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Session 6A: Tonality: Recent Theoretical Models and Analytical Tools

Saturday 20 September
Session Convenor: Christophe Guillotel‐Nothmann

10.00     Introduction                                          

1 Theoretical Models and Tonal Conceptions
Chair: Jan Philipp Sprick                          

This subsession examines the importance of different tonal characteristics and concepts – among others polarization around tonal centers, the directional tendency of chord sequences and their hierarchical organization – in theoretical and analytical models. Reflecting on conceptual links between these concepts, the papers focus on possible points of convergence between transformational theories and the notions of centricity and hierarchical organization. The hierarchical relation of the part to the whole is also investigated through the bivalent status of the tone in Tonfeld-analyses of late-romantic repertoires.

10.15     Nicolas Meeùs
Hiérarchisation des progressions dans la théorie des vecteurs harmoniques

10.50     Karst De Jong/Thomas Noll
Fundamental Bass and Real Bass in Dialogue: Tonal Aspects of the Structural Modes

11.25     coffee break                                          

11.50     Hugues Seress
Polarization, Modal Orientation, and Voice Leading: About Interaction between Different Hierarchical Levels of Tonal Structure

12.25     Ariane Jeßulat
Parsimonious Voice-Leading and ‘Stimmführungsmodelle’
13.00     Michael Polth
Einzelton und harmonischer Kontext in der Tonfeld-Theorie

13.35     lunch break                                           

2 Empirical Studies and Tonal Functioning

Chair: Steven Rings                                 

This subsession is devoted to empirical studies and to what they can tell us about tonality. It will present results obtained from statistical analysis of large corpora extending from the 15th to the 19th century. The papers will use this data to offer different theories of the evolution of tonal harmony. Finally, the discussions will indirectly address the methodological challenges inherent in computer-assisted statistical analysis.

15.00     Dmitri Tymoczko
A Study on the Origins of Harmonic Tonality

15.35     Christophe Guillotel-Nothmann
Conditional Asymmetry and Spontaneous Asymmetry of Harmonic Progressions in Madrigal Cycles from Verdelot to Monteverdi (c. 1530-1638)

16.10     coffee break

3 Contextualizing Analytical Tools and Theoretical Constructs

Chair: Ariane Jeßulat

This last subsession seeks to widen the scope by situating the theoretical and analytical constructs in a broader context, extending from historical and hermeneutic approaches to evolutionary and biological explanations. On the one hand the session will determine how changes in tonal understanding can be deduced from the evolution of certain musical idioms – in particular the sequence – in the theoretical discourse. On the other hand, the papers will situate their own approaches with respect to historical, empirical, cognitive and neurobiological researches in the field of research on tonality.

16.35     Mine Dogantan-Dack
Tonality: An Evolutionary Perspective

17.10     Jan Philipp Sprick
Sequences Between Affirmation and Destruction of Tonality

17.45     Steven Rings
Transformational Theory and Empirical Research on Tonality

18.20     Conclusions