A while back, I started a 20th Century Music course. This is the continuation of it. I posted how to create a tone row and matrix. I have just uploaded a Flash Presentation of the material, along with an analysis of Arnold Schoenberg's Suite for Klavier, Op. 25 - Praludium.
I have taken a comparative approach with the analysis. The first score is the complete, original score (done in Sibelius 5). The second is a full analysis of the score, complete with color coding and Row form identification. The third is a reduction of the score, showing only the rows themselves. I did not include a Matrix of the row. Row P0 (the original) is given. With that information and the information in the Lesson, one should be able to extrapolate a Matrix for proper study. (Come on, you didn't think I was going to make this easy for you, did ya?!!)
There are a few points that we need to discuss here. In the score, you will notice that Schoenberg does not always present the row in it's proper order. This is OK.
We have two distinct ideas that we must think about when Schoenberg does this. The first is segmentation. Segmentation is exactly what it sounds like. You take a segment of the row and present it, usually has harmonic or motivic accompaniment.
The second idea is called combinatoriality. It happens when several rows merge and are used as harmonic structure. You will see what I mean towards the end of the score.
If there are any questions, please feel free to post them. I will try to answer them as quickly as I can.
The score analysis and MP3 were done with Sibelius 5. The Flash was done using Coffeecup Flash Firestarter.
Next up in the course will be a discussion on Schenkarian Analysis.
In the score, you will notice that Schoenberg does not always present the row in it's proper order. This is OK.
If 'this if OK' then what is the point of having the row in the first place? In what sense is such a work serial? Or, to put it another way, how is a serial piece different from any other piece — say, a piece in a freely chromatic style ?
I always understood that, for the original serialists anyway, combinatoriality involved the combination of whole row forms, and segmental association also operated within whole row-forms. Otherwise the terms become meaningless, surely?
I only ask because I've never really understood the point of Schoenberg's Method, and I'd really like to try to grasp it.
Good questions. In reality, Schoenberg is an extreme chromaticist, much like Richard Strauss, just a bit further. He uses the row and the subsequent matrix to come up with his melodic material. He then takes great liberty with the harmonic background. I always tell my students that Schoenberg writes in "Tonal" atonality. Meaning, even though he uses row forms, their is always a pitch center that he centers the entire composition around, in turn, giving it a quasi-key.
True serialism is only acomplished when the row is presented completely, without interuption. Webern and Berg, Schoenberg's students, tend to write more in this style. I think that Schoenberg had the idea, then kind of got cold feet and decided to break his own rules. Eventually, later in his life, he returned to tonal compositions because he said that serialism was to restricting.
You kind of have to take Schoenberg's approach to segmentation with a few grains of salt. He does it, quite frequently. However, he takes and aproach that lends itself to Harmonic Structure, rather than presentation on the row or one of it's variations. He deals with combinatoriality much in the same way.