Tonality and Transformation

Tonality and Transformation

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Description

Tonality and Transformation is a groundbreaking study in the analysis of tonal music. Focusing on the listener's experience, author Steven Rings employs transformational music theory to illuminate diverse aspects of tonal hearing - from the infusion of sounding pitches with familiar tonal qualities to sensations of directedness and attraction. In the process, Rings introduces a host of new analytical techniques for the study of the tonal repertory, demonstrating their application in vivid interpretive set pieces on music from Bach to Mahler. The analyses place the book's novel techniques in dialogue with existing tonal methodologies, such as Schenkerian theory, avoiding partisan debate in favor of a methodologically careful, pluralistic approach. Rings also engages neo-Riemannian theory-a popular branch of transformational thought focused on chromatic harmony-reanimating its basic operations with tonal dynamism and bringing them into closer rapprochement with traditional tonal concepts. Written in a direct and engaging style, with lively prose and plain-English descriptions of all technical ideas, Tonality and Transformation balances theoretical substance with accessibility: it will appeal to both specialists and non-specialists. It is a particularly attractive volume for those new to transformational theory: in addition to its original theoretical content, the book offers an excellent introduction to transformational thought, including a chapter that outlines the theory's conceptual foundations and formal apparatus, as well as a glossary of common technical terms. A contribution to our understanding of tonal phenomenology and a landmark in the analytical application of transformational techniques, Tonality and Transformation is an indispensible work of music theory.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 160.02 x 238.76 x 22.86mm | 544.31g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019538427X
  • 9780195384277
  • 1,295,729

Review quote

-With an inventive and expertly developed theory, eye-opening analyses, and a lively, wide-ranging exposition, Rings makes the most compelling case yet for the application of transformational techniques to the study of tonal music.---Julian Hook, Associate Professor of Music Theory, Indiana University-Tonality and Transformation illuminates key ideas of transformational theory and presents a subtle philosophy of tonal hearing through entertaining analyses that are both musically satisfying and easy to follow. Upon reading this book, those who think the last word on tonality has already been written will be awakened from their dogmatic slumber.---Ramon Satyendra, Associate Professor of Music Theory, University of Michigan-Tonality and Transformation is the first large-scale demonstration of the applicability of Lewinian transformational theory to the canon of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century musical masterworks. Drawing on a wide range of sources in music theory, philosophy, cognitive science, mathematics, and literary theory, as well as his encyclopedic knowledge of the musical repertoire, Rings shows how Lewin's analytical technology can clarify and enrich a broad array of nuanced tonal experiences. This book breathes new life into the field of transformational theory.---Ian Quinn, Associate Professor of Music and Cognitive Science, Yale University-An engaging study...Rings provides useful analytical charts and a glossary...Recommended.- --Choice-Provides an indispensible mediation between the mathematical and musical, while also defining the essence of analytical pluralism...Rings's original contributions provide unique tools that have the potential to yield novel perceptions in a familiar repertoire.- --Notes-A remarkable scholarly achievement, and a valuable contribution to the Oxford Studies in Music Theory series...This reader highly recommends T&T to specialists in both tonal theory and transformational theory, as well as to music scholars whose areas of expertise lie in other areas.- --Music Theory Online-Simultaneously a substantial theoretical contribution, a valuable exposition of existing transformational ideas, and an exhilarating case study for creative, interdisciplinary music theorizing. --Mosaic: Journal of Music Research-This book is succesful for the myriad reasons that have propelled it to its current position within our discourse ... Rings distills difficult formal concepts into their component parts and steps readers through what might otherwise be thorny and prohibitive concepts, and I can think of no author that does this better than Rings ... [T]his book is succesful because its formal methods represent and capture multifaceted and subtle musical relationships in an efficient way. In the words of Kofi Agawu, music analysis is best when it 'does not explain or teach, ' but rather when its goal is to 'overwhelm, entertain, amuse, challenge, [and] move.' By that yardstick, Tonality and Transformation certainly succeeds.---Music Theory Spectrumshow more

About Steven Rings

Steven Rings is Assistant Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago.show more

Table of contents

Note to Readers ; A Note on Orthography ; Introduction ; Part I: Theory and Methodology ; Chapter 1: Intervals, Transformations, and Tonal Analysis ; Chapter 2: A Tonal GIS ; Chapter 3: Oriented Networks ; Part II: Analytical Essays ; Chapter 4: Bach, Fugue in E major, WTC II, BWV 878 ; Chapter 5: Mozart, "Un'aura amorosa," from Cosi fan tutte ; Chapter 6: Brahms, Intermezzo in A major, op. 118, no. 2 ; Chapter 7: Brahms, String Quintet in G major, mvt. ii, Adagio ; Glossary ; Works Cited ; Indexshow more

Rating details

7 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 14% (1)
4 57% (4)
3 14% (1)
2 14% (1)
1 0% (0)
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