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Toward a Theory of Recapitulatory Tonal Alterations

Toward a Theory of Recapitulatory Tonal Alterations Despite differences in critical alignment, epistemological underpinnings, and reportorial coverage, studies of sonata forms nevertheless tend to share one feature: they devote the least amount of space to recapitulations. Two presuppositions might explain this neglect: (1) the recapitulation is an exact (or near-exact) restatement of the exposition’s thematic materials, and (2) it takes but one tonal alteration (or “adjustment”) of these materials to make a recapitulation conclude in the key in which it began. This article aims to examine the second of these presuppositions in hopes of painting a more complete and analytically adequate picture of actual practices. Its goals are, first, to give an idea of the range of strategies available to composers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and, second, to show how familiarity with these strategies can open a space for new interpretations of formal drama and the plotting of narrative. The central analytic section of the article presents a taxonomy of six compositional strategies for making tonal alterations: alterations in silence, immediate alterations, thick alterations, multiple alterations, alterations without adjustment, and self-effacing alterations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

Toward a Theory of Recapitulatory Tonal Alterations

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 63 (2) – Oct 1, 2019

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Copyright
© 2019 by Yale University
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-7795269
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Despite differences in critical alignment, epistemological underpinnings, and reportorial coverage, studies of sonata forms nevertheless tend to share one feature: they devote the least amount of space to recapitulations. Two presuppositions might explain this neglect: (1) the recapitulation is an exact (or near-exact) restatement of the exposition’s thematic materials, and (2) it takes but one tonal alteration (or “adjustment”) of these materials to make a recapitulation conclude in the key in which it began. This article aims to examine the second of these presuppositions in hopes of painting a more complete and analytically adequate picture of actual practices. Its goals are, first, to give an idea of the range of strategies available to composers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and, second, to show how familiarity with these strategies can open a space for new interpretations of formal drama and the plotting of narrative. The central analytic section of the article presents a taxonomy of six compositional strategies for making tonal alterations: alterations in silence, immediate alterations, thick alterations, multiple alterations, alterations without adjustment, and self-effacing alterations.

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2019

References