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Pitch-Class Set Analysis Today Author(s): Allen Forte Source: Music Analysis, Vol. 4, No.

1/2, Special Issue: King's College London Music Analysis Conference 1984 (Mar. - Jul., 1985), pp. 29-58 Published by: Blackwell Publishing Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/854234 Accessed: 28/01/2010 12:53
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PITCH-CLASS SETANALYSIS TODAY

Introduction It appears thatduringthe pasttwentyyearspitch-class set analysis has become quite widely accepted, particularly in the United States. Indeed, a recent observer hasdescribed this typeof analytical theoryas 'normal'. 1Althoughit is not possible to determinewhether this is a fair assessment,pitch-classset analysisdoes seemto be more 'normal' now thanit wasfifteenyearsago. This positive view was not always widely represented,nor is the pitch-classset theoreticapproach universally accepted,as will be evidentwhen I quote from reviewsof TheStructure of AtonalMusicand TheHarmonic Organization of The Riteof Sprzng lateron.2 AlthoughI amwellawareof the contributions of othersto this general areaof musicresearch, I willrestrict my remarks hereprimarily to my ownworkandto workcloselyrelatedto it. In justification of this egocentric but, I trust,not selfservingposition, I remindyou that I have been describedon occasionas a 'pioneer', a designationwhich conjuresup a vision of Daniel Boone in a coonskin cap, axe in hand, making his way through the wilderness of Kentucky, ratherthan that of an academicclad in a T-shirt and seatedat a typewriter in an air-conditioned roomin southernConnecticut. The planof my paperis as follows.FirstI shalldiscussthe scopeanddomain of pitch-class set theory and analysis and review some interesting recent applications. I shallthenexaminesomeof the majorcriticisms of pitch-class set analysisin an effort to clarify and possibly rebut. Although some of those criticismsmay have lost validity(as indicatedby the vitalityand diversityof ongoingand recentwork),othersarestill extantand continueto be expressed, hence deserveseriousconsideration. In conclusionI shalldo some analysisin connection with a discussionof problemsof segmentation in atonalmusic. And finally,I shalloutlinewhat I see as interestingfutureprospectsfor pitch-class set analytical techniques. TheScopeandDomain of Pitch-Class SetAnalysis In confronting the questionof the scopeanddomainof pitch-class set analysis,
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it seemsappropriate to beginby askingwhetherthe use of the procedures of set analysisis, in any sense, obligatory.The answeris straightforward: Certainly not. I needonlymentionWallace Berry's excellentstudy,StructuralFunctions in Music, whichincludes muchmaterial onatonal music(thenormative repertory of application), but makesno use whatsoever of pitch-class set theory.3 In similarfashion,Jonathan Bernard's fine researchon the structureof the music of Varese4 does not invokepitch-classset theory,nor does Christopher Hasty'sinnovativeand valuablestudyof the generalproblemof segmentation in non-tonal musicmakeextensiveuse of it.S AndDouglasJarman hasmanaged to writean excellentbookon the musicof AlbanBergwithoutinvokinganyof the apparatus of pitch-class set theory.6 There are, however, publishedstudies in which pitch-classset analytical techniquescould have been useful, if only by relatingseeminglydisparate musicalconfigurations. A casein pointis illustrated in Ex. 1, whichpresents the
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out of one kernelis also of developingeveryconfiguration The procedure is the opening of allthe derivation usedin thispiece.The pointof departure
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section, with its two themes or motives, exposedright at the beginning, to as a to one another.They maybe referred whichhavea closeconnection andb.7

This particularobserverdoes not tell us, however, anythingspecificabout the 'close connection'. There are, in fact, explicit structuralrelationsbetween a and b, as indicatedon Ex. 1. There is a hint of this in the fact that does not both a and b end with the dyad Eb-Db. But the correspondence end with that commondyad, for the final hexachordin b is the same, with respectto pitch class, as the upper voice melody of a: set 6-5. Thus, when the ostinatofigure D-F returnsat the end of motive b, the entire opening form, creatinga miniature set, a form of 7-Z18, is repeated,in 'unordered' aba form, so typical of Op. 11, and providinga lucid instance of Schoenvariation'. berg's'developing betweenmotivesa andb in Ex. 1. correspondences Thereareothersignificant in a is set 4-16: [Db-A-Eb-Ab].This then recurs The first lineartetrachord Set as the last linear tetrachordin motive b, reorderedas [G,"-A-Eb-Db]. in the verticaldimension,as shownin the secondpartof Ex. 4-16 alsoappears between correspondence 1 by the up arrows.But perhapsthe most interesting the two parts has to do with pitch-classset 5-Z18, which, because of the redeployment of 6-5, now occurs as the inner-voice succession G,"-A-Eb-Dbin motive b. This analyticalobservationis relevant to the immediatecontexts, motives a and b, since 5-Z18 is the complementof the the entiretyof motivea, as shownin Ex. 1. largeset, 7-Z18, whichcomprises set 5-Z 18 in the of pitch-class As but one instanceof the furthersignificance composition,Ex. 2 gives a partialreadingof the canonicpassagethatbeginsin b. 43. Therewe find set 5-Z18 as the headmotiveof the canon. In this role it groupingof the openingmusic,to whichit relatesas reflectsthe largeharmonic of the literal of the inversion (to be moreprecise,as a transposition complement Indeed, the relationof this complementof 7-Z18 in its first manifestation). musicto the openingmusicof the movementbecomesevenmoreexplicitas the returnof the b motivein b. 46 nears.As shownat the end of the letter-name below the musicalexcerptin Ex. 2, motive b is representation and numerical prepared by the reappearanceof pitch-class set 4-Z 15, in its original 6-5, of hexachord however,is the recurrence disposition.Mostextraordinary, of motivea justpriorto this. Again,the two formsof S5 in this the hexachord and numericalnotationat the bottomof passageare displayedin letter-name or rhythmic Ex. 1. Moreelusive, becauseof the absenceof explicitintervallic to one of the primary of S16 in this context,a reference cues, is the appearance hexachordsin the first movement, specifically,to the hexachordwhich first as the two left-handtrichordsat the beginningof that movement(see appears Ex. 4c on p. 43). set analysis the musicto whichit mightbe As forthe domainof pitch-class by 'common applied I am temptedto saythatit is determined appropriately sense'.At the sametime, one mustrealizethatcommonsenseis oftenoverrated
32
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folly. (The sameapplies as a guideline;one person'scommonsenseis another's graphsof one wouldhardlyexpectto findSchenkerian analysis: to Schenkerian developed Japanesekoto music, yet they exist.8)Pitch-classset analysiswas of the music 12-tone) (non atonal the mind, in repertoire witha specificmusical in applied been first part of the twentieth century. Now, however, it has PaulWilson's in ways,forexample,to someof the musicof Bartok, unexpected
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music of the later l9th century.9In my extendedstudy, or to the transitional musicof Liszt, I have ownrecentwork,whichinvolvesstudiesof theinnovative value. set to be of considerable pitch-class foundthe conceptof the unordered techniquesin of pitch-classset analytical Morewill be said aboutapplications the next sectionof this paper,whichis devotedto thattopic. Applications Recent As I have just suggested, recent applicationsof pitch-classset theory and activities.I rangingovera widefieldof research analysisarehighlydiversified, these. of several shalldiscuss,briefly, Martha Hyde's recent detailed study provides a radicallynew view of Schoenberg'stwelve-tonemusic, dealing with the supposed anomaliesand criticizedby earlierwriters. Amongother achievements,Hyde irregularities two-orof the basicset to integrate uses the harmonies shows'howSchoenberg the analysing In structure'.10 harmonic of more simultaneousdimensions uses she derived, is it which from music the and set basic harmoniesof the that Schoento demonstrate anddefinedrelations set nomenclature pitch-class musicin twelve-tone his into procedures atonal his of many bergincorporated of exegesis convincing and detailed a provides she process, specificways.In the and Tones' Twelve with 'Composition two importantwritings, Schoenberg's ll 'Vortrag/12TK/Princeton'. Workingwith a somewhatdifferentmusical repertory,Jeff Pressing, an living in Bundoora, Americancomposer,jazz pianist and ethnomusicologist Set 'Pitch-Class entitled essay interesting extremely an written Australia,has and analyses extensive presents which Jazz', Structuresin Contemporary materialon such familiarworksas Thad Jones's'Big Dipper'and theoretical Also somewhatunexpectedwas John McLaughlin's'The Dance of Maya'.12 on the recentYaleConference the at delivered the paperwhichAlanChapman the demonstrated impressively which 1983), Music of Kurt Weill (Autumn of choice his relating composer, of that music the to sets of pitch-class relevance time, of his composers avant-garde the of music the harmonicmaterialsto 13 notablyto thatof Schoenberg. is Paul setanalysis Oneof the finestof the recentstudiesto employpitch-class period, middle Bartok's from Wilson's as yet unpublishedwork on music 1908-1922, with concentrationon the Three Etudes for Piano, Op. 18, PeasantSongs, Op. on Hungarian completedin 1918, and the Improvisations statement: following the with begins study The 1920. in 20, completed
Bela Bartok's music is generally regarded as representingtraditions fromthosewhichgaveriseto the classicatonalmusicof the Second separate of that schoolor its music, VienneseSchool.But Bartokwas not unaware andfor a periodin his careerhe composedworkswhichembodiedhis own 14 andstructure. of atonalpitchorganization understanding

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studiesin progressat the presenttime whichemploypitch-class Large-scale set analysisinclude Philip Russom'swork on the music of MauriceRavel, of that which promisesto delineatein novel fashionthe harmonicprocedures whichhis musichaspresented composer andto dealwitha numberof problems to studentsin the past, such as the matterof centricity(to use GeorgePerle's of scalarstructuresand such familiarharmonic term) and the interpretation . l5 constructs as the 'ninthchord' tour de force, However, it will be difficult to match Janet Schmalfeldt's 16 Douglas of Berg'sWosseck. set analysis whichentaileda completepitch-class Supplement states: Literary reviewin the Times Jarman's trenchant
on Wozzeck which this book makesto the literature The realcontribution lies less in its attemptsto arriveat some overallconclusionsabout the a more of the operathanin the extentto whichit provides musicallanguage of of the motivicstructure beenavailable detailedstudythanhaspreviously 17 manypassages.

study, missesa majorpointof Schmalfeldt's It seemsto me thatthe reviewer sets, as motivesin largeandsmall,comprise pitch-class whichis thatunordered sets occurin of the workin its pitchaspects.Thesepitch-class the organization in a work which is one of the multipleharmonicand melodic configurations most remarkableachievementsof modern music. Schmalfeldt'sanalytical powerfulto enableher to generalize.An especially techniquesare sufficiently of the 'familyof origin' sets, sets fine instanceof this is her characterization pitchof Wosseck and 'providethe fundamental which belong to the persona structural matrixof the opera'.18 study of the music of Debussy also RichardS. Parks'songoinglarge-scale employs pitch-classset analyticalprocedures,togetherwith other methods. in in his recentarticle,'PitchOrganization is wellrepresented Parks'sapproach ', in which he examinesmusical Debussy: UnorderedSets in "Brouillards" detail,concluding: in thatworkin considerable configurations
may be To a ratherlargeextent, Debussy'smusic (of which 'Brouillards' consideredtypical) reveals, in its pitch resources,combinationswhich notionsof harmony,voicelying beyondtraditional exhibitcharacteristics tone andsonority(tonic).19 leading,anda referential

The With the reader'sindulgence,I will include my study of Stravinsky's of largerscale (although as anotherinstanceof an investigation Rite of Sprzng work).This resultedfroma planof long to Schmalfeldt's lilliputian,compared techniques set analytical standingto analysea majorworkby usingpitch-class Those familiarwith the study to providea pictureof its overallorganization. pitch-classset constructs,that of the set complex,in will recallthat standard of the in the finalstagesof the presentation modification particular, underwent movements. of theindividual theanalyses to synthesize study,whichattempted
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Despite my fondest hopes, however, the study was not received with unanimousapproval.In an extensivereview, RichardTaruskin,after some of comments,concludes:'Butit seemsto me thatForte'sapplication laudatory andone-sided,and restrictive his method,at leastin this case, is unnecessarily The as it has revealed'.20 has concealedas much about The Rite of Sprzng of features disregards set analysis is thatthepitch-class maincomplaint author's the music which he views as exemplaryof ordinary'functional'tonality. He readingof the musicof the Ritualof Two presents,for instance,an alternative RivalTribesat R60 (Ex. 3a)andcomments:
harmony fromthe pointof viewof functional If . . . onelooksat the passage his fair at that, allowingStravinsky harmony (andprettysimplefunctional and addedsevenths),thereis no problem.The shareof doubleinflections one, two, andfourarethe resultof in the middleof measures combinations linear functions (accentedpassing tones), with paralleldoubling at the to the majorthird.... The shift of tonalcenter,involvinga progression Russianfare.2l is standard submediant,

melody, Whatsuggestsa tonalanalysisof the passage,of course,is the scalar as a segmentof the B majorscale a factof whichI am whichcan be regarded is hardlyunusual. in TheRite of Sprtng aware.This use of diatonicmaterials does somethingunusualin his settingof such however,invariably Stravinsky, the melodywithtetrachords melodies,in this caseharmonising 'commonplace' analysis The reviewer's whichappearfrequentlyin otherpartsof the music.22 and'addedsevenths' uponthe 'doubleinflections' (Ex. 3b)is heavilydependent in whichhe asksthe readerto indulgethe master.Thus, the chordlabelledI in b. 1 of Ex. 3b is a very peculiarcreature:a tonic with no root, two kinds of thirds, and, presumably,an 'added seventh' (A). The other readings of in Ex. 3b revealsimilarproblems,all of whichhavethe harmonies 'functional' techniques.If we acceptas validthis readingof samesource:ad hocanalytical an importanthistoricaldiscovery harmonyin TheRite of Sprzng, 'functional' textbooks.I will harmony studiedthe wrongfunctional ensues:thatStravinsky not pursuethese pointsfurtherhere, but will returnto a similarinstanceof an attemptto force a tonal readingof some kind upon, in that case, an atonal Finally observations.23 at whichpointI willmakea few additional composition, however,I quotea reviewer of TheRiteofSprzng, Organization on TheHarmonic andtaste: judgement of perspicacity,
becauseit providesthe long-awaited [The] book is of capitalimportance harmonicsystemcan be undermeanswith which Stravinsky's analytical stood and at the same time throwsnew light on his mind, showing, for instance, that what seemed to be most immediate was often most 24 reflective.

