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Correlating particular instrumental colors with pitch chromaticism, three early twentieth-century scholars demonstrate how a methodical use of colorful winds, less colorful strings, and wind-string mixtures informed actual orchestrational practices. After demonstrating how Wagner’s use of...
The music-theoretical formulations of the early modern mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-83) are customarily remembered—and often dismissed—for their unconventional rankings of the consonances. A closer examination of Euler’s writings, however, reveals that he intended his theory of consonance...
Jean-Philippe Rameau’s understanding of harmony comes to us in the form of a theory that presents many interpretive difficulties. What writers of figured bass manuals were trying to achieve, on the other hand, is often more accessible, though as they go about their practical concerns they often...
For centuries, metaphors of agency have pervaded music-analytical writing. Today, as in generations past, critics routinely vivify their analytical narrations by ascribing sentience, emotion, and volition to musical works, their internal elements (pitch classes, contrapuntal voices, etc.), and...
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