Proto-backgrounds in Traditional Tonal Music

Date
2015-03-21
Authors
Neumeyer, David
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Abstract

This article uses an analogy between "theme" in literary studies and "background" in linear analysis (or other hierarchical analytic models) for music to find more options for interpretation than are available in traditional Schenkerian analysis. The central construct is the proto-background, or tonic-triad interval that is understood to precede the typical linear background of a Schenkerian or similar hierarchical analysis. Figures typically or potentially found in a background, including the Schenkerian urlinie, are understood to arise through (informal) transformations, or functions, applied to proto-backgrounds.

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