To return to a final example of current work involving pitch-class set interestingextension,which is its use in analysis,I want to cite a particularly
36
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conjunction with Schenkerian or quasi-Schenkerian linearmethods.JamesM. Bakerhasprovided a convincing andoriginal instanceof this typeof workin his article, 'Schenkerian Analysisand Post-TonalMusic', in which he sets forth cogent criteriafor executingan analysisof this type and then illustrateshis viewsin a studyof a late tonalworkby Alexander Scriabin,entitled'Enigme'. Bakerconcludesby saying:
Although'Enigme'. . . constitutes perhaps Scriabin's furthestextension of implicittonalityin the musicof his transitional period(1903-1910),tonal forcesarenevertheless responsible in largepartfor the overallcoherence of the work. At the same time, the retention of whole-tone elements participates in the prolongation of the dominantfunction, while other nontonalrelationships, in particular thosebasedon complementation, are important in establishing structural bondsbetweenthe contrasting sections of the piece.25

The diversityof applications suggestedby these few studies, out of many, demonstrates thatunordered pitch-class set analysis,farfromlockingindividual analystsinto a rigidinterpretation or being limitedto a smallrepertory of music specifically, the musicof the Vienneseatonalschool offersa flexible resource,one which,whenproperly interpreted, producesnew andinteresting results. SomeCritical Viewsof Pitch-class SetAnalysis Since it first appearedon the scene in 1964,26and, in particular,since the publication of TheStructure of AtonalMusicin 1973, unordered pitch-classset analysishas receiveda good deal of criticalattention, perhapsmore than it needed,I havefelt on severaloccasions.I wouldnow like to reviewsomeof that criticism,excludingfrom this brief surveythe detailedessays by Benjamin, Browneand Regener,not becausethey areunworthyof seriousconsideration farfromit but becausetheyarenot reviewsin the usualsense, but articles thatused TheStructure of AtonalMusicin largepartas a point of departure for presentation of the authors'own ideas.27 In the courseof this reviewI hope to touch on certainissues of a generalnature, issues involving contemporary theory and analysis which transcend the immediate object of attention, unordered pitch-class set analysis. Pitch-classset analysishas been criticizedas being too abstract,too formal. An important casein pointis the set of sets knownas the 'Z-collections'. It will be recalled thattwo pitch-class setsin the Z relation havethe sametotalinterval content,but arenot relatedby transposition or inversion.Eachmemberof the pairis calledthe 'Z-correspondent' of the other.Whyis it necessary to makethe distinctionbetweenthe membersof such pairs, when they are intervallically equivalent?One outraged commentatorhas even described such sets as '. . . specialtiesof the music theory departmentof Yale University',in an apparenteffort to banish these sets forever to the Arcadia of Southern
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Connecticut,'flushing' them, as it were, fromthe pristinestreetsof New York City.28 The simpleanswerto GeorgePerle'scriticism is thatZ-related sets help to explainharmonic usagesin a wide varietyof non-tonalrepertories. Indeed, they are often well-nigh indispensable.For example, the hexachordSZ29 often occursin the contextof Stravinsky's octatonicmusic, yet it is not to be found in the octatonic scale. However, its Z-correspondent,SZ50, is a componentof that scale. Without knowingthe relationbetweenSZ29 and SZ50, the formerappears to be an anomaly.29 The musicalevidencein the atonalrepertorythat supportsthe Z-pairsis overwhelming in sheerquantity.To take as an examplethe workwith which our exasperated criticwas concerned,Berg'sWosseck, we find that set 5-Z18 representsthe Drum Major,while its Z-correspondent, 5-Z38, is associated with Wozzeck'shallucination,and set kZ15 is one of Marie'stetrachords, while its Z-correspondent, XZ29, representsthe Doctor. Other Z-pairsare SZ 17andSZ43, bothconnected withthe Doctor(especially in Act 1, scene4, the passacaglia), SZ19 andSZ44, representing MarieandWozzecktogether, andSZ25 andSZ47, linkingWozzeck,Marieandthe Captain, withthe latter set predominant in the drowningscene. The musical-dramatic significance of manyof thesecombinations is discussedat lengthby Schmalfeldt, andit would be presumptuous to attemptto relateher detaileddiscoveries here. While rejecting the Z-related sets, our critic apparentlydoes not fully understandthe nature of the relationship,as indicated by the following comment:
Thatthe 'z-relationship' [sic] existsbetweenthe two hexadsof the tonerow of Schoenberg's ThirdQuartet doesnot implyanawareness of thisproperty on the composer's part, since this relationship is presentbetweenthe two hexadsof every twelve-tone collection[myemphasis] .30

