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Seminar Calendar and Readings

Primary readings

Cadwallader, Allen and David Gagne. Analysis of Tonal Music: A Schenkerian Approach. London: Oxford U Press, 1997.

Dahlhaus, Carl. Between Romanticism to Modernism. Translated by Mary Whitall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

Lerdahl, Fred and Ray Jackendoff. Generative Theory of Tonal Music. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1983.

Forte, Allen and Steven E. Gilbert. Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis. New York: Norton, 1982.

Straus, Joseph. Introduction to Post-Tonal Theory. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1990.

Nauert, Paul. Notes on PC-Set Theory. Unpublished.



WEEK 1 [January 8]

DUE: To do well in this course, you need basic music literacy, and competency in Roman-numeral analysis, including analysis involving secondary or temporary tonics. (You may have used the term “modulation” or “tonicization” for these situations in previous study.) You will also need experience in freely composing a melody above a figured bass line.


(Optional) — If you are not as confident in Roman-numeral analysis as you would like to be, please seek my feedback by completing exercises D, F, and G in the free online web resource for Chapter 19 of Laitz, Stephen G. The Complete Musician: An Integrated Approach to Tonal Theory, Analysis, and Listening. (Cambridge/New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).


(Required) — Instrumental Counterpoint Exercise — Compose melodies conforming to stylistic characteristics of short 18th-c instrumental compositions, over each of the two given figured bass lines in the assignment above. To help, my own overview of typical guidelines for instrumental counterpoint might be helpful:


1. Two-part writing and Note-to-note guidelines: adapted from the early chapters of Kent Kennan’s Counterpoint Based on Eighteenth-Century Practice (Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999; see esp. these excerpts from Kennan’s Chapter 4, and Chapter 6), and the Mitchell translation of C.P.E. Bach’s [1759] Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments (London: Eulenburg, 1974). 


2. Whole melody (/well-formedness) guidelines, also adapted from Kennan (ibid.) and from Reicha’s [1814] Treatise on Melody, trans. E.S Metcalf. London: E.S. Metcalf, 1896.



WEEK 2 [(Tuesday) January 16] 
(1) Forte & Gilbert Ch. 1 “Melodic Diminutions”. Choose two of these five exercises: Ex. 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9 (pp 38-40) to complete.
(2) London, Justin (1990). Riepel and Absatz: Poetic and Prosaic Aspects of Phrase Structure in 18th-c Theory.” In Journal of Musicology, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 505-519. Prepare 2-3 questions and lead discussion on at least one. [use UCSC Libraries’ Off Campus Access login instructions to access this article when not on eduroam or cruznet).]

(1) Complete a “rhythmic reduction”*, graph, and formal description on one of the following two songs by Stephen FosterLaura Lee or Beautiful Dreamer.

*To make a rhythmic reduction of the melody, follow the methods described in Forte & Gilbert Ch. 1. For our course, the melodic reduction should be “stems up,” so that you can then write additional noteheads (without stems) beneath the melody to express the harmonic progression. Here is a model graph & description (of Foster’s “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair”) that you may follow. Here is a sample of the score.

(2—for discussion, no submission) Please *begin* your analysis of a Sonatina movement, assigned in class 1/8; due 1/22. By 1/15, complete a Roman-numeral harmonic analysis, identify cadences, and sketch a reduction, noting areas of ambiguity or confusion.


{ Week 2 — in-seminar examples, lecture notes + model for completion of week 3 sonatina analysis }

WEEK 3 [January 22]

(1) Read: Cadwallader & Gagne Ch. 2 “Melody and Counterpoint” (pp 15-24). Complete Two additional exercises among those listed in week 1 for Forte & Gilbert Ch. 1 “Melodic Diminutions”; with additional notations of “PD” (predominant), and elaborations discussed in class.

Optional exercises: Cadwallader & Gagne Ch. 3Forte & Gilbert Ch. 6 “Some Common Secondary Structural Features”.

(3) Complete a foreground graph of a Mozart Sonatina movement

 Sign up for a movement here

Assignment guidelines: Analysis of a Sonatina Movement, Step I.



WEEKS 4 & 5 [January 29 & February 5] 

(Due January 29) Forte & Gilbert Ch. 8 “The concept of prolongation”; revise your foreground graph due Jan 20, and complete Step II of the Sonatina Analysis. (That links to both steps; scroll down for step II.)

(1) Read: Cone, Edward T. “Analysis Today” In The Musical Quarterly 46/2 (Special Issue: Problems of Modern Music (Apr., 1960), pp. 172-188.) Prepare 2-3 questions and lead discussion on at least one. Along with the Dahlhaus excerpts below, this article is meant to introduce and frame our “big picture” transition between inquiries into tonality (weeks 1-5) and into atonality (weeks 6-10).


