Archive for January, 2010

Men at Work

29 January, 2010

David Kulma and I are writing a piece for dance at Kent State University. It’s the first time either of us has done a collborative work, and the nature of our collaboration has been tremendous fun for both of us. Herewith, a clip showing some of the work we do in writing the piece.  This piece has been very process-oriented, and thus has required a great deal of whiteboard sketching. After our first round of such work, we began joking about filming these sessions for posterity. Now we have. Look on our work, ye mighty, and despair.

The Seminal Work or, Academia Ho!

17 January, 2010

My in-progress dissertation is concerned with Hindemith. His theory of chord analysis is a fascinating rethinking of harmony, and is  potentially more viable than set theory in analysis of post-tonal music. In his The Craft of Musical Composition, Hindemith presents analyses from Machaut to Schoenberg. His Schoenberg analysis always bothered me, because it seemed perfunctory, and because it seemed to bypass a true attempt at analysis in favor of a dismissal of Schoenberg’s music.

So, I went out for the team. I started working on analyses of other works, mainly concerned with chord root analysis and melodic step-progressions. To my delight, the sixth of Schoenberg’s Op. 19 piano pieces was very plausible in a Hindemithian analysis. While it is true that the perfect fifths and fourths that Hindemith priveleges are not as predominant, the melodic and harmonic intervals that Schoenberg himself prefers are structurally significant. Further, the upper voice and the general melodic tendency form a wonderful descending step-progression, crossing over 4 octaves in the course of less than 20 measures. Herewith, please find a more detailed discussion of the analyses that inspired my dissertation’s theoretic work.

Hindemith and Progression

Peter Maxwell Davies, Bs!

9 January, 2010

So I’m checking the stats on my website (it’s a daily reminder of how unbelievably awesome I am), and I see a link from soundandmusic.org referring to me. Apparently, in an interview they did with Mr. Davies, they referenced my paper on the magic square readings in two movements from his amazing piece, Ave Maris Stella.   It’s also a nice interview, talking about some of his earlier works (Miss Donnithorne, 8 Songs), and the ongoing series of string quartets on Naxos.

Like Oscar Wilde and Charles Wuorinen at a disco.

7 January, 2010

David Kulma and I are starting a new blog. We’re reading the big names in post-tonal theory, and commenting thereon. Starting w/ Forte’s The Structure of Atonal Music.