Volume 1, Number 1 (Spring 2008)

Dedication to Burdette Green

by Blake Henson and Benjamin Williams, Editors

The Death and Resurrection of Function

by Gabriel Miller (Theory)

Keywords: behavior, function, harmonic analysis, kinship, notation, province, quality, roman numerals, Gregory Proctor, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Hugo Riemann

Abstract: Although the impact and pervasiveness of function in tonal theory today is undeniable, a single, unambiguous definition of the term has yet to be agreed upon. This is because function comprises at least four distinct aspects, which, when all called by the same name (function), create ambiguity, confusion and contradiction. In a response to David Kopp's challenge to "more clearly articulate and differentiate the myriad concepts which function has come to represent," a solution to this problem of ambiguity is proposed: the elimination of the term function. In place of function, four new terms—kinship, quality, province and behavior—are invoked, each uniquely corresponding to one of the four aspects of function identified in the article. The meanings of these new terms are elucidated by such harmonic topics as secondary dominants and six-four paradigms. An analytic notation is developed for behavior, in particular, which is used in conjunction with two standard types of harmonic analysis to form a three-fold system of analysis that yields a broader range of explanations for harmony characteristics.

Vocal Health Issues Pertaining to High School Choral Conductors

by Brandon Hollihan (Conducting)

Keywords: choral conductors, high school education, rehearsal techniques, vocal health, vocal modeling

Abstract: High school choral educators are prone to potential vocal fatigue and damage after rehearsing up to four hours each day. Through survey and research, the author focuses on three practices that may lead to problems in the vocal health of these conductors. This article provides suggestions for dealing with hydration, rehearsal space acoustics and vocal modeling.

Applications of Dalcroze Eurhythmics in Music Theory Education

by Laura Simna (Education)

Keywords: eurhythmics, movement, music classroom activities, music education, music education of young children, rhythm, Emile Jacques-Dalcroze

Abstract: This article explores Dalcroze Eurhythmics and its use in music theory education, both at a young age and at the college level. The author shares her own research and experiences as an instructor and presents Dalcroze activities that can be incorporated into the music classroom. The exercises discussed address visual, aural, and kinesthetic learning styles. Topics include solfege syllables, rhythmic solfege, interval training, active listening, phrasing, chord building and chord resolution.

Descriptive Terminology and Musical Elephants: A Critical Analysis of the Labels Non-chord Tone, Non-harmonic Tone, Melodic Embellishment, Rhythmic Embellishment, Embellishing Tone and Tone of Figuration; and a Proposal for a Three-part Framework for Discussing Elephants

by David Nelson Tomasacci (Theory)

Keywords: appoggiatura, embellishing tone, melodic embellishment, non-chord tone, non-harmonic tone, ornamentation, rhythmic embellishment, tone of figuration, Clendinning and Marvin, Kostka and Payne, Laitz, Piston, Ottman

Abstract: The labels used by textbook authors to describe non-harmonic tones, ornamentations, tone of figurations, etc. elevate a local description of a specific feature—rhythm, melody or harmony—to the status of a global descriptor in the same way that each blind man in the parable describes the whole elephant with an observation made upon a single body part. The labels non-chord tone and non-harmonic tone imply that elephants are harmonic events. Labels such as melodic embellishment or tone of figuration emphasize the melodic characteristics of elephants. The more obscure rhythmic embellishment elevates the rhythmic characteristics of an elephant. While these labels may function on a local level, their use as global labels for the totality of elephant behavior disregards two out of the following three musical frames: melody, harmony and rhythm. In this article I advance a methodology adapted from the approach to non-harmonic tones in Ottman's Elementary Harmony, in which elephants are discussed through a three-part framework of melody, harmony and rhythm.

Dissertation Abstracts

Calls for Papers