The latter statement is not true. By definition Z-related hexachordsare complementary hexachordswhich cannot be relatedby transposition or by inversion.Furthermore, the importance of thesehexachords is indicated by the factthatof the fiftyhexachords in the twelvepitch-class set universe,thirtyare of the Z variety. Misunderstanding of the notion of 'equivalence'as it pertainsto the Zrelatedpitch-classsets, the hexachordsin particular,persistsin the professional literature.In TheStructure of AtonalAIusicequivalenceof two pitchclasssets is definedas follows:'. . . two pc sets will be saidto be equivalent if and only if they are reducibleto the sameprimeform by transposition or by inversion followed by transposition'(p. 5). This is not the same thing as sayingthat any two sets with the same totalintervalcontentwill be regarded as equivalent. Yet a recent reviewer perpetuatesthe confusion. Jarman expresses doubts about two of the criteria upon which musical relations (according to pitch-classset theory)arepresumedto exist. The firstof theseis '. . . the belief that any two collectionswhich, while being distinct in pitch
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content, share the same total interval content ... are equivalent....31 Whatever his disagreementmight be with this assumption, it is not a disagreement with the definitionof pitch-classset equivalence as expressedin TheStructure of AtonalMusic,whichis basedupon the pitch-class contentof a set andnot its totalintervalcontent. Occasionally criticshavesaidthatthe procedures andconceptsof unordered pitch-class set analysis derivefrom12-tonetheoryandaretherefore inappropriate when applied to non-twelve-tonemusic. For example, Richard Swift's recent extended article on the 12-tone aggregatecontains the following observation:'That aggregatecompositionmay well be a viable means of approachto the analysisof much twentieth-century music has not failed to attract the attention of sometheorists' . To this statement is attached a footnote: 'TheStructure ofAtonal Music(Yale, 1974[sic]),is a recentattemptto forcesuch aggregates into a twelve-tonetheoretical mold'.32 Clearlythereis a misunderstandinghere. Unorderedpitch-classset theorywas not developedwithin 'a twelve-tonetheoretical mold', but was derivedindependently and inductively throughthe intensivestudy of a good deal of music. Indeed, as I indicated earlierin my commentson the work of MarthaHyde (p.34), pitch-classset analysis illuminates12-tone music.The orderedset conceptsof 12-tonetheory areonlyperipherally relevant to the studyof musicin whichtheunordered setis the basicstructural unit. Some critics have said that when music is analysedusing techniquesof unorderedpitch-classset analysisimportantaspects of that music, such as timbre,may be overlookedor ignored.The complaintis specious,of course. Howevertransparent this ploy of the critic may be and, of course, music analysis is not its exclusivefieldof application it hastemptedmorethanone. For example,a reviewof TheStructure of AtonalMusicin a Frenchperiodical criticizedthe use of.areducedscoreof Schoenberg's Five Piecesfor Orchestra, Op. 16, thirdmovement,becausethe analysis wasthenfocusedsolelyon pitch, whereas, in the reviewer'swords, '. . . the basis of this piece is a timbral ambiguity. . .' .33 Now, everyone knows that timbre is a fundamental component of Schoenberg's Op. 16, thirdmovement.Whatthe analysis in The Structure of Atonal Music revealed, however, is that the work is canonic throughout;the canonic structureis concealedby the timbralsurface, but unambiguous. The samereviewercomplainsaboutthe use of a reducedscore for the 'Danse sacrale'movementof Stravinsky's TheRite of Sprzng, claiming that what he terms the 'global structure'of the music is 'assured. . . by rhythm'.34 Here the practicalrequirements of presentinga quasi-scoreof a large segmentof music dictatedthe omissionof rhythmicnotation,inviting criticismof the type levelledby this writer.However,the criticismis justified insofaras The Harmonic Organication of The Rite of Sprzng did not discuss rhythmic features of the music; indeed, it explicitly excluded them from systematic consideration, as mightevenhavebeensuggestedby the verytitleof the book. The extentto whichone cangeneralize aboutnon-tonal musicsis a matterof
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There are those who feel that the term 'atonal'has only a some disagreement. For example: limitedapplicability.
practices Atonalitythus roughlydelimits a wide rangeof compositional whose only featuresare the absence of the normativeand interrelated to be It remains of tonalityandof the basicconceptof serialism. procedures musicalcategory.35 is a usefulor relevant seento whatextentatonality

This view, like the commenton the absenceof rhythmicanalysiscited earlier, musicin generaland on twentieth-century reflectsthe currentstateof research Here the authorssayit remainsto musicin particular. earlytwentieth-century be seen, andthatis certainlytrue. Muchworkremainsto be done. However,a workhas been completedin recent amountof relevantanalytical considerable years much of it afterthe articlefromwhich I extractedthe quotationwas written andthis workstronglysuggeststhe existenceof a 'commonpractice' a largeandvaried in the earlytwentiethcentury,a practicewhichincorporates of non-tonalmusic that is not coextensivewith the atonalworksof repertory Schoenbergand his students. Even that repertory,the atonal music of the with respectto its understood 'secondVienneseschool',has beeninadequately of AtonalMusic, one writerhas historicalposition. ReviewingTheStructure observed:
It will be argued by some that to apply set theory to, for example, Little PianoPiece, Op. 19/6is to falsifyits 'free'natureand Schoenberg's reduce it to a mere anticipationof a twelve-tonecomposition.On the whatis uniqueaboutthe music, however,Forte'ssystemclarifies contrary, and the indissolublecomplexityand coherenceof those workswhich he In examinesin detail have never been more convincinglydemonstrated. of with the principles the sensein whichtheirfreedomcontrasts particular, defined.36 futurecanbe precisely tonalpastandtwelve-note

continueto To move alongto anotherissue, and one that will undoubtedly heatin the future,I summonforthwith somereluctance generateconsiderable monsterwhosenameis 'TonaloderAtonal'. the two-headed There are many, perhaps very many, who believe that non-tonal, in that all music is, in some sense, 'atonal'music is a misperception, particular, to atonalmusicis then ipso techniques set analytical tonal.To applypitch-class facto illegal at worst and suspect at best. This view may take a mild and fromJim Samson: form,as expressedin the followingquotation mediating
shouldbeginrather[i.e., not as does to 'atonality' approach An analytical of AtonalMusic]by acceptinga wide range of interacting The Structure functionsin an oeuvre where traditionand innovationare inextricably of new interwovenand where emphasislies as much on the exploration as on theirorganization.37 resources

MUSIC ANALYSIS

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41

ALLEN FORTE

to this point of view, which may, AlthoughI am not totally unsympathetic Scriabin worksby Schoenberg, indeed,havesomemeritin certaintransitional determines fact that an historical represents andothers,I believethatatonality was priorities.The verynamewith whichthis musicaldevelopment analytical supplied by some unknown critic, with its connotations of 'amusical', stance. This an ultraconservative 'agnostic',even 'atheistic',has encouraged study of a recent of by Will Ogdon, author extremeview is well represented who tonalist petulant andsomewhat Op. 11, No. 1, a beleaguered Schoenberg's writesas followsnearthe beginningof his essay:
The competitionamongthose willing to venturediverseopinionson the tonalityof Opus 11 is lively, to say the least, while the scornful,led by in the place PerleandAlan[sic]Forte,offermotivicandset analysis George of tonalinterpretation.

proneto irritation: The authorof this studyis extremely


to readthe work of reputabletheorists[i.e., Perleand It is also irritating in andfunctioning relations Forte]who do not botherto discussstructural variousnote sets. Opus 11even thoughtheyabstract

Now, while I do not wish to speakfor GeorgePerle he is quite able to over the years I will point himself,as he has amplydemonstrated represent out that both Perle and I used the beginningof Op. 11, No. 1, to illustrate specificpoints, not intendingto providecompleteanalyseswhich wouldhave andfunctioning'.39 relations of 'structural led to considerations set analysisof pitch-class comprehensive I did publish,however,a relatively Op. 11, No. 1, in the same issue of the journalin which the study by this tonalistappeared.(I hasten to add that he had not seen my unreconstituted his, nor did I readhis until it was published.) analysisat the time he prepared With the ideathatit wouldbe interesting,and, I trust,not overlyirritating,to portionsof the tonal and the atonalanalyses,I have comparerepresentative providedexcerptsin Exs 4b and4c. BeforeI commentupon these, I would like to establishin an informalway criteriawhich any what I take to be three reasonableand straightforward analyticalundertakingshould satisfy:(1) completeness;(2) consistency;(3) I simplymeanthat all componentsof the pitch testability.By 'completeness' I meanthatthe analytical be includedin the analysis.By 'consistency' structure ad hocmethods.And be appliedconsistently,withoutintroducing procedures by 'testability'I mean that differentanalystsusing the same method would produceresults that intersectin significantways. The latter criterionis, of course,worthyof far moreextensivediscussionthan can be accordedit here. feels that it is of no importance,for he welcomes,or so it Ogdonapparently seems, 'diverseopinions'. WhetherOp. 11, No. 1, is in E minor, Phrygian mode, or Ebis of no concern,as long as it is 'tonal'.
42
MUSIC ANALYSIS

