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From ScratchWritings in Music Theory$
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James Tenney, Larry Polansky, and Lauren Pratt

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038723

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038723.001.0001

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Meta ⌿ Hodos

Meta ⌿ Hodos

A Phenomenology of Twentieth-Century Musical Materials and an Approach to the Study of Form June 1961

(p.13) Chapter 2 Meta ⌿ Hodos*
From Scratch

James Tenney

, Larry Polansky, Lauren Pratt, Robert Wannamaker, Michael Winter
University of Illinois Press

In this essay, James Tenney discusses a phenomenology of twentieth-century musical materials and an approach to the study of form. Before describing the musical materials, Tenney examines the factors that account for the increased aural complexity of much of the music of the twentieth century and of some of its effects in our perception of music. He analyzes the gradual use of more and more complex sound-units in place of single tones, one manifestation of which can be seen in the expansion of the very concept of “melodic line” by way of various kinds of doublings. He also talks about the notion of equivalence in Arnold Schoenberg's arguments about consonance/dissonance and compares it with his own principle of equivalence. Tenney goes on to explore the gestalt-factors of cohesion and segregation by referring to the ideas of Max Wertheimer and concludes with an assessment of formal factors in the clang and sequence.

Keywords:   segregation, James Tenney, musical materials, music, equivalence, consonance, cohesion, Max Wertheimer, dissonance, sequence

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