In his “Darmstadt Lecture,” one of the few published examples of his public lectures, James Tenney talks about problems of harmony, which he breaks down into a number of other, smaller problems, namely: the historical problem, the problem of the role of theory in general in musical activity, the phenomenological problem, the psychoacoustic problem, the semantic problem, and the compositional problem. Tenney goes on to discuss each of these problems in detail before describing his conception of music in general as activity in harmonic space. His lecture concludes with Tenney responding to audience questions on a variety of topics, such as the relationship between theorists or theory and composition; Tenney's Platonic concept of the semanticity of nonjust intervals on the piano; the function of musical materials in relation to form; the relationship between harmony and form; the necessity for pitches in order for the harmonic dimension to arise; consonance/dissonance; and degrees of transposed intervals.
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