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PITCH-CLASS

SET ANALYSIS TODAY

it with the atonal(pitch-class In orderto readthe tonalanalysisandcompare to understand of the openingmusicof Op. 11, No. 1, it is necessary set analysis) the author'ssymbolson his example.Melodicplacementwithin the G scale, is symbolized whichthe authorcontendsis 'theprimetonalaxis'of the theme40, accordingto the table in Ex. 4a. Arrowsin his analysis(Ex. 4b) 'point to to clarifythe 'voiceleading', harmonic roots'(p. 171).Pitchesmaybe renotated tendenciesor somethingof the kind. by which the authormeansscale-degree Thus, the secondnote in the upper-voicemelody, G",is rewrittenas Aband in this way 'clarifiesthe tonal priority of G in measure 2. . .' (p. 172). Similarly, the inner-voice Db in b. 3 of Ex. 4b is renotatedas C#, thus becoming scale degree #4, with leading-noteimplication.These notational of consistency,sincethereareno rulesfor uponthe criterion changesencroach when and how they shouldbe made. The analystdoes, however, determining make the same change from G# to Ab in the bass of b. 4 and in the upper betweenAband voice of b. 1, thus preservingthe notationalcorrespondence a link betweenthe two momentsin the B whichformintervalclass3, providing
music.

Let us nowreadthe tonalanalysisof the openingof Op. 11, shownin Ex. 4b. I havecombinedthe analyst'sExs 1 and4 fromthe publishedarticlein orderto show the same span of music as shown in the first part of my Ex. 5 in the as a unit, as do I. The uppervoiceof publishedarticle,a spanwhichhe regards pathfromscaledegree+ 3 to scaledegree6, describes a descending thisanalysis this then skips upwardfrom scale degree6 to scale degree 1. Accompanying indicatedby the Romannumeralsbelow melodyare the functionalharmonies the staffin Ex. 4b: I-II altered(V of V) and I. How I is formedby the pitches the functionof F# that comprisethis measureis not explained.In particular, F, is counterpart, especiallyas it relatesto its uninflected in this constellation, left shrouded in mystery, nor is the designationof roots buttressed by theoreticalargument.(In this connection,it is perhapsworth noting that a wouldcallB the roothere, sinceit is the rootof the bestinterval, Hindemithian is mostpeculiar,especiallythe succession progression the fifth.)The harmonic Althoughthe authorcould have V of V to I. What becameof the dominant? evoked 'elision', availinghimself of an escape hatch always at hand to the for this shrewdanalyst,he does not do so, nor does he offer any explanation progression.Finally, the progressionends on I in bs F5, but a I that is different,with respectto pitch content,fromthe I in b. 2. This secondI is not as indicated by the threelevelsof symbolsbelowthe lowerstavein unequivocal, bs F5, whicharedescribedby the authoras a 'cubistcadence'(p. 172). I will not quote or attempt to paraphrasehis explanation of this remarkable formation,since it is highly condensedmaterialwhich is difficultenough to followwhenreadfromthe printedpage. It wouldbe hardto imaginea readingof thismusicthatdiffersmorefromthe set readingshownin Ex. 4c. In tonalreadingjustsurveyedthanthe pitch-class Ex. 4c, the full musicnotationis given at the top, in its originalform, without corresponddiagram substitutions, andbelowthatis a letter-name enharmonic
MUSIC ANALYSIS

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43

ALLEN FORTE

Ex. 4

G G# AbA 1 #1
b22

A# Bb B #2

!C

C# #4

Db D b5 5

D# #5

r 5

Eb E

F F#

Gb b1

_3 +31 4

-6 @617 #7

+3

i2

;@?

pL qa;4 b";
-

tJ-s 4'

a >@;--

;-gh8 8

19 2

$S40

$ 00

aa

thr

-6-Z39

(complement of 6-Z10)

by boxesto indicated set components ing to the musicnotation,withpitch-class this between difference basic most the whichare attachedset names. Perhaps segmented. is music the which in way the readingand the tonal readingis segmentationof the tonal reading, this Insteadof following the bar-by-bar
44
MUSIC ANALYSIS

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PITCH-CLASS

SET ANALYSIS TODAY

the uppervoiceof bs 1-3 is takento be adoptsa simplerstrategy: interpretation lowerpartsanother.The upperpartthen one musicalunit, the accompanying presents the hexachordSZ10, a favorite of Schoenberg's,while the acproofthat this is the correctway to partssum to S16. Analytical companying components is amply segmentthe opening withrespectto its hexachordal providedby the rest of the piece, where both hexachordsrecur in multiple forms. Indeed, repetition, Schoenberg's'developingvariation',isthebasic musicalprocessin this composition. into upperand lowerparts.The BarsW5 (Ex. 4c) againsegmentnaturally lower parts present a new hexachord, SZ39 (F"-G"-A-A"-B-D, in of set-classSZ 10. this set classis the complement . Remarkably, normalorder) of the consequentphrasederivesfromthe melodic Thus, the accompaniment (followedby transpositheme of the antecedentphraseby complementation tion, with t= 8). I do not wish to suggesthere, nordid I do so in the article,that Schoenbergwas thinkingin such systematicterms at this early pre-12-tone stage; however, he certainly knew about complementationand interval but maybe 'abstract', terms.The relation content,evenin the most traditional of it is nonethelessreal. Laterin this paperI will offer a brief demonstration in moreimmediate sets may be associated waysin which complement-related ways. The upperpartsof bs F5 presentthe pentad5-Z38, whichalsohasmultiple as replicated, music. In fact, it is immediately in the subsequent manifestations consistingof FF-G-G,"-B-D(normal shown in Ex. 4c, by the configuration IT6). The two formsof 5-Z38 (specifically, order),an invertedtransposition becauseof its roleasa major axisinterval in the dyadG-B, a significant intersect componentof the initial melodic gestureand, in this context, as part of the distinct trichord,from the bass up, G"->G, and rhythmically durationally which is identical,with respectto pitch class, to the first melodictrichord.I in supportof to the authorof the tonalanalysis observation offerthis analytical thesis;note, however,thatI amgivinghim not a completetriad, his G-tonality in butonlythe lowerthirdof a majortriad.He willno doubthavelittledifficulty element. additional locatingthe required of the openingmusic may be mentioned Otherfeaturesof the set structure S21 is a componenthere, and this subsequently briefly.First, the hexachord melodyof the musicthatbeginsin bs 9-1 1, whereit as the upper-voice surfaces has the same rhythmicshape as SZ10 in the openingphrase. Set 5-Z38 is with the pentad5-Z18, discussedin connectionwith Exs 1 stronglyassociated of that set, hence has the same total and 2, since it is the Z-correspondent interval content. Set 5-Z37, the tenor melody of bs W5, foreshadowsits complement, 7-Z37, which is expressed at the very beginning of the developmentsection, where amongits principalconstituentsare SZ10 and S16, the principalforegroundcomponentsof the openingmusic, as I have indicated.Andfinally,in thisopeningmusicof Op. 11, No. 1, we find,as we do in all the music after the 1905 songs of Op. 6, Schoenberg'ssignature, Es-CH-B-E-G, here transposedup six semitones, for Schoenbergalmost
MUSIC ANALYSIS

