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ItemSurmising the Compulsions of Creativity( 2013)Undergraduate theory texts and coursework have traditionally been focused on concepts that create form, harmonic and melodic language, unusual features and temporal organization in tonal, and more recently, atonal music. Understandably, and perhaps due to space restrictions, emphasis has been placed almost entirely on empirical topics of structural significance within those criteria. By way of an example taken from the third movement of Anton Webern's Op. 5 string quartet, the author illustrates the need and value of straying from the empirical and chancing conjecture while analyzing compositions influenced by composers' enigmatic game-like constructs.
ItemMeta+Hodos: Applying James Tenney’s Gestalt Based Analytical Model in Undergraduate Theory Pedagogy( 2012)To this day, undergraduate theory curriculum is primarily concerned with information related to the form defining elements of functional harmony. Students are taught to analyze harmonic context and pitch relationships almost to the exclusion of all other factors. How- ever, contemporary and modernist compositions frequently rely far less on pitch relationships as primary form creating devices. Other parameters take on greater significance. Even as pitch remains a critical element in serial and set related music, a method of drawing attention to non-pitch or non-functional harmonic structures is crucial to a more complete understand- ing of the form and comprehension of post-tonal music. As a potential remedy, this article explores the possible utilization and merits of James Tenney's gestalt based analytical model presented in his book Meta+Hodos. Within the context of this paper, his insights into gestalt theory will be used as an attempt to clarify and describe perceived aural phenomena from which a more comprehensive interpretation of non-tonal music may follow.