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Highpoints : a study of melodic peaks

Author: Zohar Eitan
Publisher: Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.
Series: Studies in the criticism and theory of music.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Highpoints investigates a universal melodic phenomenon - the melodic peak - in Western repertories ranging from eighteenth-century Galant music to twentieth-century Expressionism. Using "hard" statistical analysis, Zohar Eitan examines the rhythmic, melodic, harmonic, and dynamic configurations associated with contour peaks in the music of Haydn, Chopin, and Berg, three composers of decidedly different musical
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Eitan, Zohar, 1955-
Highpoints.
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997
(OCoLC)655041966
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Zohar Eitan
ISBN: 0812234057 9780812234053
OCLC Number: 36589454
Description: 187 pages : music ; 26 cm.
Contents: 1. Why Study Melodic Peaks? --
2. Method: Testing the Hypotheses --
3. Peaks in Haydn: The Attenuation of Climax --
4. Chopin: Melodic Peaks, Salience, and Intensity --
5. Peaks in Berg: Romantic Gesture in a New Context --
6. Conclusion: Style and Melodic Gesture --
App. 1. Peaks and Control Notes Examined --
App. 2. Random Numbers Used to Determine Controls.
Series Title: Studies in the criticism and theory of music.
Other Titles: High points
Responsibility: Zohar Eitan.

Abstract:

Highpoints investigates a universal melodic phenomenon - the melodic peak - in Western repertories ranging from eighteenth-century Galant music to twentieth-century Expressionism. Using "hard" statistical analysis, Zohar Eitan examines the rhythmic, melodic, harmonic, and dynamic configurations associated with contour peaks in the music of Haydn, Chopin, and Berg, three composers of decidedly different musical casts. This empirical examination serves as a starting point in Eitan's exploration of the structural and expressive functions of melodic shape in these diverse bodies of music.

Melodic contour has received increasing attention from psychologists, music theorists, and ethnomusicologists partially because, unlike functional tonal relationships, it is a universal facet of auditory patterning and may be strongly related to primeval, "natural" aspects of perception. By focusing on this elemental aspect, rather than on pitch syntax or conventional form, the author provides fresh insights into the work of the individual composers he discusses as well as an innovative approach to broad issues of musical style and style change. Highpoints concludes with a discussion, drawing on empirical findings, of melodic gesture and syntax as distinct, independent dimensions of style, style boundaries, and style change.

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