Abstracts

Developing the Development: The Evolution of Formal Functions in J.C. Bach's First-Movement Keyboard Sonatas

 Between 1760 and 1770, Johann Christian Bach (1739-1782) was the most popular keyboard performer in London and the most well-known musician of the Bach family in Europe. Since his keyboard sonatas represent the only genre written throughout his entire career, studying these works is valuable for tracing his musical development and the development of sonata form. Previous analyses of Bach's keyboard music have primarily focused on stylistic evolution, thereby neglecting the importance of formal functions. In this paper, I investigate Bach's phrase-structural metamorphosis in an area with the most significant transformation - the second half of first-movement sonatas - within his solo keyboard works: the Solo in A minor from Berlin (1750-55), three sonatas from the Milan collection (1755), six sonatas from London Op. 5 (1767), and six sonatas from London Op. 17 (1773-4). In addition to examining the phrase functions of the development and recapitulation (or truncated recapitulation), I also suggest motivations behind Bach's decisions to employ a variety of compositional techniques.

 Bach is inconsistent in his formal design in the latter half of the first-movement sonatas, displaying variation in length, scope, and phrase-structural content. Earlier sonatas lack direction, exhibiting unfocused modulation, superfluous repetition, and unclear phrase-structural functions. In contrast, the later sonatas have clearer distinction of formal units and more directed modulation through model-sequence technique and fragmentation. Of particular interest are the three different recapitulatory options that Bach employs: full recapitulation in the tonic, recapitulation beginning at the transition or subordinate theme, or an altered or condensed recapitulation. I examine the development and reasoning behind these strategies and also discuss how these options relate to classical models. Overall, I reveal Bach's development of distinct formal functions and demonstrate his contribution to the refinement of high-classical sonata form.

 Meghan Goodchild, McGill

  

The Clementi Connection

 Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Erik Satie (1866-1925) were influential personalities in the revolutionary artistic culture of fin-de-siècle Paris.  Their combined experiences touched many of the most innovative artistic movements of the day. They collaborated and were involved in both the bohemian culture of Montmartre and more conventional musical circles in Paris.  This project centers on an in-depth study of two pieces that not only reveal Debussy and Satie's unique approaches to different aspects of French culture, but also share a common point of inspiration. 

 Debussy's Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum (1908) and Satie's Sonatine bureaucratique (1917) both allude to works by Muzio Clementi (1753-1832).  Clementi's pedagogical compositions, composed a century before either French composer lived, were popular teaching repertoire in Debussy and Satie's time just as they are today. Satie's Sonatine is a direct parody of Clementi's familiar Sonatina in C Major Op. 36 No. 1 (1797) and is an early example of neoclassicism.  The title of Debussy's Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum, as well as compositional techniques employed throughout the piece, refers directly to a monumental work of technical exercises by Clementi. This lecture-recital presents pedagogical and historical analyses of the Sonatine and Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum and includes performances of both pieces alongside the Clementi works to which they referIn addition to an exploration of these works, one's understanding and appreciation of Clementi's classical sonatinas is augmented as they are viewed through Debussy and Satie's perspectives. 

 Drawing from a pedagogical and historical perspective, the information in this lecture recital is enhanced by primary study of Satie and Debussy's manuscripts conducted at the Bibliotheque national de France in May of 2006.  Exploration of the manuscripts provides insight into the composers' compositional intent, revealing more accurately their individual stylistic characteristics and connection to Clementi's works. 

 By exploring these two pieces from a variety of perspectives -- performance, historical and analytical analysis, and pedagogical implication -- this lecture-recital provides a multi-faceted look into the lives of Debussy and Satie, the culture in which they participated, and the artistic movements they influenced. 

 Jennifer Roemer and Katie Womack, Southern Methodist University

 


Improved Score-performance Matching Using Both Structural and Temporal Information from MIDI Recordings

 In order to study score-based music performance, one has to determine the corresponding score note for every performance note, a process called score-performance matching. Since a typical performance may contain thousands of notes, researchers have developed algorithms that automate this procedure. Such algorithms are called matchers. Automated matching is a complex problem due to the use of expressive timing by performers and the presence of notes that are unspecified in the score, such as performance errors and ornaments. Automated matchers typically use performance data extracted from MIDI recordings. In the last two decades, several scholars such as Puckette & Lippe (1992), Large (1993), and Heijink (1996) have developed such matchers. For the most part, these algorithms use structural information, such as pitch and chronological succession, but do not use timing information. As a result, these matchers cannot deal satisfactorily with ornamented performances or performances that exhibit extreme variations in tempo.

