Arnold Schoenberg's theory of music has been much discussed but his approach to music theory needs a new historical and theoretical assessment in order to provide a clearer understanding of his contributions to music theory and analysis. Norton Dudeque's achievement in this book involves the synthesis of Schoenberg's theoretical ideas from the whole of the composer's working life, including material only published well after his death. The book discusses Schoenberg's rejection of his German music theory heritage and past approaches to music-theory pedagogy, the need for looking at musical structures differently and to avoid aesthetic and stylistic issues. Dudeque provides a unique understanding of the systematization of Schoenberg's tonal-harmonic theory, thematic/motivic-development theory and the links with contemporary and past music theories. The book is complemented by a special section that explores the practical application of the theoretical material already discussed. The focus of this section is on Schoenberg's analytical practice, and the author's response to it. Norton Dudeque therefore provides a comprehensive understanding of Schoenberg's thinking on tonal harmony, motive and form that has hitherto not been attempted.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Some aspects of Schoenberg's inheritance of 19th-century music theory; Speculative and polemical content in Schoenberg's tonal theory; A contribution towards a systematic presentation of tonal harmony; A contribution towards a systematic presentation of the technique of thematic development; Analyses; Concluding remarks; Glossary of terms; Bibliography; Index.
’In sum, Dudeque's book is a useful and diligent survey of Schoenberg's theories, especially as concerns tonal regions, developing variation, and Grundgestalt. The book adds to the already sizeable literature on these concepts.’ Music and Letters ’Skillfully using scientific methods, Dudeque accomplished a comprehensive and systematic approach to Schoenberg's theory, which has not been done before. The book is also well-argumented, critical and polemical, allowing numerous interpretation options.’ IRASM ’... the sole English-language monograph on the topic... indispensable for anyone interested in Schoenberg's musical thought and analytical approach.’ Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland