The Catholic University of America

A Mordent on Modernism: Analytic Perspectives of Post-Tonal Music

John Bower

 

While the term "post-tonal" often suggests the innovations of the Second Viennese School and serial composers, post-tonal musical practice adorns a much wider selection of repertoire.  Despite stylistic differences, this shared departure from the common practice tonal tradition brings the possibility for shared analytic methodologies.  This semester, we will examine a diverse selection of primarily mid to late twentieth-century music from a set-theoretical perspective.  Reading and analysis will introduce the principles of set theory and some of its extensions as found in recent scholarship.  Our effort aims to elucidate aspects of post-tonal works that may inform interpretation, reveal compositional process, and invite broader historical and aesthetic consideration.

Repertoire will include works by Boulez, Carter, Dutilleux, Lindberg, Messiaen, Pärt, Reich, and Rochberg, among others.

 

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