Neither major, nor minor: The Affective Fluctuating Third in Central-European Art Music ca. 1840–1940

Loya, S. (2015). Neither major, nor minor: The Affective Fluctuating Third in Central-European Art Music ca. 1840–1940. Paper presented at the Dur vs. Moll: Zum semantischen Potenzial eines musikalischen Elementarkontrasts. Kontinuitäten und Brüche in der neuzeitlichen Musik und Musiktheorie, 19 Nov 2015 - 22 Nov 2015, Institut für Musik wissenschaft Universität Leipzig, Germany.

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Abstract

Neither major, nor minor: The Affective Fluctuating Third in Central-European Art Musicca. 1840–1940AbstractFrom the middle of the nineteenth centuryonwards, several composers have attempted to capture a phenomenon of unstable major and minor intervals in folk music. Looking at the transcultural impact of this representational drive, this paper focuses on one particular scale degree–the third–and on particular contexts wherethe modal fluctuation of the third subverts the traditional ethos of major and minor, inherited from the eighteenth-century art music. Bartók’s interest in the neutral third has received some attention from Olsvai (1969) and more recently Riskó (2015), but the affective meaning of this third within Bartók’s largely triadic harmony deserves more attention, even if of a speculative nature. Applyinga circumplex model of affects(originally devised by Russell,1980) to ‘Major and Minor’from Bartók’s Mikrokosmossuggests the manipulation of traditional mode-related affecthad additional consequences for the perception beginning, middle and ending of this short masterpiece. In the second part of this paper,a similar application of both formal and affective analysis will look at earlierworks by Dvořák, BrahmsandLiszt, where triadic harmony would normally invite a tonal analysis that would cover up the phenomenon of the fluctuating third and its transcultural affective impact. To narrow down the analysis to comparable cases,this part is limited to works by art-music genres that represent traditional Central European musics,all exhibiting an energetic and positive mood

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Divisions: School of Arts > Department of Creative Practice & Enterprise - Centre for Music Studies
Related URLs:
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/16779

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