Themes and Lines: On Practices in Linear Analysis of Music

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2022-11-14

Authors

Neumeyer, David

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Abstract

The mechanics of a linear analysis practice informed by the theme/thesis pair are explored with the help of three Mozart contredanses and Haydn, Symphony No. 51, IV. The theme and thesis pair is an analogy, not a mapping of a literary concept or theory onto music in the manner now very familiar in the music studies literature. There are features, strategies, or processes common to close reading of music and close reading of literature; the comparison illuminates–and makes readily available– certain of those strategies or processes in the practice of music analysis. The structure of a "double thematic layer" provides a framework to separate and relate systemic and contextual theme and thesis statements.

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