Chapter

COMPETING MODELS OF MUSIC: THEORIES OF MUSICAL FORM AND HIERARCHY

Lawrence M. Zbikowski

in Conceptualizing Music

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195140231
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199871278 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140231.003.0008

Series: AMS Studies in Music

COMPETING MODELS OF MUSIC: THEORIES OF MUSICAL FORM AND HIERARCHY

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This chapter begins by exploring static and dynamic models of musical form that emerged in the 18th century and the way these models were transformed by changes in ideology and music education that took place beginning late in that century. It then considers two models of musical hierarchy that were initially developed to apply to domains other than music. It was only in the early 19th century that they were applied to music, and then to two rather different aspects of musical organization. The first model views hierarchy as a matter of control: each level in a hierarchy (with the exception of those at the extremes) controls the next-lower level and is itself controlled by the next-higher level. This model stretches back at least to the Middle Ages and is most often used to account for tonal organization. The second model of hierarchy relies on a more componential approach: the elements of level A of the hierarchy combine to make up individual elements at the next-higher level (level B of the hierarchy); the elements of level B then combine to make up individual elements at the next higher level (level C of the hierarchy), and so on, until the account of structure is exhausted. This model emerged during the 17th century and is most often used to explain music's metrical structure.

Keywords: musical form; grammar; rhetoric; musical hierarchy; music education

Chapter.  20288 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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