 In an attempt to solve these issues, the author developed a matcher that relies both on structural information and on a temporal representation of the performance, which is obtained by sequentially tracking local tempo changes on a note-by-note basis and mapping performance events to the corresponding score events. This allows the matcher to generate an accurate match even for heavily ornamented performances. Furthermore, this matcher can identify and categorize all common types of errors and ornaments.

 Most existing algorithms are designed to find a solution that maximizes the number of matched performance notes, regardless of the perceptual relevance of such an approach. In order to increase the music-theoretical and perceptual validity of its output, the proposed matcher instead favours solutions that preserve the structural and temporal coherence of the individual voices. A comparison with human-made score-performance matches realized by the author (a music theorist) on a corpus of 80 MIDI recordings of short organ performances, which were used as ground truth data for this purpose, shows a near-perfect agreement between the solutions found by the matcher and the human matches.

 Finally, in contrast to existing matchers which focus on piano performance, this matcher is designed to accommodate multi-channel MIDI recordings of performances from keyboard instruments with multiple manuals, such as organ or harpsichord, and could thus potentially be used to study recordings of ensemble performances of MIDI instruments, thereby providing a valuable tool for music performance research, as well as a significant improvement over previous algorithms.

Bruno Gingras, McGill


 

A Content Analysis of Musical Notation in Ten Contemporary North American Piano Method Book Primers

 In North America, piano method books form an integral part of a student's learning environment as most piano teachers rely on them to provide structured content in the first years of lessons. These method books serve as an introduction to the complex system of symbols required to read and perform Western classical piano literature, and therefore play an important role in the development of musical literacy (i.e., the ability to read, decipher, comprehend, and interpret musical notation). Despite the reliance on method books as a vehicle for teaching students to read music, research examining this aspect of their pedagogy is lacking. Little is known about the number and types of symbols they introduce, as well as the manner in which they present, sequence, and reinforce them. In fact, very little research has been devoted to studying music reading in general (Gabrielsson, 1999, 2003; Hodges, 1992), and music education has yet to offer us a comprehensive theory of musical literacy acquisition which would allow us to evaluate the approaches presented in method books. However, we are not completely devoid of a potential theoretical underpinning seeing as theories on language reading do exist. If Western tonal music is comparable to language in that it is a system of communication comprised of symbols which are regulated by a set of rules or grammar (e.g., Lerdahl & Jackendoff, 1996), then theories on language reading acquisition should be able offer some common principles with which to evaluate the introduction of reading concepts in piano methods books.

 This project describes how method books are approaching music reading by providing a systematic content analysis of music notation in ten contemporary North American piano method primers. The order of introduction, pacing, and frequency of appearance of symbols are examined and compared, while drawing on theories of language reading acquisition to evaluate the appropriateness of the material. The author demonstrates the degree of discrepancy between methods in terms of the number of symbols introduced, how and when they are presented, and how often they are reinforced. It is concluded that a comprehensive theory of music reading could help guide the creation of a more consistent pedagogical approach to reading. In addition, the author recommends that experimental research be conducted to assess the effect of various method books on the acquisition of musical literacy.

  Jason Ray, University of Ottawa


 

The Instant We Hear: A Microgenetic Approach to the Study of Music

 Cognitive microgenesis is the pre-conscious process through which a person proceeds from the physical perception of a stimulus to mental awareness of an object. Its maximum duration is around 100 milliseconds; its vital result is the formation of a stable conception of the object by means of a cumulative developmental progression from perceptually less differentiated to more differentiated qualities. From its emergence in the reptilian core of the brain, the pre-conscious object moves through the limbic system to the cerebral cortex, where the capacity for conscious thought lies. 

 Although researchers in the field have focused primarily on visual stimuli, microgenesis provides a descriptive heuristic for musical study on numerous levels. The proposed paper focuses on 1) the direct correlations between microgenesis and musical works that exhibit a developmental process through which the musical idea becomes more stable, and 2) the manner in which perceptual units (motives, phrases, sections, etc.) within a piece affect and reflect our active microgenetic processes as we listen. The interaction between these units can trigger broken and/or ambiguously combined processes that create a sense of incompleteness. When crafted in such a way that stability is reached, the final resolution of a musical work is analogous to the conclusion of a microgenetic process and/or series of processes.

