Back Home Components Scholarship and Research Volume 30

Volume 30

In his essay "Music as a Pursuit for Men," published in 1820, Norwich newspaperman and gentleman amateur Richard Mackenzie Bacon champions music as a masculine pastime. His case rests largely on an attribute that does not seem to have impressed other British apologists of the art in the late eighteenth…
Now that jazz is achieving respectability in educational circles and analysts are applying their diverse techniques to improvised solos, it is appropriate to review what is being done in jazz analysis and to suggest a direction for the future. The three purposes of this article are: to present an overview…
Bartók's Bluebeard: The Sources of Its "Modernism"1 Historical Background More than three quarters of a century after its composition, Bartók's opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle (1911) is still categorized as "modern" music. Its status as a "contemporary" opera is largely due to the radical departure of its musical language from the…
I have often noticed in my teaching that students seem to retain principles or concepts better if the accompanying musical illustrations substitute more exotic or unusual excerpts and composers in place of the steady diet of Germanic "piano sonata" literature found in many harmony texts. For instance, the "Nacht" from…
Berg, Strindberg, and D Minor1 Berg's fusion of tonality and atonality is a notable feature of his musical language, and the key of D minor appears with surprising regularity. D minor can be found in various of his early unpublished piano sonatas, in two songs of Op. 2, the Three…
The two-semester course for music majors which concentrates almost exclusively on European music from the Middle Ages to the mid-twentieth century has been a standard on American campuses for several decades as the core music history requirement for music majors. It represents in most programs a "bottom line" of historical…
In Part I of this article (which appeared in College Music Symposium 29 [1989], 81-92), I assessed the impact of feminist methods and perspectives on the field of American musicology and summarized what we have learned from the various studies about women and music that have appeared in recent years.…
Frederick II, known as Frederick the Great, was the eldest surviving son of Frederick William I and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, sister of George II of England. Born in Berlin in 1712, Frederick demonstrated an early interest and talent in music and French literature that created strife with his stern…
Recent research into the music of the Classic era continues to bring to light the lives and works of an increasing number of important composers and other musicians active in the latter half of the eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century. Along with a greater understanding of musical styles…
The puzzle canon in Baroque and pre-Baroque times was well known to composers and theorists as a pleasant source of amusement as well as a means for developing their awareness of counterpoint. It usually took the form of a single melodic line accompanied by an enigmatic inscription hinting at a…
"Mondnacht" is described by Oskar Seidlin as Eichendorff's "most beautiful poem, one of the few perfect lyrical marvels in the German language."1 Schumann's universally beloved setting, "pure magic" in Gerald Moore's words,2 is equally prized as one of the true gems of the German art song literature (Fig. 1).  …
Reading Schumann By Way of Jean Paul and His Contemporaries1 "Of pieces for a mosaic I have indeed enough, and to spare." Jean Paul Richter, from "The Life of Maria Wuz, the Merry-Hearted Dominie of Auenthal" I Commenting on the reception of his Op. 2 as rendered by Clara Wieck…
I. Introduction In the first part of Schubert's C-Major Moment Musical, the return of the opening theme has all the drama of a recapitulation after a long and episodic development. The preceding "development," however, is very short, and does not prepare in any customary way for the return of the…
This article will examine five piano works from an epoch which has been called the high noon of German Romanticism. Four out of the five works are virtually forgotten today, submerged in the current of the present age. The composers represented, Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47), William Sterndale Bennett (1816-75), Stephen Heller…
Introduction This article is a sequel to "The Politics of Definition in New Music," which appeared in the previous issue of the College Music Symposium. In that article, the struggle between modernist and minimalist aesthetics was explored, with an aim to discover how the legacy of these two antithetical movements…
The short compositions that make up the Mikrokosmos cycle by Béla Bartók have long provided an indispensable repertory to most teachers of contemporary keyboard technique. In addition, many of these pieces are models of structural transparency that reveal a great deal about the composer's mature compositional technique. Such features recommend…
In the preceding paper, Elliott Antokoletz provides a structural analysis of the Fifth Door Scene in Bartók's opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle. Antokoletz describes the scene's organization as an "overall extended binary form" based on the text's quatrain-like folksong structure. He suggests that the text structure is projected onto several formal…
Any college teacher who teaches an introductory music course to general students—the kind of course that has long been called "music appreciation"—can benefit from reading the 1989 CMS Report Number 7: Music in the Undergraduate Curriculum: A Reassessment. It is not that the report focuses on introductory courses or on…
To characterize Beethoven's Minor Quartet as teleology is to underscore its purposeful structural design, and to consider how Beethoven achieved its powerful underlying integration in movements comprising a scenario of dramatic contrasts. The work shows to a striking degree the dialectic of coherence and disjunction. Beethoven had specifically addressed these…
Recently, I was asked to review an article submitted for publication in a professional journal in which the author, unknown to me, noted the omission of Black composers from the study of music history and the exclusion of jazz and other ethnic musical expressions from theory and literature courses normally…
Not long ago I visited my local automobile dealer. Attracted by the low sticker price, I explained to the salesman I had no inclination to purchase any of the long list of extras affixed to the side window. "But you will have to pay $169 for the rear window wiper,"…
It is only since Japan's recovery from the second world war that Japanese composers have fully assimilated the Western musical vocabulary, obscuring the traditional distinctions between Western and Japanese music. Of the generation of composers reaching maturity in the postwar years, the strongest international impact has been made by Toru…
Idea and Analysis: Aspects of Unification in Musical Explanation1 I myself consider the totality of a piece as the idea: the idea which its creator wanted to present. (Arnold Schoenberg, "New Music, Outmoded Music, Style and Idea (1946)," Style and Idea, 122 ff.)2 We do not believe enough in the…