Tonal Pitch Space and the (neo-)Riemannian <i>Tonnetz</i>

Richard Cohn

in The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Riemannian Music Theories

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195321333
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

  Tonal Pitch Space and the (neo-)Riemannian Tonnetz

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This article reexamines the Tonnetz as an analytical apparatus. Drawing on Fred Lerdahl's Tonal Pitch Space, which is critical of the homology of tone, chord, and key space posited by the Riemannian Tonnentz, the article proposes a hybrid spatial model that draws on both the Riemannian tradition and Lerdahl's hierarchical model. The pragmatic solution presented in this article allows for communication, reinterpretation, and relocation between tempered and unbounded spaces of tones, key spaces, and diatonic spaces or regions of triads, through the graphic metaphors of the Tonnetz and its allied spatial models. Apart from providing a pragmatic solution, the article also illustrates the hybrid model in analyses of Schumann, Wagner, and Chopin, with the view of suggesting further explorations and applications of these analytical tools.

Keywords: Tonnetz; Fred Lerdahl; Riemannian tradition; Lerdahl's hierarchical model; spatial model; Schumann; Wagner; Chopin

Article.  9071 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Theory and Analysis

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