Evolving harmony and form in four versions of Anton Bruckner's Third Symphony
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAnton Bruckner's Third Symphony exists in four versions and was composed between the years 1873 and 1889. Each version is unique and contains revisions that range from small changes to large cuts. Of these versions, the 1876 score is the only one that has not been published and remains in manuscript form only. This 1876 version has been called the "rhythmic revision," and because this score has not been formally analyzed, this title only makes an assumption about its contents and does not account for the other important features of this score. The concentration of this paper is on the analysis of the 1876 version and how the changes in this score compare to the original, and the implications these changes have on the two revised versions that follow. Furthermore, the differences found between all four scores, including musical quotes from Bruckner and Wagner, are analyzed in detail and the probable purpose for these modifications are discussed. The analysis includes comparisons that are harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic in nature. Some of the most important findings show an increase in chromatic harmonies and motivic development with the later versions. Other trends that emerge through these comparisons include a greater reliance on specific chords, third relations, and other complex harmonic associations. Due to the fact that Bruckner's Third Symphony spans a seventeen-year time period from the first version to the last, it presents an excellent opportunity in this study to follow the composer's thought processes on composition and revision.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Music and Dance