Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

String Quartet No. 1
by Perry, Jeffrey Scott, M.A., San Jose State University, 2010, 31; 1488148
Abstract (Summary)

This quartet is absolute music, which is music that is dependent only on its structure for comprehension and not associated with extra-musical ideas or emotions. It uses unconventional techniques, lacking traditional melodies and harmonies, that challenge both performers and listeners to interpret the music in non-traditional ways. Performers are given flexibility in their treatment of tempo and phrasing that yields a different version of the piece each time it is performed so that listeners remain attentive. The structure is a simple A-B-A' design. However, the structure is manipulated to be purposefully obscure until the last measures of the piece. This is accomplished by incorporating ideas of motivic development (fragmentation, augmentation, diminution, retrograde, and inversion) into the overall form. The first four motifs are the source of all subsequent material. Therefore, motivic development is vital to the construction of the piece and becomes a unifying factor between both melodic and formal identities. There is no intentional harmonic progression as the piece derives itself from four independent and unique motifs. This directs the listener to focus on the tension and release that occurs linearly and not vertically. Musical color, without the use of tertian harmony, relies on other music elements such as timbre, texture, tempo, dynamics, transposition, and the idiomatic use of bowed string instruments.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Belet, Brian, Furman, Pablo
Commitee: Belet, Brian, Furman, Pablo, Lington, Aaron
School: San Jose State University
Department: School of Music and Dance
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Publication Number: 1488148
ISBN: 978-1-124-43494-0
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