AuthorBeuerman, Eric G.
AdvisorWoods, Rex A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe set of preludes containing twenty-four preludes is an important compositional form used throughout the Common Practice Period. The twenty-four prelude set generally includes preludes written in each key and mode. Early sets include preludes or fantasies composed in each mode. Composers exploited and advocated the advent of equal-temperament tuning (at the turn of the eighteenth century) by organizing preludes in each major and minor key. Since then, the number of prelude sets has increased greatly, particularly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Although music today has moved beyond the confines or parameters of major and minor tonalities, composers continue to use the twenty-four prelude set to collect preludes, including some atonal sets. The twenty-four prelude set model extends to sets of twenty-five preludes that begin and end in the same key and twenty-four preludes without keys. Composers use different methods of tonal organization in their sets of preludes: two principal methods are progression through the chromatic scale and progression through the circle of fifths. Within those two methods are variations. Other composers use unique forms of organization, and some do not attempt a systematic method of organization. Several types of prelude sets appear, including preludes of virtuosity, preludes for pedagogical purposes, preludes as improvisatory warm-ups, preludes paired with fugues, and prelude sets that are performed as a whole. One must weigh various considerations when performing a set or smaller grouping of preludes. Over forty sets of preludes are surveyed, and four sets are examined in detail representing different methods of tonal organization, different types of prelude sets, and different historical periods: Fischer's Ariadne Musica, Hummel's Twenty-Four Preludes op. 67, Alkan's Twenty-Five Preludes op. 31, and Duckworth's The Time Curve Preludes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Music and Dance