UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Some inherent and inherited properties of a referential twelve-note construct in the first movement of Béla Bartók's Sonata no. 1 for Violin and Piano (1921) Paslawski, Gordon Philip


A thorough analysis of Bartok's Sonata no.l for Violin and Piano (1921) will demonstrate how pc hierarchies and regions of relative tonal stability are created despite the work being ultimately controlled by a special inversionally symmetric registral ordering of the aggregate, referred to throughout the essay as X. The various relationships between the aggregate's symmetrical arrangement and other modes of organization, including various transpositionally symmetric (TS) collections, will be explored. While the possibilities of partitioning X are numerous, only two will be discussed extensively, as they are featured most prominently throughout the work. These include: i) the use of complementary hexachords, SC(013469) dividing X in half, and ii) overlapping, interlocking minor-third interval cycles (ic-3 cycles), SC(0369). Following an introductory chapter that surveys past analyses of this work, chapters two and three put forward the theoretical concepts behind the present analysis. While chapter two contains a discussion of the abstract, inherent properties of the complementary hexachords and some of the ways they are deployed as referential elements, chapter three will discuss those properties of X that lend themselves to traditional concepts of tonality. Chapter four comprises the analysis portion of the essay, drawing together the various concepts addressed in the previous chapters, showing the formations that result when these concepts are applied, and discussing how these formations contribute to, or contradict various manifestations of tonality in the course of the movement.

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