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 empiri...
Meta+Hodos: Applying James Tenney’s Gestalt Based Analytical Model in Undergraduate Theory Pedagogy
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 att...