Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Scriabin's Gradual Journey to Post-tonal Writing: Pushing Boundaries through Harmonic Exploration and Synesthesia
by Hollow, Malila Louise, M.M., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 50; 10638764
Abstract (Summary)

Throughout his career, Alexander Scriabin created a bridge between traditional romantic harmony and modernistic, chromatic tendencies that ultimately led to the post-tonal era. Scriabin’s middle period after Opus 32 displays several examples of his progressive harmony. However, Scriabin’s transition into harmonic exploration is quite apparent in his Fantasy in B minor , which was written three years before his middle period is observed. This may demonstrate that Scriabin was developing his harmonic techniques much earlier in his career.

Furthermore, the thorough documentation of Scriabin’s color associations shows that Scriabin conceived his music with a strong integration of sound-color awareness. Many moments in the Fantasy appear to possess relationships between sound and color, which can be found in expanded harmonic techniques and multi-timbral textures within the pianistic writing. This essay will first discuss the existing research completed on Scriabin’s harmonic tendencies within earlier works, and then analyze the similar techniques used in the Fantasy. Using previous knowledge gathered about synesthesia, this essay will then examine the connections between Scriabin’s perspective on composition and his connection to synesthesia.

In summary, Scriabin’s unconventional voice leading, chromatic harmonic progressions, and altered tertian voicing, will be analyzed in Opus 28. Afterwards, synesthetic and multi-textural analysis will be demonstrated for the purposes of observing Scriabin’s exploration of the pianistic soundscape and synesthetic-inspired compositional techniques.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Torres-Santos, Raymond
Commitee: Chou, Shun-Lin, Richey, Craig
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Musical composition, Music theory, Music, Psychology
Keywords: Analysis, Fantasy, Harmony, Scriabin, Synesthesia
Publication Number: 10638764
ISBN: 978-0-355-61521-0
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