Hindemith, Paul Unterweisung im Tonsatz | Buying sheet music and downloads from Schott Music. Paul Hindemith wrote quite a number of theoretical texts, and he has been He wrote something called the Unterweisung im Tonsatz, which is. Hinrichsen, Hans-Joachim (). Concepts of Tonality in Hindemith’s „ Unterweisung im Tonsatz“ and in His Late Writings. In: Wörner, Felix.
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Unterweisung im Tonsatz
Paul Hindemith wrote quite a number of theoretical texts, and he has been very well known for a book he wrote in unterwfisung s called Elementary Training for Musicianswhich is an aural training book.
He wanted to achieve a way to order chromatic music, and in this volume tries to develop a way through theorising extended tonality. He was very anti-serialism — this book was written in the s, so there was a lot that he was battling against.
Given that in the s we suddenly have a massive explosion of different musical styles and techniques umterweisung writing, he km to find a way that unterwelsung not serial and yet still ordered the twelve-note space.
To do this he tonswtz to acoustics. He wanted to place himself within the Pythagorean tradition of looking at overtones, and using them to generate thoughts about musical systems.
How is that going to be understood in the music of later composers, particularly those who have a Hindemith affinity? Hindemith begins with the overtone series lm a scientifically verifiable phenomenon. You can hear it in many scenarios — a church bell for example… He takes those notes and he uses them to generate a scale.
To do this he has to squeeze the overtones in the space of one octave, which is quite difficult. So he takes each overtone and divides the vibration by a certain amount in order to get that pitch down into a range that he can then work with.
He starts with a note, say C, as a fundamental note — he likes the metaphor of a family group, so C would be like a father. Then you would have the unterweiung note in the series which would be a G — simply the next note up in the overtone series so no problems thus far. But G is … somehow more distant than our first note, C. The next note he takes is an F which involves the first unterwiesung of a higher overtone, the idea being that the further we get from a generated note hindemtih a series, the more distance that pitch has in relationship to the first note.
To that one note, there is a diminishing order of relationships — somehow a broad technical brush that you can use for your compositions. This pitch structure is called Series 1, and by virtue of the fact that you have the three most important notes as C, G, and F, rather than say C, Hndemith, and E, the major triad, it is essentially saying that pitch is based on fourths and fifths. Or intervals based on fourths and fifths are the most important. I think that this is a deeply theoretical concept that is related to this Series 1 idea — the quartal pitch collection.
The way I construct the idea of early, middle, and late is based on the fact that his music theory falls in the middle of his life.
It then becomes far more regular in his middle music, into what we can begin to describe as his theoretical works. The quintessential example of that is his Ludus Tonalisthe piano cycle.
His later music works in a similar way but somewhat more conservatively. With these quartal pitch tlnsatz, if you have restrictions on tone movement how do you generate melodic and harmonic variety within that?
His system is so general as to not be very good at modulating. If you take a collection of pitches based on fourths and stack them endlessly, you eventually arrive at the same place again.
So hindemit from one area to another is effectively moving within the same place. From there, you look at the way tonsats fourth and fifth relationships function within his pieces in order to draw a theoretical connection. This manifests itself on a number of levels.
Unterweisung im Tonsatz: An Interview with Simon Desbruslais – The Oxford Culture Review
The very beginning of the Praeludium starts with a play on Series 1… If you look at the Praeludiumit is exactly the same as the Postludium with the exception that you take every single note and rotate it degrees. If you just turn it upside down you are essentially preserving the same kind of harmony unlike if you were working in a tonal sphere. The piece is structured with the Praeludium at the beginning and the Postludium at the end, with alternating Interludiums and Fugues between these.
The fugues are the most theoretical bits of it, and the way in which the fugue subjects are structured can be related to theoretical strategies, particularly in the way he uses fourths and fifths. In his somewhat synthetic approach based in a combination of science and nature, are there any similarities with Heinrich Schenker?
Hindemith wrote to Schenker because he respected him, sending one of his string quartets saying that Schenker will be able to find an Urlinie in it. When Schenker died in there were a number of immediate things set up — a school of music, a Schenkerian Studies publication.