(Due February 5) Excerpts from Carl Dahlhaus’s “Issues in Composition” in Between Romanticism to Modernism. Translated by Mary Whitall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

To read the Dahlhaus effectively, please listen to, and read, examples from the literature discussed within the text. Bring to seminar (to turn in) a 1-2 paragraph description of harmonic or thematic issues you find in at least one work relevant to Dahlhaus’ argument. This is an open-ended assignment, but you should attempt to describe a passage of music in order to clarify, or dispute, a claim that Dahlhaus makes.

Sample Scores for Week 4-5 Project (Full graph due February 12): Brahms, Wolf, Strauss, and Mahler.



WEEK 6 [February 12]

Nauert notes pp. 1-13

Straus Ch. 2 “Pitch-class Sets”

Although there is overlap between these two readings, complete them both. After reading the Nauert, make sure you have grasped the concept of “Tn prime form” as applied to 4-5 common pitch sets, including some chords with which you’re familiar from tonal or vernacular traditions. Consider finding your own words for the distinction between “Tn” and “TnI” prime form, and come to class with at least a preliminary, intuitive understanding of how the terms relate to one another.

When reading the Straus, note that he uses the term “Prime form” in place of Nauert’s (more precise) term “TnI prime form.” (Nauert’s tutorial presumes that in some cases “Tn” set classes—smaller classes of sets transpositionally but not inversionally related—are a relevant distinction in the structure of a work.)  

Complete the Straus exercises on pp 44-45.



WEEK 7 & 8 [extended office hours Feb. 20, February 26]

Nauert notes pp. 14-26

Richard Bass (1991), “Sets, Scales, and Symmetries: The Pitch-Structural Basis of George Crumb’s “Makrokosmos” I and II,” in Music Theory Spectrum  Vol. 13, No. 1

Post-tonal analysis project, step 1 [due February 23]: Listen attentively to several songs from these two collections (scores are linked to the cycle titles; recordings following):

 Arnold Schoenberg’s Op. 15 (1908/9) “Das Buch der Hängenden Gärten,” (here’s a strong live performance by Elizabeth Smith & Josef Jungen at Eastman; there are others on youtube)

 and Anton Webern’s 6 Lieder Op. 14 (1917-22) settings of poems by (Gedichte von) Georg Trakl (recording by  Heather Harper; Pierre Boulez cond.).


Choose one song, and after more careful listening, identify 3-5 pc sets that you consider salient as a group. The group should not only be connected perceptually somehow, but perceptually distinct, in at least one way, from any events that you don’t include.

Identify each group as a pc set (using the “normal form” label), as a Tn set class, and as a TnI set class.

For each pc set, write all 11 transpositions, and all 11 indices of its inversion.

Write all of the pitch classes in the work—tedius, but it will start to go quickly once momentum sets in. (You can either label the score with clear ink, or simply write the pc-intergers on a blank sheet, in spatial arrangements resembling the score, so that you can easily connect the two.

Scanning your pc-set description of the piece, identify any occurrences of transformation or variation of the original 3-5 sets that you identified. Come to class prepared to discuss either the invariance, or variation, of pc-sets in the work.



WEEK 9 [March 5]

Presentation previews (optional — you may choose to present a portion of your work in advance, in order to “prepare” the seminar with listening, or questions and problems to consider. Some analytical claims are better made to an audience familiar with fundamental claims, and that familiarity is easier to establish when a presentation is split between meetings a week apart.)

1. Nauert notes pp. 27-32

2. J. Daniel Jenkins (2009), “After the Harvest: Carter’s Fifth String Quartet and the Late Late Style,” in Music Theory Online Volume 16, Number 3.

3. Straus Ch. 5 “Basic Twelve-tone Operations”



WEEK 10 [March 12]

Presentations + Joseph Straus’ “Analytical Misreadings” (Ch. 2 of Remaking the Past)

Optional reading: Carson, Ben Leeds. [zip file 2.3 MB] “Schoenberg’s Ambivalent Thought: subjectivity in ‘Du lehnest wider eine Silberweide…” In Cox, Biro, Takesugi, & Sigman, eds., The Second Century of New Music. New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2011.



FINALS-WEEK MEETING [Thursday, March 22 — 12:00 noon - 3:00 PM]

Presentations +

Kofi Agawu, “How We Got out of Analysis, and How to Get Back in Again,” in Music Analysis, Vol. 23, No. 2/3 (Jul. - Oct., 2004), pp. 267-286.



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    Carson: various information - 202: Analysis - Seminar Calendar and Readings

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