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45

ALLEN FORTE

neverpresented the hexachord in its literalform. I submitthat the pitch-classset reading(whichshows only one level of set structure andis not intendedto be a 'finished' analysis) is complete,in the sense that no pitch componentsareomitted,and consistent,in the sense thatad hoc methodswerenot broughtinto play. It alsoobservesthe criterion of testability, sinceanytrained analystusingpitch-class set procedures in the entirepiecewill comeup with resultssimilarto thosepresented here. To continuewith my survey, I note that some observershave felt that the procedures of pitch-classset analysisare too mechanical and the conceptstoo complex. While I agree, in principle, that an analysisshould not be overly complicated in its effortto elucidatethe music, I findit difficultto understand objectionsto elementary theoretical statements that arerequired for analytical work.Consider the followingexcerpt:
And so we arriveat the followingparagraph of gobbledegook: 'The total intervalcontentof a pc set is represented by the intervalvector,an ordered numerical array thatdisplaysthe numberof intervals of eachclass. .. .'

AnthonyMilner continues:'(If this book was not writtenwith the aid of a computerit shouldhave been)'.4lThe referenceto 'a computer'is, of course, disparaging, andit is assumedthatthe reader will sharethe reviewer's negative opinionof such devices.42 My only responseto such commentsis to speculate upon the habitatof the writerduringrecentyears. In this case it seems likely that he has been dwellingundera very largerock in OuterMongolia.Surely everyone knowsthatmanypeoplenow routinelyworkwith computingdevices a topicto whichI will returnbrieflyat the end of thispaper a paperwhich, as I will now reveal, was writtenwith the aid of a computer!Here we have anotherinstancein which, as I havelearned,musictheoryand analysiscan be highly charged with emotion, especially when ideas are presented which threaten cherishedbeliefsandwell-ingrained pointsof view. In a similar vein, it hasbeenasserted thatpitch-class set analysis doesnot deal withcompositional processandis onlyremotelyrelatedto music. In a reviewof TheStructure of AtonalMusicentitled,amusingly,'The Rulesof Scrabble',an anonymous writer frames his critique within the arena of international relations:'What sets the Americanapproachapart . . . is its total lack of concern for how the composerworks or what he may intend his music to express....' Furtheralong, the reviewerenlargesthe historicalperspective, exclaiming:'We are witnessingfrom a distance a Puritanbacklashagainst European musicaldevelopments sincethe war'.Then, in anecstaticmixtureof geological andculinary metaphors, he proclaims:
Not contentto regard musicasonlythatwhichis notatable, Professor Forte further reducesthefieldof his investigations to a grittydepositof notesfrom whichinstrumentation, accentuation, rhythm,tessitura,tempo, dynamic, even sequencehavebeenboiledaway.43
46
MUSIC ANALYSIS

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SET ANALYSIS TODAY

Perhapsthis is the time to say, once and for all, that no book on analytical theorycan coverall the groundthat needs to be coveredin the analysisof an individualwork.That The Structure ofAtonal Music does not dealexhaustively with 'instrumentation, accentuation, rhythm',and so on, does not imply that its authorregards theseaspectsas 'unimportant'. WereI to takesuchcriticisms seriously, I would immediatelyseek employmentas an operatorof heavy equipmentin the northof Alaska.I dismissthem, however,as beingshallowly rhetorical, as unworthyof prolongedconsideration. Moreover,the questionof 'compositional process'as it relatesto analysisis knottyat best (evenwhenthe composer is his own analyst),andonewhichcanhardlybe dismissedin a casual way, as did our reviewer. The extent to which any analytical process correspondsto compositional processwill alwaysbe moot to a considerable extent, I feel, especially in the absence of strong evidence concerning compositional method, as is the case with atonalmusic. Howevermuch one might deplorethe fact that Schoenberg did not have the privilegeof studying TheStructure ofAtonal Music at the time he composedhis firstpath-breaking worksaround1908,it is, nevertheless, a fact.

Concluding Remarks
Where,then, does unordered pitch-class set analysisstandtoday?Haveall the negativeopinionsbeen laid to rest? Does nothingremainto be done? I have alreadysuggestedmy generalresponsesto these questionsat severalpoints in the foregoingdiscussion. More specifically,in answer to the first of these questions,it is clearthatalthoughpitch-class set analysishas been utilizedin a varietyof fruitfulways by a numberof differentindividuals,there are those who haveabsolutely no use for it whatsoever, for variousreasons. If one seeks a generalreasonfor the explicitlynegativeresponses,however, thereis a threadthatrunsthroughthem, a misperception thatresultsfromthe failure to disengage theory from analysis in an appropriateway and at appropriate moments.A dichotomythatseemsto me to be basicin this areaof musicresearch, andone thatI will expressin the simplestterms,is this: Music theoryis abstract; music analysisis concrete.The powerof a theoryresidesin its abilityto providea general background against whichananalytical statement may be measured.Whilea theorymay suggesta rangeof significant analytical interpretations at variouslevels of structure,includingthe level of minutest detail,it must still preserveits generality and its aloofnessfromany particular musicalexpression.Much of the criticismof pitch-classset analysisis based upon a confusionof these two facetsof the studyof musicalstructure,the one theoretical, the otheranalytical. Evenat the simplestlevelthe progression from theoryto analysis has sometimes beenignored.Onereviewer of The Structure of Atonal Music, for exaxnple, complained: 'The "name"still tells nothingabout the set exceptits size andits positionon a list. That'sacceptable to a computer, perhaps'.44 Of course the derogatory reference to 'acomputer' quiteaside set namesweredeliberately designedto be abstract andneutral.Nothingcould
MUSIC ANALYSIS

