Navigating the Triadic Universe: Three Compositional Scripts

Richard Cohn

in Audacious Euphony

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199772698
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932238 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Music Theory

Navigating the Triadic Universe: Three Compositional Scripts

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Chapter 6 presents three analytic scripts for navigating the triadic universe, and shows how those scripts and their compositional instantiations are represented using the concepts and geometries introduced in chapter 5. The first script involves retention of a single tone, varying the harmonies that support it. Der Dopplenganger and the development of Brahms 2nd Symphony illustrate. The second script involves a downshift/upshift sequence, sometimes with an overshoot requiring recuperation, generalizing prototypical Riemann-functional scripts. Schubert’s Auf dem Flusse, Liedesend, and Bb piano sonata, and a short organ work of Liszt, illustrate. The third script involves a continuous upshift, illustrated by the long-range tonal structure of Schumann’s Dichterliebe and the local harmonic progression of the development section of Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

Keywords: doppelgänger; auf dem Flusse; new World Symphony; brahms; dvorak; liszt; continuous upshift; harmonic function

Chapter.  10407 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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