 The final portion of the paper offers an analysis of Preludes Nos. 9 and 10 from Skryabin's 24 Preludes, Op. 11 that employs the microgenetic method to describe the means by which the preludes, as a set, gradually illuminate the tonalities of E major and C-sharp minor.  

  Alison Conard, Temple University

 

Embodying Modernity: Intersections of Nostalgia, Tradition and Innovation in the Twin Cities Tango Community

 The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, are home to a burgeoning and swiftly growing tango scene. Dancers find themselves immersed in a tightly knit community in which nightly participation in classes, practica, and milongas is increasingly common. Along with the numerous tango studios and teachers located in the Twin Cities and the popularity of its orchestra, The Mandragora Tango Orchestra, the community is enlivened by the Tango Society of Minnesota's dedication to providing frequent workshops and classes with well-known national and international dancers. I hope that my fieldwork, consisting of extensive formal and informal interviews as well as observation and participation in milongas and classes, will increase the understanding of a tango community located squarely within the Scandinavian Midwest. Dancers in the Twin Cities represent a distinctly Midwestern clientele and, although all well acquainted with the history of tango and its role in Argentine culture in the past century, present a markedly distinct cultural demographic from their vivid associations.

 Perhaps most striking is the limited number of native Argentines within the community. That the majority of people actively participating in the Twin Cities tango community are not Argentine does not, however, imply a conscious separation from an associative Argentine identity. It is the ultimate goal of many to visit Buenos Aires, to learn Spanish, and to successfully participate in an Argentine milonga. Those members who were not born and raised within the cultural milieu of Argentine tango often consciously align themselves with all that it symbolizes: power, passion, grace, and nostalgia. Although habitually over dramatized in contemporary media representations, nostalgia does play a significant role in the formation of a milonguero/a identity. It is in relation to tango's nostalgic mythos that I will examine intersections of tradition and innovation. How and when do these intersections occur? On what level do they influence the community and its individual members? How do individual dancers embody innovation while maintaining a nostalgic association?

 Through discussion of the fieldwork conducted in the Twin Cities between September 2006 and December 2006, this paper will analyze the relationship between tradition, innovation and nostalgia as represented through three primary examples: dynamic gender roles and the increasing prevalence of female leaders; the conflict between live bands and professional DJs; and the increasing legitimization of nuevo, alternative, and electro-tango music.

  Emily J. McManus, University of Minnesota 

 

Stylizing a Tango: Intertextuality and Audio-Visual Relationships in Chaplin's City Lights

 Considered among Charlie Chaplin's finest films, City Lights (1931) integrates comedy with dramatic themes to achieve a heightened level of humour and pathos.  It was made in the shadow of what Scott Eyman terms "the sound revolution" in film (1926-1930) when new technology mechanically synchronized spoken dialogue with film.  However, rather than have the Tramp speak, which Chaplin felt would ruin the universal appeal of the familiar Tramp character by giving him a distinctive voice-type, Chaplin relies on using the musical score (primarily his own composition) to convey the contrasting emotions of the onscreen characters by changes in the audio-visual relationship.  Therefore, how the music is composed to interact with the visual images is of vital importance for understanding the manner in which Chaplin projects meaning through the narrative.

 This paper analyzes the use of a tango, La Violetera, in one of City Lights' narratologically crucial scenes.  After covering the intertextuality of the tango, particularly its ability to traverse social class and its multiple possible associations both within and outside the film, the paper focuses on the changing interaction between image and sound by the use of this tango.  Chaplin's stylization of the tango, through flexibility in rhythmic structure, results in the characters on screen seemingly influencing the music's progress, and in turn controlling the audience's perception of the scene's temporality.  In this sense the narratological interaction between the two characters on screen (the Tramp and a flower girl) mirrors the interaction between the audience and the screen/music itself.  Hence, Chaplin uses shifting audio-visual relationships to emphasize this significant narratological moment of communication between the characters without dialogue.  Chaplin's aesthetic preference for the universal appeal of the Tramp character through the lack of dialogue manifests itself here as a transcendence of class boundaries like the tango itself, and interestingly gets tied directly into the narrative at this point in the film when the Tramp is confused for a rich man.  The remainder of City Lights focuses on the Tramp balancing this class division, with the tango recurring at important shifts in the narrative's development.

