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Title:The Principle of Variation: A Study in the Selection of Differences With Examples From Dallapiccola, J. S. Bach, and Brahms
Author(s):Magrill, Samuel Morse
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This dissertation is a comparative analysis of three compositions: Chaconne in D minor for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach, Variations on a Theme of Haydn, opus 56a (the orchestral version) by Johannes Brahms, and Quaderno Musicale di Annalibera for piano solo by Luigi Dallapiccola. The compositions, each a set of variations, are discussed from five perspectives, the dissertation itself being a set of five variations on the topic of investigating variations.
Prose. a discussion of the language used in speaking about compositions. Specifically, I look at what critics have written about the three works and explore ways to discuss the compositions and not the composer's and critic's fantasies.
Form and Rhythm. a segmentation of each work according to phrase structure and changes in rhythmic values. In addition, I discuss the principle of diminishing note values: as a composition progresses, the note values become shorter.
Tonality. an investigation of the concept of completion, of the conditions under which the ending, beyond terminating the composition, also concludes it. Using Schenkerian analysis, I explore how tonality creates coherence and distinctions in the three works.
Invariants and their Treatment. an investigation of invariant pitch sequences and rhythms.
Networks. a probe of the networks of relationships generated without regard to sequence in a set of variations. I make "distinguishing descriptions" showing the grid of distinctions that allows for distinguishing a particular composition from all other compositions and distinguishing each of its parts as well. I ask, "To what extent is each variation in a set distinct from the others, and how is it distinguished?" By this method, I want to revitalize compositions or at least retard their decay for me, the listener.
This dissertation represents my attempt to contribute to the state of the art of analysis and, with Chapter V in particular, implies my thesis: Network analysis is required for comparative studies in the arts.
Issue Date:1983
Description:253 p.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8309979
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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