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Topic: Schenkerian Analysis and Composition

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  1. #1

    Schenkerian Analysis and Composition

    I love the intellectual aspect of composing. And I have been taking a look at Schenkerian Analysis. I am wondering if composers ever use this as a means of structuring a composition. For some reason I am drawn to the hidden architecture of a composition. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Schenkerian Analysis and Composition

    I used this type of analysis in my undergrad work. It seems to work well for tonal music Bach thru Bruckner, I am not sure it would work in a non-tonal center style of music. It's been a long time since I've done one of these types of analysis that I would have to bone up on them.

    Best regards,

    Bill
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

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  3. #3

    Re: Schenkerian Analysis and Composition

    Is it something you would use as part of the process of composition as opposed to analysis of a preexisting composition.

  4. #4
    Senior Member caher's Avatar
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    Re: Schenkerian Analysis and Composition

    I haven't thought about this in about 4 decades but as I recall from a lecture by Carl Schacter that I attended way back then, this technique in more useful as an analytic tool than a compositional technique, although IIRC Schenker intended it to be used that way.

  5. #5

    Re: Schenkerian Analysis and Composition

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardMc View Post
    I love the intellectual aspect of composing...
    As long as you don't produce music that sounds like it was intellectualized - Unless you want only academic types to appreciate your music!

    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: Schenkerian Analysis and Composition

    Quote Originally Posted by caher View Post
    I haven't thought about this in about 4 decades but as I recall from a lecture by Carl Schacter that I attended way back then, this technique in more useful as an analytic tool than a compositional technique, although IIRC Schenker intended it to be used that way.
    Interesting. I have Salzer and Schacter's Composition In Counterpoint. That is where I was first exposed I think to Shenkerian type of analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    As long as you don't produce music that sounds like it was intellectualized - Unless you want only academic types to appreciate your music!

    Randy
    I understand what your saying. Fortunately I can see the intellectual beauty of a C Major Triad or an Authentic Cadence. That doesn't mean I create music that people like but I am not driven to compose esoteric music.

  7. #7
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    Re: Schenkerian Analysis and Composition

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardMc View Post
    I love the intellectual aspect of composing. And I have been taking a look at Schenkerian Analysis. I am wondering if composers ever use this as a means of structuring a composition. For some reason I am drawn to the hidden architecture of a composition. Thanks.
    It would be possible to design a Schenkerian analysis (background, middle ground, and foreground with melodic step progressions) and use it as the basis of a tonal composition. It's actually somewhat similar to a jazz musician working out the chord progressions of a piece before composing the actual notes. However, if you try this, I would strongly urge you not to become totally committed to it. If you arrive at a point in the piece where something else sounds better than where your design tells you to go, use the better sound. Never let the methodology get in the way of aesthetic quality, imagination, or originality.

    Back in the days of 12 tone music, I often encountered composition students, who for some aesthetic reason, did not like the notes that came next in their row. I would ask them if they knew what sounds better. If they did I would ask them to play or sing the better notes and, if I agreed, then I encouraged them to simply break the rules and use what sounds best. A few students resisted this. But, everything that is new and effective in music has to first be tried by someone. Why not you!

    Norman

  8. #8

    Re: Schenkerian Analysis and Composition

    Thanks for the response. I might experiment a little with this. I am always looking for new ways to work.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Re: Schenkerian Analysis and Composition

    Great. Let us know how well it works for you.

    Norman

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