Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Harmony, form, and voice leading in the mature works of Antonín Dvořák
by Partridge, Daniel J., Ph.D., City University of New York, 2012, 420; 3543726
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation attempts to locate the music of Antonín Dvořák in the broader historical context of the late nineteenth century and to trace the way in which his music participated in the development of a late nineteenth century musical style. The dissertation is in three parts, following the three domains of the title: harmony, form, and voice leading. The first part is divided into two chapters, the first of which examines the evolution of Dvořák's harmonic practice through his early New German experimentation, his later engagement with the music of Smetana, and his sympathy toward harmonic aspects of the music of Schubert and Brahms. The second chapter details the way that Dvořák contributed to later nineteenth-century stylistic practice. This is accomplished through the exploration of three primary models: 1) enriched chromatic function (including juxtaposed third-related harmonies, voice leading between different types of seventh chords, and the concept of Mehrdeutigkeit); 2) enriched diatonic function (modal practices, pentatonicism, and non-standard diatonic sonorities through voice leading), and 3) enriched cadential function (which can be either chromatic or diatonic, with a special emphasis on leading-tone substitutions by the submediant and subtonic scale degrees).

The second part of the dissertation, concerned with form, is also subdivided into two chapters. The first of these (chapter 3) discusses Dvořák's expansion of sonata form beyond its Classical boundaries. Couched in the nomenclature of Hepokoski and Darcy's Sonata Theory, this chapter is concerned largely with Dvořák's construction of the second group of a sonata (the S- and C-zones), including his treatment of the medial caesura and his approach to expositional (or sonata) closure. Very often, Dvořák's strategies are deformational according to eighteenth-century norms. Chapter 4 is a more detailed exploration of the relationship between Brahms and Dvořák (and their mutual Schubertian inheritance) than has been previously attempted, and draws on biographical and stylistic analysis for its conclusions.

The last part, composed of one chapter, is a study of Dvořák's voice-leading practices at middleground levels both within and over sectional boundaries, and concludes with an in-depth analysis of the String Quartet in C Major, op. 61 (1881).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rothstein, William
Commitee: Burstein, Poundie, Carey, Norman, Straus, Joseph N.
School: City University of New York
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Analysis, Dvorak, Antonin, Form, Harmony, Music theory, Nineteenth century, Sonata
Publication Number: 3543726
ISBN: 978-1-267-72844-9
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