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47

ALLEN FORTE

havebeenworsethanto haveburdened set nameswithdescriptors of particular attributes,such as indications of specialsubsetsthey mightcontain,a strategy thathasoftenbeenadopted.45 In goingfromabstract theoryto the particulars of analysis,the analystmust decide preciselyhow much of the theoreticalapparatus to apply and how to interpret it so thatit fits the immediate musicalsituation.Clearly,this depends upon individual judgement. I might decide to stress complement-related hexachords, as in my analysisof the openingof Schoenberg's Op. 11, No. 1, presented earlier,sinceI knowthatthis featureis important throughthe music in a varietyof ways that have to do directly with the surfacecomponents. Anotheranalystusingpitch-class set methodswoulddiscovermanyof the same structuresbut might decide at some point not to emphasisethe complement relation or to deal with sets of magnitudessmaller than six. Still another approach-say, via the concept of the 'basic cell' might yield totally differentresults, perhapsnot involving the hexachordas a set at all. The evaluation of such 'alternative' analyses,is, of course,a matterforprofessional cogitation and judgment. I would now like to deal with some importantresidual considerations, includingproblemsin pitch-classset analysis or, moreprecisely,problems raisedby pitch-class set analysis andpossiblenew directions,in responseto the questionI raisedaboveas to whetherthereremains workto be done. First, I would like to deal with the generalproblemof the interpretation of analytical resultsobtainedby performing certainbasicoperations in pitch-class set analysis,in particular, the operation of set identification. Set identification, simple as it appearsto be, usuallyengagesa numberof more complexanalytical decisions,primarily in the domainof segmentation: the determination of those musicalunits that are to be regarded as structural. Thus, in the analytical process set identificationand segmentationare inevitablyintertwined.Generalrules of segmentationare hard to come by, althoughguidelines, based upon experiencewith the music of a particular composer,arealwaysavailable to the hardened analyst.PerhapsSchoenberg's atonalmusicstill offersthe most difficultcases. A briefexcerptfromthe firstpieceof Pierrot lunaire will serveto illustrate this point(Ex. 5a).Ex. 5b(p. 50)providesananalysisbaseduponthenotionofbasic cell, a pitch-intervalunit which serves in a motivic capacityand in other capacitiesin the work to provideunity and continuity.46 Thus, the first basic cell, markedb.c.a, is the augmented triadin the pianoconfiguration whichis repeated fourtimesin the openingmusic.Basiccell b (b.c.b) is the ostinato-like dyad F#-D# played by the violin.47 Basic cells larger than the dyad or trichord arelabelledtetradson Ex. 5b. For instance,the firstof these, tetrada, comprisesthe last four notes in the seven-notepianofigure(7-28). With the entranceof the flute in b. 3 on A, basiccell b, the minorthird, is now doubly represented,while the succession consisting of basic cell a and tetrad a continues beneath it in the piano part. The tail of the flute line in bs F5 incorporatesbasic cell b as A-F#(-A). The trichord here is basic cell c,
48
MUSIC ANALYSIS

4:1/2, 1985

zs

ae

wond

wO

ua

d."

PITCH-CLASS

SET ANALYSIS TODAY

Ex. 5a

gBeartt (J^")
Flote. Gei6e. Violoseell.

LJ
S
#eve6t

xit Dhpter

' Jr "r r
ad

' ti
' i -

h
f

(J ea z)

lLoutation.

BOt

(JX e)

Den Weinfba mgmit

gD.ct,

>t

lRl^tior.

m
nP@ X

H
:l $ ,!_

e.F

'

,Lk

,qla.

is @,&1D

z4*bJ

le2
1F t , t i X

Zf
e

Used by permission of Belmont Music Publishers, Los Angeles, California 90049

transposed up eightsemitones.Furtheranalytical justification of this reading is providedby the recurrence of this trichord type (>3) not the literaltrichord twice in the violin line that begins at the end of b. 5 on Ab, where the originalform of basic cell b, F"-D", in register, serves as an axis in this symmetrical constructwithin a hexachordal figure. As the basic cell analysis proceeds,however,certaindifficuluesbegin to creepin. There occursa new tetradin the pianoin b. 5, corresponding, withrespectto position,to tetrada in b. 1. This is labelledtetradb. Nonce thatit containsbasiccell a in its original form, G"-E. In the pianoin b. 6 a new tetradappears,labelledtetradc. It is connectedto the previousbasic cells, however, since it containsbasic cell c (transposed). (It shouldalso be observedthat the tetradis of the sametype as the tetrad(X7) formedby interlockingforms of basic cell in violin, bs 5-6, pointedout in the previousdiscussion.)Finally,still anothertetradappears on
MUSIC ANALYSIS

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49

ALLEN FORTE

Ex. 5b F1 .

.C .b Vn. lF# D# F# |
b

(b.c .b)

|F# D# F# | |G# EC | |D Bb C# GI
(b.c.a) (tetrad a)

PnO. |G# E
b.c .a
cjb
b.

C | jD

Bb C# G | a

,/tetrad b.c .c A

b .c .c
Ib . c . b

l A A | Bb

|A F |

F1 .

. Vn

F#

D#

F#

F#

D#

F#

Pno.

|G# EC I|D
(b . c . a)

Bb C# G | G# E

C |D Bb C# G | a) ( tetrad b .c .c

( tetrad

a) (b.c . a) b .c .c

b.c.b
F1. A

b.c.a

tetrad |C

d F# |

C C# B

Vn .

Pno

tetrad

tetrad

tetrad

b . c . means basic

cell

so

MUSIC ANALYSIS

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PITCH-CLASS

SET ANALYSIS TODAY

thescene,labelled tetrad d, theendof theflutefigure in b. 6. It willbedifficult to fitthesefeatures intoa completed analysis of theentire movement. Thisbasiccellanalysis, otherfeatures of whichareindicated on Ex. 5b, but willnotbediscussed, is effective andinteresting asfarasit goes,butit doesnot showthe'background' features which govern themovement asa whole.Ex.5c

EX

5C

F1.

6-21

6-21

6-Z17

6-Z44

Vn.
PnO

6,21

D
C D
6-Z36 16-Z36
Bb

F
#|G

|6-Z17

F
G E

D
DI

I
Bb

F
C G
6/Z36

l G E

F1.

{A\

Bb

Ft

Vn.
PnO.
G#

F E
(6-21)

D C D
Bb

F C G
|G

F E
(6'21)

D#

F
Bb
C# GE

C D

- -F1 .

,^C
"# D

C B F# C:

Vn .

