• Gotterdammerung: A tonal and formal analysis.

      Murphy, Edward; Clark, Frank Leo; Steinke, Greg; Kolosick, J. Timothy (The University of Arizona., 1990)
      This dissertation presents an in-depth analysis of Gotterdammerung. It provides information concerning: form, tonality, cadence, motive, text, harmony, meter, rhythm, tempo, and dynamics. This information is clearly detailed on a series of charts; the accompanying prose summarizes the charts and highlights selected topics and events. Tonality is the primary formal determinant in Gotterdammerung. The tonal plan operates at three hierarchical levels: foreground, middleground, and background. These terms are not employed in the linear/Schenkerian sense rather, they reflect harmonic/tonal implications within given structural parameters: foregound--the details of the surface level progressions; middleground--the tonal organization within the subdivisions of individual scenes; and background--the keys which govern entire scenes and the beginnings and endings of acts. Tonally, four distinct procedural techniques are employed at all three structural levels: traditional/tonic-dominant tonality, associative tonality, expressive tonality, and directional tonality. At the very core of the tonal process is associative tonality. Through its ability to represent characters, objects, events, emotions, and underlying dramatic themes it elevates the purely functional aspects of traditional/tonic-dominant, expressive, and directional tonalities to new heights. The musical forms of Gotterdammerung fall into four basic categories: traditional, symmetrical, form-within-form or "nested," and sectional. Forms and procedures from each of these categories are employed in some way at every structural level; frequently two or more are drawn upon simultaneously in the shaping of a musical unit. The one element that binds these diverse forms and procedures is tonality. Cadence, motive, and text are also consistent form-defining elements. Their affects are felt most frequently at the subsection and section levels but they also assist in the formal articulation of scenes and acts. The other musical elements play important roles in creating the superstructure but it is tonality which provides the framework and foundation throughout the music-drama.