  Jamshed Turel, McGill


 

Keynote Presentation

 Multimedia Music: A Genre Asking for Immediate Help

This journey begins in mid-seventeenth century Europe, where Henry Purcell (1659-1695) and Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) had been setting Shakespeare and Molière plays to music.

 Arguably, these composers and others of that period were the precursors of today's media composers, although our modern scoring profession cannot be traced directly to these early activities.

 The invention of the moving pictures was to have a tremendous impact on the future of music composers. With the birth of CINEMA in 1895, a group of avant-garde young French composers saw an opportunity to branch into a new genre. Later named "Le Groupe des Six" by the music critic Henri Collet, this coterie included Georges Auric (1899-1983), Louis Durey (1888-1979), Arthur Honegger (1892-1955), Darius Milhaud (1892-1974), Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), and Germaine Taillefer (1892-1983), the only woman in the group. As great artists should be, these classically trained composers were ahead of their time in predicting a bright future for film music composition. However, if they somewhat naïvely believed that great music compositions could master the silver screen, history has long since proven that the film business could turn the master into a slave.

 Through a large part of film history, classical or concert composers who were recruited to write music scores were able to draw from the music of their time -- from romantic to post-romantic to modern music. Collectively, they created a new musical idiom, a visual music vocabulary that has reached us practically unchanged, and remains to this day the stock in trade of all Hollywood style film music composers.

 But this is where the trouble starts. Whereas most pioneer and early film scorers were highly trained and talented composers in their own right, and were able to create masterpieces using the traditional writing instruments of piano and music paper, modern technology has provided today's composers with an endless panoply of computer-assisted music composition devices ranging from synthesizers to rhythm machines through samplers and sequencers.

 The net result is that, nowadays, just about anybody can PRETEND to be a composer. In a short few years, technology has evolved to the point where believable results can be achieved without the need for real musicians and even, sometimes, without the need for a real composer. The danger signs, however, are not only coming from music creators, but also from media producers. Both sides should come to terms with the current digital revolution to make sure that the modern technology that should be their greatest ally does not become their worst enemy. And the stakes are great, with the current explosion of the media scoring market from film to TV, to gaming, to pods, to portable phones and other new outlets that anyone over 50 could not have imagined in their wildest dreams when they first embarked on their composing career.

 The downside of technology, however, is not only to be found in the potential loss of musical quality, but also, and perhaps even more dramatically, in the potential loss of revenues for composers in all music genres. The rights of authors were not in jeopardy in Shakespearian times only, but continue to be threatened in our day through the very technological advances that have allowed music creators to reach ever larger audiences. Today's music business model calls for stronger copyright protection than ever, and for a dramatic shift by all parties from creators to consumers through producers, distributors and so on. Media music composers, like all other music creators, must make sure that they remain at the top of the production chain by reminding themselves and others that they are the creators of the raw material without which the music industry would not exist.

 Due to the very nature of their craft, commissioned music composers have one foot in art and one in business. They must ask themselves some very important questions at this juncture. What are the composer's options? What are the roles and responsibilities of each segment of the music industry? What is the value of music? How freely should music be allowed to circulate? Is there a civilized way out of the conundrum? 

 Pierre-Daniel Rheault


 

Jacotin (c.1495-c.1556) and the cult of St. Michael

 In 1469, King Louis XI founded the Order of St. Michael, thus conferring to the Archangel the role of protector of the kingdom of France and its knights. In the 16th century, an era during which hardly a decade went by in which France was not involved in some war, it is not surprising to witness the emergence of French composers tied, or not to the French Royal Chapel (Jacotin, Sermisy, Arcadelt notably), creating some musical works imploring an angelic rescue. However, compared to other texts favoured by composers of the 16th century, the polyphonic settings of a text dedicated to the Archangel Michael are relatively rare and seem not to have held the attention of musicologists. This paper proposes a comparison of the literary texts used and the compositional strategies operating in some of these polyphonic settings, while focusing more particularly on what seems to be the first of these works dedicated to the Archangel Michael, that of Jacotin (published in 1519 by Petrucci), one of the most enigmatic composers to have been active during the first half of the 16th century. The text of his motet Michael archangele could indeed have been drawn straight from the commemoration in honour of St. Michael that can be found in the manuscript GkS 1612 4° preserved at the Royal Library of Copenhagen; this is a French book of hours (c.1500) entitled Heures de Charles de la maison de France, dernier Duc de Bourgogne that went unnoticed up to this day. This possible literary source as well as some archaic compositional processes operating in this motet, could indeed allow us to date its composition more accurately and, in a more general way, to formulate new hypotheses on the career of Jacotin. Furthermore, this study may bring to light new data relative to the corpus of religious works composed by this still relatively unknown composer and, since it is the first analytical glance at the tradition of motets dedicated to St. Michael, is of special interest for the history of the genre in 16th century Europe.

