Schenkerian Analysis - Fall 2018
(THY483-1 FA 2018)

This course will aim to develop an understanding of large-scale musical coherence through a study of the analytic method developed by the Viennese theorist Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935). Many celebrated performers have advocated Schenker’s theories. The conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler was one of Schenker’s most ardent champions; not only did he consult Schenker about pieces he was to conduct, but he also helped finance several of the theorist’s publications. Many other prominent musicians, such as Bruno Walter, George Szell and Carl Flesch, were also interested in Schenker’s work. In Bruno Walter’s autobiography, the conductor wrote that “under the influence of the writings of the profound theorist and musical philosopher Heinrich Schenker, I became aware of what I had missed and began to grasp the theoretical problems; or rather they grasped me, they even fascinated me.” Through the analytic techniques learned in this course, students will gain a deeper understanding of how the principles of harmony and counterpoint operate in tandem, and determine the criteria for structural coherence in music of the common-practice period. In the process of doing so, students will be introduced to the analytic system of graphic notation developed by Heinrich Schenker. In doing so, they will not only gain an understanding of graphic analysis, but also to relate musical analysis in helping to make interpretive decisions.