His students — Ernst Oster and Oswald Jonasfor example — were very keen to disseminate his ideas. Hindemith was enormously popular in the s — Yale was one of the places to go, it had an enormously strong faculty. Copland quotes in the s that every composer was writing like Hindemith, he was very popular and a chair holder as well. But there is a documented feeling among some of his students that he slightly bred resentment.
He was quite a hard teacher and as a result when Hindemith died he had fewer faithful students, people were not rushing off to academic posts to talk about Hindemith. I think Hindemith had a slight problem with that. The other side is more unfortunate. Hindemith left the States between when he started commuting to Switzerland.
He left his post at Yale in to move to Zurich. However it was at exactly this time that things started to get interesting in the United States. In Felix Salzer wrote the first major exposition of Schenkerian theory in the English language called Structural Hearing.
At the same time in Milton Babbitt started to develop a way of talking about twelve-tone music as set theory which forms essentially the other great pillar of North American analytical theoretical musicology today. All this happened at exactly the time when Hindemith needed to be around to talk about his own work. He only wrote and published volumes one, Theoretical Partand two, Exercise in Theoretical Writing.
So the work is incomplete, Hindemith himself had unfortunate timing, hidnemith he bred resentment. This is a tricky one. That was the objective there. Hindemith expected the analytical model that came from his theoretical writing to be applicable to all [Western] music. At the end of his first volume he talks about Gregorian chant, Schoenberg, and himself.
The idea is that you mi apply his way of thinking about things to all these different types of music. One would expect, therefore, that Hindemith would have been happy for his analytical method to be applied to current musics. The actual way he goes about applying this analytical model is very Schenkerian. Where you have various composers that have taken up different theories like set theory, do you think that the amount of writing that was left by Hindemith can actually make a practicable and workable theory of composition?
People have been trying to create generative theory — in fact there is indeed a generative theory of tonal music by Lerdahl and Jackendoff. More recently, ina Princeton lecturer called Dmitri Tymoczko published a grand unifying theory of music based on geometry, the idea that structures form shapes. These are the kinds of things that I think Hindemith wanted.
In basing his theory of fundamental scientific concepts such as the overtones, he was aspiring to be a polymath of old and to somehow combine science and music in a manner that could help in beginning of a new way of writing music. This link between pedagogical texts and composition — do you think that that is more prominent in unterweusung twentieth century than previously? Yes I think so.
One of the big things that happened, certainly in the second half of the twentieth century onwards, is the development of the Society for Music Theory in the States. In the States there is more of an emphasis on coming up with your own theory of how things work. Hepokoski and Darcy have their own theory of how sonata forms work, and so on.
That attitude means that of course there are a lot of theories around now, more than there used to be. These came up with ways of writing figured bass, and relating that to species counterpoint as a fairly practical way of training someone in theory and counterpoint, and suggesting ways in which they could think about it in compositional terms. Those sorts of manuals are still around, but sporadically so.
Then in the twentieth century things get slightly more interesting. I think when you try to start dealing with the problem of tone and pitch space — chromatic music — you start needing to resort to theories in order to try and create some kind of ordered system.
How does one come i, with a system that allows us to use all pitches, but still makes sense? How do we build that system — do we look at scientific hkndemith, geometric shapes, number games, chance games? I think it probably has. Hindemith was highly regarded as one of the four great composers of the twentieth century alongside BartokStravinsky and Schoenberg.
Unterweisung im Tonsatz / Paul Hindemith | National Library of Australia
Hindemith gindemith massively gone down in our estimation as a collective. For example, Hindemith died in That, to me, is quite a big deal for someone who used to be considered one of the great composers. But suffice to say that there is an enormous amount of provocative and contentious material. Will the association with the Third Reich have impacted upon his reception as well, as people tend to steer away from studying composers with affiliations with the regime?
Not just in Third Reich studies but on the wider level of cultural and theoretical studies. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. July 27, April 27, theoxfordculturereview. What constitutes the core of your thesis? Would this chromatic ordering apply itself through voice leading? So accommodating it within our tuning system? Paul Hindemith With these unterrweisung pitch collections, if you have restrictions on tone movement how do you generate melodic and harmonic variety within that?
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