Tonality After 1920
Music Theory 318
When we listened to many pieces from the twentieth century - even pieces that were considered shockingly modern at the time - they sound tonal. But the tools we use for analyzing Beethoven and Brahms are not always a comfortable fit for Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Copland, or-for that matter-the Rolling Stones. In this class we will examine a handful of pieces from the twentieth century that sound tonal but do not conform to analytical methods that we typically learn in the first two years of music theory. We will ask questions such as: where do we hear distorted echoes of earlier styles, how can we create narrative accounts without resorting to traditional tonal organization, and how can we understand harmonic syntax? Written work will consist of (1) responses to readings, (2) analysis of works, and (3) a final paper.