  Patrice Nicolas, Université de Montréal


 

A Musical Reflection: Jewish Exiles in Republican China

Following the Anschluss and Kristallnacht of 1938, many Jews ended up in an unusual haven nestled in the east coast of China. Shanghai became the new home for more than 18,000 Jewish refugees that came mostly from Germany and Austria. Among the newcomers were some of the most talented musicians and music scholars in their native countries. These musical talents not only transformed the music scenes of the metropolis but also raised the level of music appreciation for many Shanghai residents. Some of these musicians also relocated south, to the province of Fujian.

 In recent years, music scholarship of Jewish refugees in Shanghai mainly adopted a biographical approach, thus indicating an early stage of development. As part of my doctoral research, I had uncovered numerous primary sources in China. This information helped me to create a new paradigm that incorporates factual details in a broader, more meaningful and imaginative perspective.  In this paper, I argue that music, as a powerful social agent, is utilized by Austro-German refugees to mirror their previous social statuses, before they were driven out by Hilter.

 Socially, Austro-German Jews were already highly assimilated in their respective countries. Their Jewish identity therefore has less to do with religion but strongly rooted in their cultural heritage, which they proudly embraced as middle-class citizens. Their class expressions are found in the use-value of music and are manifest in varying but identifiable differences in Shanghai that are evident in areas of music education, entertainment, and politics.  How music interacts with the values of middle-class Austro-German refugees has never, to my knowledge, been examined. Such an investigation is vital because it allows us to see and appreciate the transforming powers of music. For example, chamber music was revered as the highest intellectual form of music representation in European culture. As part of the music education scheme in Shanghai, chamber music was promoted with zeal precisely for its intellectual value. Yet how did the mostly poor Austro-German Jews reconcile the dialectical social relationship they had with chamber music without addressing their conflicted existence? And what musical and social impact did they have as music professors of the National Institute of Music in Fujian? During their years in exile, Jews struggled with the daily demands of living in China but music had always bound them to a sonic world of familiar Europe.

  Jeremy Leong, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  

Form and Notation: The Piano Miniature of the Russian Avant-garde

 The 1910's and 1920's witnessed a period of unprecedented experimentation in Russian music. Following the turbulent revolution of 1917, Soviet composers were officially encouraged to experiment and write "new" music for the new world, with the creative boom continuing well into the 1920's. This surge of creativity came to a halt during the subsequent crystallization of the dictatorial regime in the late 1920's and early 1930's, during which time history was "rewritten," the more progressive composers persecuted, performances banned, and names removed from textbooks, lost to the rest of the world until the 1980's.

 The piano was often used by the Russian Avant-garde as a means for exploration, and the piano miniature offered a convenient vehicle to try out and present new ideas in a short form. The proposed lecture-recital will present two sets of radical piano miniatures by the most important representatives of the Russian and Soviet Avant-garde, Nikolai Andreevich Roslavets (1881-1944) and Arthur Vincent Lourie (1892-1966).

 The Five Preludes (1919-1922) of Roslavets reflect the composer's innovative search for structure and his use of "synthetic chords," or tone-fields. Attributed with writing the first Russian "atonal" composition in 1913, a violin sonata, Roslavets went on to develop his own "ultra-chromatic" system of 12-tone organization, enjoying a period of productivity and influence prior to simplifying his language in order to protect his position in the mid-1920's.

 Arthur Lourie began working with 12-tone complexes in 1912 and produced his most innovative work before voluntary exile from the Soviet Union in 1923, which earned the composer a "traitor" label. The 1915 set of three pieces Formes en l'air, dedicated to Picasso, offers an early and stark example of graphic notation, with the staves of the score arranged visually on the pages in collage-form.

 This lecture-recital will address the influence of politics on the music of the time and discuss the contributions of Roslavets and Lourie to the piano miniature genre, arguing the reasons for reintroducing their output into the repertoire.

