McMaster Music Analysis Colloquium 


From the Editors

 

Welcome to McMaster Music Analysis Colloquium!

This on-line journal is the result of an assigned class-project in Music 701, an analysis course which is part of our required course-work towards the M.A. degree in Music Criticism. Though none of the contributors is doing a degree in music theory, the music analysis component of our masters' program contributes to our palate of interpretive approaches useful in our critical inquiries into music.

In preparing this journal, each of the eight students in Music 701 composed an analytical essay on a tonal piece selected by Dr. Renwick. In addition to preparing individual papers, each student was involved in various aspects of the publishing process including layout-design, copy-editing, scheduling, peer-reviewing, etc.. Although this project was a cooperative effort in which everyone contributed to each other's work, the final essays are primarily the products of the individual authors. The essays, examining works with sung texts by Palestrina, Bach, and Schubert, and piano works by Chopin and Brahms, explore issues such as motivic and structural unity as well as theoretical and philosophical approaches to analysis:

In a discussion of Palestrina's Kyrie from Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, Antonella Bilich examines the concept of ternary form in relation to the structure of the original hymn. Megan Paterson also addresses the relationship of the text's form to musical structuring in her essay on J.S. Bach's da capo aria "Bereite Dich, Zion" from the Christmas Oratorio. In another analysis of a da capo aria by Bach, Catherine Schwartz focuses on the role of the ritornello in the formal design of "Sich Üben im Lieben" from the Wedding Cantata. Also concerned with the role of instrumental passages in musical and dramatic structure, Jennifer Caines examines piano interludes in Schubert's lied "Der Lindenbaum".

While Nicholas Greco interrogates the form of Brahm's Intermezzo in E Major, Op.116, No.6 through applications of Schenkerian analysis and Hegelian philosophy, Ruth Cumberbatch traces motivic development in Brahm's Intermezzo in A Major Op.118, No.2 to describe moments of interruption, expansion and delay. Explorations of motivic-structural unity are also applied by Barbara Swanson in her analysis of Chopin's Nocturne, Op.37, No.1. Finally, in another examination of piano music by Chopin, Shaninun Pittman draws on the analytic methods of Heinrich Schenker as well as Rudolph Réti in his discussion of the a minor Mazurka, Op.17, No.4.

As newcomers to the field of formal analysis, we are excited to share our journal with you. Enjoy!

The Editors