Form and Structure

Form and Structure

Photo by Alain Pham on Unsplash

Week 2 of Analytical Techniques, Boston’s first graduate music theory course, uses Schenkerian analysis to look at the layers of form and structure of a piece of music. The lecture modules discussed surface design and how to look for changes within the design using musical character, texture, form, and other subtle clues. Examples from the lecture included Mozart’s Fantasia in C minor, K. 475, an excerpt from Hildegard von Bingen's Ordo Virtutum, Bach’s Prelude in C major from The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Presto from Mozart’s Violin Sonata, K. 526, and Beethoven’s Bagatelle, Op. 126, No. 1. Our discussion board post asked us specific questions about Felix Salzer’s analysis of Mozart’s Fantasia in C minor, K. 475. The Application assignment looked at the construction of Hugo Wolf’s Das verlassene Mägdlein. Finally, our assignment was to analyze the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, "Pathétique" for structure and some Roman numeral analysis.

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Harmony

Harmony

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

For Week 1 of Analytical Techniques, we reviewed analysis of harmony. Concepts covered included: types of chords occurring in tonal music, functions of chords, non-harmonic tones, expressive corrections, the Neapolitan 6th chord, augmented 6th chords, common-tone diminished 7th chords, and chromatic third relationships. On Thursday (March 21) night, we had our first optional Live Classroom in which the instructor walked us through our first application. By Friday, we had to submit a discussion board post. On Saturday, we had our second weekly optional Live Classroom answering questions about our assignment which was due Monday, March 25.

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Analytical Techniques I — Graduate Music Theory at Boston University

Analytical Techniques I — Graduate Music Theory at Boston University

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For the Spring II 2019 term of my doctoral program, I am taking MT600: Analytical Techniques, the required graduate music theory course. Prior to taking this course, students either have to (a) pass a Music Theory Proficiency Exam, or (b) take MT400: Graduate Theory Review, a remedial theory course that does not count towards the 48 required credits. The rest of this post will detail the Proficiency Exam and MT400 but mostly focus on the structure of the MT600 course.

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