one between competing viewpoints over how an individual would be defined within society.

Score and Performance as Musical Collaboration
Daniel G. Barolsky, University of Chicago

Few have denied the value of performing a musical work. Yet more often than not we tend to dismiss the performer's role as a mere conduit through which we can hear the "work." The variety and nature of recorded interpretations has challenged musicologists and theorists alike to reconsider the nature of a musical work, its theory, and the entire system of values by which we evaluate music.

In this paper, I propose a radical shift away from perceiving the musical score as the single arbiter of a musical work and toward a view in which the performance and score collaborate to create a final work. It is my contention that we do not yet sufficiently understand the importance of performance; we credit the score for saying more than it really does. I examine a six-bar phrase from the third movement of Beethoven's "Waldstein" Sonata, Op. 53. and its development within the Rondo as performed by Arthur Schnabel, Ernst Levy, and most importantly, Josef Hofmann; Hofmann presents a three-note motive, a motive which, although not absent in the score, is not present in any other performances. Once brought to our attention, the motive governs our hearing of the entire movement and its overall structure. Drawing on the work of the cognitive linguist Ronald Langacker, I discuss the ways in which our perception of an otherwise unnoted motive might determine musical meaning.

On the MTMW/SEM-MW program for Saturday, 1:45-3:45--"Born in the USA": Regionalism, National Identity, and the Musical Text

Narrative and Metaphor in "The Hanging Tree"
Elizabeth Sayrs, The Ohio State University

Using traditional analytic techniques as well as methods drawn from narrative theory and cognitive linguistics, this paper explores the relationships between the song "The Hanging Tree" (performed by Marty Robbins), its original use in the 1959 Western of the same name (scored by Max Steiner), and the novella on which the movie is based (by Dorothy Johnson). Lakoff and Johnson's "Location Event-Structure Metaphor" allows Zbikowski's conceptual metaphor PITCH RELATIONSHIPS ARE RELATIONSHIPS IN VERTICAL SPACE to engage concepts of time, events, and narrative. This context reveals a contradiction in the cross-domain mapping between music and text in the song. The seventh scale degree is "left hanging" in the body of the song, pointing to the imminent event of hanging. Yet after the hanging is averted, the leading tone is prominently regained in the same register and resolved in the tag. Two possibilities are considered: 1) Conventional tonal metaphors rather than locally-defined metaphors have priority at various moments in a particular genre. 2) The metaphor is musically transformed by a shift in one of the narrative input spaces to create a new conceptual blend. Images from the film and the novella that support these two possibilities are considered.


MTMW 2001 PROGRAM CHAIR:
Lawrence Zbikowski, University of Chicago larry@midway.uchicago.edu
MTMW 2001 LOCAL ARRANGEMENTS:
Frank Samarotto, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati frank.samarotto@uc.edu


Return to: Music Theory Midwest - Home
http://www.wmich.edu/mus-theo/mtmw/mtmw01/01_abs.html
Revised: 27.mar.01