Xenia Pestov, McGill


 

Symmetry and Tonal Design:Structural Planning in the Finale of Nielsen's Second Violin Sonata

 Following its debut in 1913, Carl Nielsen's Second Violin Sonata, Op. 35, was critically acclaimed as a work of  "sterling musical character" and a "brilliant masterpiece" (Petersen 2004, xviii-xx).  Decades after, Nielsen's biographers have noted his "daring" treatment of harmony, his use of a "liberated" tonal scheme, and his departure from traditional form (Balzer 1965, 23; Lawson 1997, 136).  Despite critical interest, few scholars have approached the Sonata from a music-theoretical perspective; those who have, echo Daniel Grimley's sentiments about the third movement: "There is little sense of large-scale structural planning or regular formal architecture" (Grimley 2002, 187), "hence conventional analytical graphs cannot satisfactorily provide a large-scale view of the work" (Grimley 2002, 175).

 This paper addresses the apprehension surrounding Nielsen's "unconventional" style.  I argue that the Finale is best understood in light of Nielsen's professed wish to "get away from tonality and yet still carry a diatonic conviction" (Grimley 2002, 187).  My critical analysis will highlight two significant structural elements: the use of the perfect fifth and the use of symmetry.  The former serves as the intervallic basis for diatonicism, while the latter effectively weakens traditional tonal progressions.  I shall demonstrate that Nielsen's formal construction of the Finale is not only well-planned (pace Grimley), but also reflects his desire to break away from conventional tonal schema.

 A recurring head motive delineates the movement's large-scale grouping structure.  In the exposition, each appearance of the head motive occurs within a different key area, such that Nielsen systematically traverses the circle of fifths (flat-ward direction).  Furthermore, the development section in E major (a tritone away from the initial B-flat major/minor exposition) and a "false" recapitulation in A major represent further steps along the circle of fifths.  While the omnipresent perfect fifth imbues the Finale with the trappings of diatonicism, Nielsen equally divides the octave at all structural levels--by whole-tone, major and minor thirds, and tritone--and significantly weakens the sense of an overriding tonal centre.

 I shall conclude by presenting two interpretations of the Finale's large-scale structure.  The first, a teleological reading, produces an Ursatz with a diatonic 5-line; the excursion into E major represents large-scale neighbouring motion.  The second, an unconventional reading, places the E major development section on a par with the outer B-flat A  sections.  Nielsen's B-flat--E--B-flat design, a symmetrical division of the circle of fifths and the diatonic scale, fulfils his desire to "get away from tonality" at the deepest structural level.

Daphne Tan, McGill


 

Voice-leading Symmetries in the Late Works of Alexander Scriabin

 Early studies of Scriabin's late works (those after Op. 58), both in Russia (Sabaneev 1923, Dernova 1968) and abroad (Perle 1984), offer various explanations for the composer's harmonic language. The authors of these studies often cite Scriabin's use of the mystic chord (a member of sc 6-34 [013579]) as a source of harmonic material,  however none of them deals with the overall harmonic syntax.  Recently, Callender (1998) goes beyond the confines of the mystic chord.  He discusses the presence of other collections (e.g., octatonic, whole-tone, etc.) and relates them through FUSE and SPLIT operations.

 In the current paper, I extend Callender's approach and shift the focus from the harmonies to the voice leading that connects them.  I use Scriabin's Opp. Op. 63/1, 69/2, and 71/2 to show that certain recurring voice-leading gestures, particularly those involving symmetrical motion, shape the musical discourse and give rise to a variety of harmonies, including but not limited to the mystic chord. 

 I use pc-space voice-leading graphs and three operations: a generalized version of Callender's SPLIT and FUSE, and a new operation, MOVE.  While Callender's SPLIT and FUSE operations involve three different notes, mine involve only two.  For example, Callender's SPLIT transforms pc C# to pc C and pc D, while mine transforms it to either pc C# and pc D or pc C# and pc C.  The FUSE operation is the inverse of the SPLIT--i.e., pc C and pc C# FUSE onto either pc C or pc C#.  Finally, the MOVE operation is a half-step movement of a single pitch either up or down (e.g., pc C# moves to either pc D or pc C). 

 In this generalized framework, the voice leading in Scriabin's late works involves symmetrical converging around a single pitch class or an actual chord (i.e., horizontal and vertical symmetry).  Thus, the unity of each work is assured through harmonic recurrence and symmetrical voice leading. 

