Pentatonicism from the Eighteenth Century to Debussy

Front Cover
University Rochester Press, 2007 - Music - 529 pages
Pentatonicism from the Eighteenth Century to Debussy offers the first comprehensive account of a widely recognized aspect of music history: the increasing use of pentatonic ("black-key scale") techniques in nineteenth-century Western art-music.

Pentatonicism in nineteenth-century music encompasses hundreds of instances, many of which predate by decades the more famous examples of Debussy and Dvorák. This book weaves together historical commentary with music theory and analysis in order to explain the sources and significance of an important, but hitherto only casually understood, phenomenon.

The book introduces several distinct categories of pentatonic practice -- pastoral, primitive, exotic, religious, and coloristic -- and examines pentatonicism in relationship to changes in the melodic and harmonic sensibility of the time.

The text concludes with an additional appendix of over 400 examples, an unprecedented resource demonstrating the individual artistry with which virtually every major nineteenth-century composer (from Schubert, Chopin, and Berlioz to Liszt, Wagner, and Mahler) handled the seemingly "simple" materials of pentatonicism.

Jeremy Day-O'Connell is assistant professor of music at Knox College.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Acknowledgments
4
The Rise of 6 in the Nineteenth Century
13
Classical 6
21
NonClassical 6
28
Implications
34
Hearing the Subtonic 6
40
The PastoralExotic Pentatonic
47
Overt Sources
84
Other Connections
124
E The Religious Pentatonic
130
The Pentatonic Glissando
145
B The Pentatonic Glissando
152
Debussy and the Pentatonic Tradition
158
Beyond Debussy
183
Preface to the Catalogue
195
Catalogue of Pentatonic Examples
205

The PastoralExotic Pentatonic in Practice
92
The Religious Pentatonic
99
A The NineteenthCentury Restoration of Sacred Music
105
The Theory and Rhetoric of the Chant Revival
116
Notes
475
Bibliography
499
Index
515
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Assistant Professor of Music, Knox College

Bibliographic information