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Musical Form, Forms & Formenlehre  - paperback

Three Methodological Reflections

William E. Caplin, James Hepokoski, James Webster. Edited by Pieter Bergé

Publication Year: 2010

- The tone of the debates among Caplin, Hepokoski, and Webster (in the form of comments on each author's essay and then responses to the comments), though tactful, is obliquely blunt and tendentious; like the best of tennis pros, each author strives to serve an ace and defends the net against a passing shot (with Caplin, the ace is for formal function; with Hepokoski for Sonata Theory and dialogic form; with Webster for multivalent analysis). But we can trust that this provocative exchange will thoroughly invigorate discussions about classical form and encourage diverse approaches to its analysis. - Janet Schmalfeldt, In the Process of Becoming. Analytical and Philosophical Perspectives on Form in Early Nineteenth-Century Music (Oxford Studies in Music Theory), 2011, p. 15 In Musical Form, Forms & Formenlehre: Three Methodological Reflections, three eminent music theorists consider the fundamentals of musical form. They discuss how to analyze form in music and question the relevance of analytical theories and methods in general. They illustrate their basic concepts and concerns by offering some concrete analyses of works by Mozart (Idomeneo Overture, Jupiter Symphony) and Beethoven (First Symphony, Pastoral Symphony, Egmont Overture, and Die Ruinen von Athen Overture). The volume is divided into three parts, focusing on Caplin’s “theory of formal functions,” Hepokoski’s concept of “dialogic form,” and Webster’s method of “multivalent analysis” respectively. Each part begins with an essay by one of the three authors. Subsequently, the two opposing authors comment on issues and analyses they consider to be problematic or underdeveloped, in a style that ranges from the gently critical to the overtly polemical. Finally, the author of the initial essay is given the opportunity to respond to the comments and to refine further his own fundamental ideas on musical form.

Published by: Leuven University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4

Contents

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pp. 5-6

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Preface

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pp. 7-10

The present volume arose from a symposium on Formenlehre that took place at the 6th European Music Analysis Conference (Euro- MAC) in Freiburg, Germany, October 10–14, 2007. The conference— with ‘interpretation’ serving as its overriding theme—was organized by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie ...

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Prologue: Considering Musical Form, Forms and Formenlehre

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pp. 11-18

Defining the concept of ‘musical form’ is a precarious enterprise. Many musicologists and theorists have undertaken it and have inevitably confronted the question, what is musical form? In most cases, however, this central question does not persist for long. ...

Part I. William E. Caplin & The Theory Of Formal Functions

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What Are Formal Functions?

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pp. 21-40

The question posed in the title of this essay should, by all rights, have been answered in my treatise Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.1 Yet in a number of respects, this study did not sufficiently address the central concept of my Formenlehre. ...

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Comments on William E. Caplin’s Essay “What Are Formal Functions?”

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pp. 41-45

While the practice of Sonata Theory resonates in some substantial ways with William E. Caplin’s form‑functional theory, there are also a number of foundational areas in which these approaches diverge markedly. Some of these conceptual divergences have far‑reaching consequences, and in this reply it would misrepresent the issues to downplay them. ...

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Comments on William E. Caplin’s Essay “What Are Formal Functions?”

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pp. 46-50

William E. Caplin’s essay further develops the careful and patient classifications that characterize his Classical Form. Many of the principles and methods expounded are illuminating. These include his analytical multivalence, his distinction between ‘tight’ and ‘loose’ construction, ...

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Response to the Comments

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pp. 51-61

I thank my colleagues for their thoughtful and serious commentaries. Their remarks highlight crucial issues facing the contemporary Formenlehre and afford me the opportunity of clarifying and elaborating some of the positions that I staked out in my opening essay. ...

Notes

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pp. 62-68

Part II. James Hepokoski & The Concept Of Dialogic Form

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Sonata Theory and Dialogic Form

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pp. 71-89

The analytical procedure that we call Sonata Theory rethinks several postulates of traditional music analysis.1 While it adopts the precision‑language of current music theory, its reprocessing of core analytical issues is also informed by broader work in literary criticism and philosophy: ...

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Comments on James Hepokoski’s Essay “Sonata Theory and Dialogic Form”

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pp. 90-95

In his essay, James Hepokoski makes a persuasive case that his preferred analytical methodology—‘dialogic form’—offers significant advantages over earlier procedures, such as the ‘conformational’ and ‘generative’ approaches identified by Mark Evan Bonds [>72].1 ...

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Comments on James Hepokoski’s Essay “Sonata Theory and Dialogic Form”

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pp. 96-100

Egmont. The (unfortunately named) ‘sonata principle’ was introduced by Edward T. Cone in 1968—“important statements made in a key other than the tonic must either be re‑stated in the tonic, or brought into a closer relation with the tonic, before the movement ends”—and rapidly became an analytical-critical commonplace, ...

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Response to the Comments

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pp. 101-110

William E. Caplin’s comments on my essay “Sonata Theory and Dialogic Form” reaffirm his belief in the priority of ‘formal functions’ over ‘formal types.’ His discussions of the three overtures in question, though—particularly that of Idomeneo—fail to demonstrate the persuasiveness of such a style of analysis. ...

Notes

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pp. 111-120

Part III. James Webster & The Concept Of Multivalent Analysis

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Formenlehre in Theory and Practice

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pp. 123-139

During the second half of the twentieth century, theories of musical form were by and large considered passé in English-speaking countries, whether by Schenkerians (especially orthodox Schenkerians), who believed that they had overcome bad old analytical and theoretical traditions; or by postmodern writers, ...

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Comments on James Webster’s Essay “Formenlehre in Theory and Practice”

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pp. 140-145

The essay by James Webster raises significant issues for the theory and analysis of musical form. His advocacy of a ‘multivalent’ analytical approach has proven insightful not only for the two works that he analyzes there, but throughout his numerous writings on classical and romantic music. ...

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Comments on James Webster’s Essay “Formenlehre in Theory and Practice”

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pp. 146-151

James Webster’s outline of the issues surrounding the concept of Formenlehre and its recent revivals has much to commend it, and he brings both a generous wealth of experience and a great deal of common sense to the table in his discussion. There is much in this essay—particularly his sensitive overview in its initial pages—with which I agree. ...

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Response to the Comments

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pp. 152-158

William E. Caplin states at the beginning of his response that “while [Webster’s] title includes the word ‘theory,’ its contents largely concern analysis” [>140]. This appears to bracket my entire first (and indeed longer) part, devoted to a survey of general notions of form and Formenlehre, including related concepts such as structure vs. process; ...

Notes

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pp. 159-164

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Epilogue: The Future of Formenlehre

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pp. 165-168

The main objective of the present volume was to confront different theories and methodologies of musical form. The three authors invited to participate in this discussion—William E. Caplin, James Hepokoski and James Webster—were requested first to present their own fundamental positions on the subject, then to critique the viewpoints of their colleagues, ...

Notes

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pp. 169-170

Bibliography

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pp. 171-176

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About the Authors

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pp. 177-180

William Caplin is James McGill Professor of Music Theory in the Schulich School of Music, McGill University (Montreal, Canada). His extensive investigations into formal procedures of late-eighteenth-century music culminated in the 1998 book Classical Form: A Theory of Formal Functions for the Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven ...


E-ISBN-13: 9789461660046
Print-ISBN-13: 9789058678225

Page Count: 180
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Studies in Musical Form