 In looking for sources of musical unity, previous theorists have turned to harmony.  In contrast, the three operations discussed above allow me to construct voice-leading symmetries that recur throughout each of the three above-mentioned works.  My paper shows that symmetrical voice leading is a significant mechanism joining the harmonies in Scriabin's late works.

  Inessa Bazayev, CUNY Graduate Center


 

Interaction of Style, Aesthetic, and Method in Dallapiccola's Tre liriche greche (1942-45)

 Luigi Dallapiccola (1904--1975) is among the first Italian composers known to use serialism.  Dallapiccola first employed serial techniques throughout an entire work in his triptych of song cycles Tre liriche greche (Cinque frammenti di Saffo 1942--43, Sex carmina Alcaei 1943, Due liriche di Anacreonte 1945).  Extensive historical and analytical studies of this landmark composition characterize Dallapiccola's approach to serialism as lacking the rigor typically found in the music of the Second Viennese School.  In particular, these studies consistently draw attention to his flexible use of multiple series within single movements and his frequent reordering of serial material.  To date, these departures from serial convention in Liriche greche have been insufficiently explored.  For example, Dallapiccola's tendency to reorder serial material has been explained simply as the result of text setting (Phipps 2004, 637) and as a means to express Italian lyricism in a serial idiom (Sablich 2004, 96--97).  These explanations address local phenomena without a view towards the broader principles that lie behind Dallapiccola's decisions.  Moreover, scholars have paid little attention to Dallapiccola's own comments on composition and serialism.

 I have undertaken an analysis of Liriche greche that aims to reflect more accurately Dallapiccola's compositional process.  Informed by his writings on composition and the twelve-tone technique, my analysis uncovers that Dallapiccola's idiosyncratic serialism results from his aesthetic concern to avoid octaves and "false octaves relations."  I will first present excerpts from Liriche greche that strongly suggest that Dallapiccola conscientiously eschewed these intervals.  In order to gain yet a firmer grasp of his compositional preferences, I shall consider passages that feature octaves and false octave relations.  I will demonstrate that Dallapiccola primarily allows such intervals if they provide a vocalist with a "cue," or result from strict canonic imitation.  This analysis thus offers further insight into Dallapiccola's unorthodox approach to serialism in Liriche greche.  The twelve-tone technique provides a wealth of pitch materials that Dallapiccola employs in the compositional process.  These materials are greatly shaped, however, by several non-serial compositional criteria (avoidance of octaves and false octave relations; providing vocalist with cues; strict canonic imitation).  As such, Dallapiccola's idiosyncratic serialism in Liriche greche results from the interaction of his style, aesthetic, and method.

  Sebastiano Bisciglia, McGill


 

"Lichtmusik" and "Orgies of Darkness": Balancing the Aural and the Visual in the 1903 Mahler-Roller Tristan

 The historic 1903 Tristan und Isolde at the Vienna Court Opera was the first major collaboration between Gustav Mahler and the Secession artist Alfred Roller.  Roller's expressive use of light and color modernized Wagner productions visually and invigorated critical debates about the relative importance of music and stage spectacle in the Gesamtkunstwerk. Critics blended aural and visual terminology in describing stage elements as "light-music" or "painted Tristan-music," while others criticized the visuals for drawing audience attention away from the music. Franz Willnauer and Wolfgang Greisenegger have suggested the influence of stage reformer Adolphe Appia on Roller's use of light and space. I will delve further into Appia and Roller's conceptions of the expressive role of light and darkness in the staging of Tristan.

In his 1898 treatise La Musique et la Mise en Scène, Appia rejected theatrical naturalism and the desire for scenic illusion accomplished through painted scenery. Wagner had neglected to reform the visual presentation of his music dramas, favoring a naturalistic style that dominated Bayreuth productions for many years. Appia advocated a simplification of stage presentation and the use of light and three-dimensional space to create atmosphere. In a proposal for a staging of Tristan, Appia explicitly detailed changing light conditions within specific scenes. In Acts II and III, darkness would dominate much of the stage.

 As a visual artist, Roller used light and color more creatively in the 1903 Tristan than Appia had previously suggested. Roller's lighting and fundamental colors for each act were duly noted by contemporary journalists. Darkness dominated his Act II love duet staging, and some critics dismissed his style as "orgies of darkness." In a letter first published last year by Willnauer, singer Anna von Mildenburg berated Roller for the general darkness in his designs for Die Walküre. As a singer-actor, she argued that darkness hindered her onstage performance and confused the audience as they hopelessly sought to discern stage action.

