The Music of Leos Janácek
Title Details

302 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

170 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

The Music of Leos Janácek

Motive, Rhythm, Structure

by Zdenek Skoumal

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
The first thorough theoretical study of Janácek's compositions, focusing on motivic and rhythmic structure and identifying elements that give the music coherence, character, and interest.
The works of Leos Janácek, including Jenufa and several of his other operas, have been widely performed in recent years. But they have rarely been investigated closely from a theoretical perspective, and their musical language remains only partially understood. Zdenek Skoumal here offers a chronological exploration of Janácek's compositions that focuses on musical structure, identifying elements and processes that give the music coherence, character, and interest.

Skoumal demonstrates how the music combines and blends traditional tonal elements, folk-influenced features, and techniques that were forward-looking at the time. In particular, the music is shown to employ highly sophisticated and continually transforming motivic and rhythmic components.

The book's numerous musical analyses are motivically centered and employ various analytical approaches, including ones that involve reduction, structural levels, basic set theory, and rhythmic theory. Discussions of Janácek's works with a libretto or other type of text consider relationships between word and music, revealing their connection to deeper structural issues.
Preface
Janácek's Motives
Musical Elements
Nineteenth-Century Foundation
Folk Studies
Jenufa
Middle-Period Works
The Cunning Little Vixen
The Wandering Madman
First String Quartet - First Movement
Three Rhythmic Studies
Postscript
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Zdenek Skoumal is a music theorist and independent scholar who has held teaching appointments at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University.

"The Music of Leos Janácek: Motive, Rhythm, Structure is an impressive achievement and an important guide to musical language. Simply put, this is an urgently needed book." Edward Jurkowski, Desautels Faculty of Music, University of Manitoba

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9781580469944

June 2020

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Title Details

302 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

170 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press