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Music Theory and the Exploration of the Past

In recent decades, increased specialization has sharply separated music theory from historical musicology. Music Theory and the Exploration of the Past brings together a group of essays—written by theorists and musicologists—that seek to bridge this gap. This collection shows that music theory can join forces with historical musicology to produce a more humanistic form of musical scholarship.

In nineteen essays dealing with musical theories from the twelfth to the twentieth century, two recurring themes emerge. One is the need to understand the historical circumstances of the writing and reception of theory, a humanistic approach that gives theory a place within social and intellectual history. The other is the advantages of applying contemporaneous theory to the music of a given period, thus linking theory to the history of musical styles and structures. The periods given principal attention in these essays are the Renaissance, the years around 1800, and the twentieth century.

Abundantly illustrated with musical examples, Music Theory and the Exploration of the Past offers models of new practical applications of theory to the analysis of music. At the same time, it raises the broader question of how historical knowledge can deepen the understanding of an art and of systematic writings about that art.

576 pages | 140 music examples and figures | 6 x 9 | © 1993

Music: General Music

Table of Contents

Christopher Hatch and David W. Bernstein

1 Music Theory and Its Histories
Thomas Christensen

2 The Earliest Phases of Measured Polyphony
Ernest H. Sanders

3 Modal Strategies in Okeghem’s Missa Cuiusvis Toni
Leeman L. Perkins

4 Finding the Soggetto in Willaert’s Free Imitative
Counterpoint: A Step in Modal Analysis
Benito V. Rivera

5 Mode and Counterpoint
Peter N. Schubert

6 The Cavalier Ercole Bottrigari and His Brickbats:
Prolegomena to the Defense of Don Nicola Vicentino against Messer
Gandolfo Sigonio
Maria Rika Maniates

7 Theory as Polemic: Mutio Effrem’s Censure . . . sopra il
sesto libro de madrigali de Marco da Galiano
Edmond Strainchamps

8 The Place of Aesthetics in Theoretical Treatises on Music
Edward A. Lippman

9 Chromaticism in Classical Music
James M. Baker

10 Momigny’s Type de la Musique and a Treatise in the
Ian Bent

11 Normality and Disruption in Beethoven’s Bagatelle Op. 119,
No. 8
Christopher Hatch

12 Coda as Culmination: The First Movement of the "Eroica"
Robert P. Morgan

13 Symmetry and Symmetrical Inversion in Turn-of-the-Century
Theory and Practice
David W. Bernstein

14 Schoenberg and Goethe: Organicism and Analysis
Severine Neff

15 The Contrapuntal Combination: Schoenberg’s Old Hat
P. Murray Dineen

16 The "New Education" and Music Theory, 1900-1925
Lee A. Rothfarb

17 Harmony as a Determinant of Structure in Webern’s Variations
for Orchestra
Graham H. Phipps

18 "The Fantasy Can Be Critically Examined": Composition and
Theory in the Thought of Stefan Wolpe
Austin Clarkson

19 The Traditions Revisited: Stravinsky’s Requiem
Canticles as Russian Music
Richard Taruskin

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