 Reaction to Roller's visual style varied, although those who criticized the visuals as too overpowering praised their brilliance. Siegfried Wagner and the architect Adolf Loos felt that Roller's staging diverted audience attention from the music. For Siegfried, his father's naturalistic sets were most appropriate. Mahler, according to Roller, believed that music should always remain in the foreground of the audience's perception. He nevertheless praised Roller's visual conception of Tristan, demonstrating a more fully-developed view of the Gesamtkunstwerk than that of Wagner himself.  

 Stephen Thursby, Florida State University

 

Constructs of Emotional Continuity in Björk's Music: Multiple Analyses of Homogenic and Medulla

 Björk: "The reason I do photographs is to help people understand my music, so it's very important that I am the same, emotionally, in the photographs as in the music. Most people's eyes are much better developed than their ears. If they see a certain emotion in the photograph, then they'll understand the music."

 Icelandic musical artist Björk has always brought a unique approach to her music, live performance, and fashion.  The uniqueness can also be seen extending into her album designs and, in particular, the cover photos. Björk herself claims in the above quotation to consciously create emotional continuity between the visual and aural aspects of her work.  This paper seeks to discover the constructs that enable this continuity in two Björk albums: Homogenic and Medulla.  As a foundation to the discussion of emotion in Björk's work, I first establish an understanding of emotion in art.  Through the work of Leonard Meyer, Susan Langer and Susan Sontag, I explore three questions: 1) what is ‘emotion', 2) how is emotion expressed in music? and, 3) how is emotion expressed in art (i.e., visual art)?

 Once these foundations have been established, I analyse such aspects as color, poses, and clothing in the album art, perspective and narrative in the lyrics, and rhythm, harmony, texture and timbre in the music in order to discover tangible approaches Björk uses to facilitate emotional continuity between the visual and aural aspects of her work.  "I think that connection might be more important than either part on its own," Björk stated in reference to musical and visual (video, in this particular reference) elements of a song during an interview with Mark Whitely in 2004.

 Beginning with her self-admitted commitment to communicating unified emotional ideas in her work, this paper explores the methods used to ensure Björk's fans "understand the music."

  Alexa Woloshyn, University of Western Ontario

 

 
Impossible Structures:  Self-Reflexivity in the Works of Escher, Rea, and Velasquez

 Since the adaptation of post-structuralist literary theory to music scholarship, the nature and boundaries of the musical work have become increasingly difficult to define.  Particularly challenging are the musical works containing quotations from or references to works from the canon,an issue often addressed under the rubric of 'intertextuality'.  In this paper, I adapt the mathematical 'strange loop' theory discussed in Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach (1979) to a conceptual model for musical works that continuously defer to events outside their own boundaries.  In this model, the strange loop becomes a dynamic event that expands the boundaries of the work, creating the musical equivalent of the 'impossible structures' so characteristic of M.C. Escher's self-reflexive 'stair-case' lithographs.  Focusing on "Der Dichter Spricht" from John Rea's 1991 piano work Las Meninas, I explore how the composer's self-quotation from his 1982 chamber work Treppenmusik [Stair Music] represents a condition abstractly modelled on Escher's stair-structures, Diego Velasquez' Las Meninas (1656), and indirectly, Escher's Hand with Reflecting Sphere (1935) and Print Gallery (1956).  In the first part of this paper, I explore three possible realizations of the conceptual model based on different modes of deferral and self-reflexivity.  In the second part, I explore how Rea, Velasquez, and Escher use the model to expand the significance of the 'artist's gaze' or the self-portrait to comment on the condition of art and music.  I propose that Escher and Velasquez use the self-portrait to challenge the perspectival limitations of the two-dimensional artwork, while Rea uses self-quotation, the musical equivalent of a self-portrait, to reveal the contingency of his own work and consequently, the entire music tradition.  Building upon the Derridian concept of différance as a process of continuous deferral to events outside of the text, I explore the semiological ramifications of work as a condition that is impossible to edify, much like Hofstader's 'strange loop'.  My analytic discussion of "Der Dichter Spricht" will focus on the possibility of a circular or self-reflexive system governing pitch material in the Treppenmusik quotation, similar to the illusory perspectival models employed in works by Velasquez and Escher.   

Emily Adamowicz, University of Western Ontario