Music Theory in Concept and Practice

September 2009
200 line illustrations
536 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
ISBN: 9781580462259
Format: Paperback
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press

Music Theory in Concept and Practice

Edited by James M. Baker, David W. Beach, Jonathan W. Bernard

Historical, theoretical and analytical studies of principally 19-20c topics, reflecting current musical research.
This collection of nineteen essays, all by leaders in the field of music theory, reflects the rich diversity of topics and approaches currently being explored. The contributions fall within three principal areas of study that have remained at the heart of the discipline. One is historical research, which includes efforts to trace the development of theoretical ideas and their philosophical bases. Representing this broad category are essays dealing with issues like Scriabin's mysticism, neoclassicism, modern aesthetics, and the development of the concept of pitch collection in twentieth-century theoretical writings. The second area embraces the theory and analysis of common-practice tonality and its associated repertoire (including chromatic and 'transitional' music). Within this category are several studies related directly to or derived from Schenkerian theory, covering repertoire from Bach through Schubert and Chopin to Gershwin. Complementing these articles are a study of a chromatic work by Liszt and an essay on Schoenberg's concept of tonality. The third broad category includes the large body of work associated with the theory and analysis of post-tonal music. Representing this extensive area of inquiry are essays dealing with voice leading in atonal music and extending Allen Forte's theory of the set complex, and analytical studies dealing with works by Schoenberg and Webern. Adding to these contributions are articles that deal with works by composers less frequently discussed in the analytical literature, Milhaud and Peter Maxwell Davies, and an empirical study of aural cognition of atonal and tonal music.
These essays, all by colleagues, friends, and students of Allen Forte are intended as a celebrationof his enormous contribution to the discipline of music theory.

James Baker is Professor of Music at Brown University; David Beach is Dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto; Jonathan Bernard is Professor of Music at the University of Washington.

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Table of Contents

Chord, Collection, and Set in Twentieth-Century Theory - Jonathan W. Bernard
Scriabin's Music: Structure as Prism for Mystical Philosophy - James M. Baker
Tonality: A Conflict of Forces - Patricia Carpenter
Neoclassicism and Its Definitions - Pieter C. van den Toorn
Modernist Aesthetics, Modernist Music: Some Analytical Perspectives - Arnold Whittall
Salient Features - John Rothgeb
Synthesis and Association, Structure and Design in Multi-Movement. Compositions - David Neumeyer
Tonal/Atonal: Cognitive Strategies for Recognizing Transposed Melodies - Elizabeth West Marvin
Voice Leading in Atonal Music - Joseph N. Straus
K, Kh, and Beyond - Robert D. Morris
The Submediant as Third Divider: Its Representation at Different Structural Levels - David W. Beach
The Form of Chopin's Polonaise-Fantasy - William Rothstein
Chasing the Scent: Tonality in Liszt's Blume und Duft - Robert P. Morgan
Reflections on a Few Good Tunes: Linear Progressions and Intervallic Patterns in Popular Song and Jazz - Steven E. Gilbert
Bitonality, Pentatonicism, and Diatonicism in a Work by Milhaud - Daniel Harrison
Signposts on Webern's Path to Atonality: The Dehmel Lieder (1906-08) - Robert W. Wason
Some Notes on Pierrot Lunaire - David Lewin
Form and Idea in Schoenberg's Phantasy - Christopher Hasty
Elision and Structural Levels in Peter Maxwell Davies's Dark Angels - Ann K. McNamee


A survey -- a celebration, indeed -- of the discipline of music theory as it stands at the start of the twenty-first century. . . . Unselfconscious and authoritative . . . accessible both to specialists, and to the general reader who wants to be made more aware of what's new and exciting in the field. CLASSICAL.NET [Mark Sealey]
the entire review can be accessed at

Its nineteen essays attest to the depth and breadth of Forte's influence and show the field at its richest. This distinguished volume represents the continuation of . . . intellectual traditions that have been focused and refracted through Forte's scholarship and teaching. NOTES, September 1998

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