AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Process, Symmetry, and Neo-Classicism in the 20th Century: Three analytic essays

by Matthew Gordon Szwyd

Institution: University of Washington
Year: 2015
Keywords: Anton Webern; Five Movements for String Quartet; Op. 5; No.1; Gérard Grisey; Olivier Messiaen; Talea; Visions de l'Amen; Music; music
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2132814
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/34074


This thesis comprises three analyses on works from the early, middle, and late periods of the twentieth century. The first chapter uses pitch set analysis, harmonic polarity, and motivic development in order to examine the use of classical form in Anton Webern's Five Movements for String Quartet, Op. 5, No. 1 (1909). The work, from Webern’s early, pre-twelve-tone atonal period, is a calculated attempt by the composer to, in his own words, “say—in quite a new way—what has been said before.” The second chapter examines the concurrent application of both symmetry and the integral values of Christian numerology (three, five, and seven), applied to pitch, time, and rhythm in Olivier Messiaen's Visions de l'Amen (1943). The third chapter focuses on the first section of Gerard Grisey's Talea (1986), and evaluates the procedures by which Grisey integrates several musical dichotomies as a form-articulating process. Advisors/Committee Members: Bernard, Jonathan W (advisor).