,# G
Pno

*6-Z 17 follows in flute

MUSIC ANALYSIS

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51

ALLEN FORTE

that is a good attemptsto do that and in the processallowsfor a segmentation of the basiccell segmentation 'foreground' dealmoreflexiblethanthe primarily of the entire an analysis to is justifiedby reference analysis.This segmentation fromsome It proceeds along. further movement,in a waywhichI will indicate For example,both the fluteand violinpresenthexachords basicobservations. set-classSZ36 in fluteandset-classSZ43 in violin a stronghint thatthe of the piano unit in this music. Segmentation hexachordis the fundamental cell analysis basic of the procedure figuredoes not follow the rest-determined immediate to the due line of the nature circular (Ex. 5b), but in view of the takesinto Ex. 5c in the analysis Also reading. repetitions permitsa different if we Thus, ways. in various combine and interact accountthatthe instruments S2 1. be set to proves this and violin, formedby piano readthe firsthexachord and alone, piano in hexachord first by the The same set class is represented againas the second hexachordformedby the two instruments.The opening one of the withthe soundof this specialhexachord, saturated musicis therefore the piano S21 in SZ17 follows Hexachord hexachords.48 'almostwhole-tone' and its hexachord this as indicated on the example. The relationbetween in be shown will complement,SZ43, as it occursin the violin line in bs 5-6 of 6-Z44 a form music opening connectionwith Ex. 5f (p. 55). Finally,in the appears,a hexachordwhich subsequentlyassumesan importantrole in the music, togetherwith its complement,SZ19. After the onset of flute on the sustainedA (b. 3), which begins the linear occurstatementof hexachordSZ36, there is an echoing accompanimental set recurs same rence of the same set, formedby all three instruments.The connect of 6-Z36 beginningwith Bb in piano in b. 4. Here the two forms exactly by means of what was called basic cell c in Ex. 5b: the trichord becauseit significance gainsconsiderable the trichord F"-A-Bb. In thisanalysis the movement. throughout is readin the contextof a set whichis fundamental different in b. 5 nowhasa completely The upperpartof the pianoconfiguration of SZ36. The readingis supported aspect.It is readas SZ3, the complement by a criterionas yet unvoiced,one so 'simple'that it might be overlookedor it can of repetition.In the case of Schoenberg, takenfor granted:the criterion his in all musicalprocess surely be claimedthat repetitionis a fundamental and artistic most of the but repetition in the obvioussense, music,not repetition subtle kind. Here SZ3 is representednot only in the piano line but by the segmentformedby the entirepiano partand the first note of the violin line, whichis the samepitchclassas the firstnote in the righthandof the piano.(In of the manyotheroccurrences suppressed this shortexcerptI havedeliberately which analysis complex overly an in orderto avoidpresenting basichexachords woulddivertattentionfromgeneralissues.)As shownon the example(Ex. 5c), twicemore. SZ3 is represented As 6-Z43 is completedin the violinpart,its complement,6-Z17, occursas a segment formed by all the instruments.Just before this, hexachordSZ10 in therighthandofthe piano,b. 6. Again,thisis a as thefirsthexachord appears aswellas to the functionsof which withrespectto its complement hexachord
52
MUSIC ANALYSIS

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SET ANALYSIS TODAY

music. in themovement becomeclearin thesubsequent theotherhexachords Whereasthe basic cell analysisshown in Ex. 5b was developedin a lightmanner,the analysisshownin Ex. 5c is and 'contextual' hearted,spontaneous as a cookinglessonon television,in whichthe instructor aboutas spontaneous knowing fullwellthatthe andcombinations, shows,stepby step,theingredients attheendofthe to bephotographed completed dishis safelyin theovenandready bya of the setsin Ex. 5c is conditioned In a similar way,the reading programme. ofwhichin this presentation analysis of theentiremovement, detailed completed settingwouldmost certainlyresultin massiveindigestion.I will say, however, thatthe movementis baseduponexactlysix hexachords not an insignificant Of these, case togetherwith theircomplements.49 numberin Schoenberg's whole-tone' music:the'almost aregivenin theopening twoofthemostimportant SZ3 and SZ36. The hexachords hexachord S21 and the 'almostchromatic' untilb. 8, whereit is the doesnot appear SZ13, incidentally, sixthhexachord, in Ex. 5c is basis of the canon there. As will be obvious now, segmentation strongly determined by repeated occurrences of these six fundamental hexachords. A segmentationof this kind, which seems to be especially atonalmusic, but may be applicable appropriate in the case of Schoenberg's elsewhere,may be termed a 'top-down'segmentation,as distinct from the by Example5b. segmentation illustrated 'bottom-up' It should be clear that the two types of segmentationare not mutually exclusive. Ex. 5d illustratesthis: What was called tetrad a in the basic cell
Ex. 5d Vn.

F#

I
|D

D# Bb |C#

F#

F#

Pno.

|G#

E C
| 4 124 4-24

G#

EI

/ / 4118 / 4-18 4- 1 8

analysis(Ex. 5b) is identifiedin Ex. 5d as set F18, the primeformof whichis planehere, but it is also [0,1,4,7]. Not only does F18 occurin the horizontal formedas a segment by piano and violin combined.As shown in Ex. 5d, it also occursa third time, againin the horizontalplane, linkingb. 1 and b. 2. shown in Ex. 5d is the dual organization The other aspect of tetrachordal formswhich sharebasic occurrence of set k24, two transpositionally-related cell a, the 'augmentedtriad'. This tetrachordis prominentthroughoutthe movement,for examplein b. 10, whereit sets the text word 'Horizont',a bit of word paintingwhich exploits the symmetricand stable propertiesof the whole-tonetetrachord. analysisin Ex. 5d, of the tetrachordal Ex. 5e providesa furtherrefinement the treatment of individualpitchclasseswhichwouldbe essential approaching
MUSIC ANALYSIS

4:1/2, 1985

53

ALLEN FORTE

completeanalysis.This examplefocusesupon b. 1, ignoringthe to a relatively It dividesthe of the previoussegmentations. structures overlapping elaborate the firstandthe last, leavingD in the pianofigureinto twotrichords, seven-note analysisin middle, a symmetricpositionwhichit occupiedin the tetrachordal symmetric Ex. 5d as well. In this reading,D is connectedto the rhythmically symmetricwith respectto the componentbasic cell b (that is, rhythmically seven-notepiano figure)to form basic cell c. This divisionof the seven-note piano figure revealsbasic cell a again in contrastto basic cell b. Here it is of set class triad',a representative twice, becominga 'diminished represented set theory. pitch-class of unordered 3-10, to use the jargon
Ex. 5e Vn . @)
(@ e

Pno.

|9 |G#E C
b.c.a (3-12) b.c.c (3-3)

| C#G LBb
b.c.b (3-10) (2x)

hexachords betweenZ-related In the finalexample,Ex. 5f, correspondences of the significancethat such relationsmay are displayedin demonstration alwaysexhibit at the level of detail. Exact exhibit but do not necessarily arrowsthat join are indicatedby double-headed pitch-classcorrespondences are associatedstronglyby the two dyads. Thus, the two Z-correspondents class3 in SZ43 is matched,however,not by an classes1and2. Interval interval adjacency in SZ 17, but by the non-contiguousCX and E. Basic cell components,the 'majorthird'from basiccell a and the 'minorthird'of basic cell b, areshownon the exampleas well. In conclusion,I expressmy regretthatit is not possiblehereto coverall the subtopicsthat come to mind in connectionwith the generaltopic, 'Pitch-class Set AnalysisToday'. These includethe questionof 'auralrelevance',whichis closely associatedwith the importantmatter of ear-trainingpedagogy atonalmusic,withits in the caseof earlytwentieth-century important especially rich harmonicvocabularyand intricate structures,of which the music of is surelythe mostcomplexrepresentation. Schoenberg I wouldlike to say a word, however,aboutfutureprospectsfor the use and developof pitch-classset analysis.First, a recenttechnological development ment offersinterestingpossibilitiesfor research.I speakof the adventof the microcomputer,which renders computationalfacilities accessible to any scholarwho is interestedenough to learnhow to use them. Manyaspectsof developmentby virtueof the existenceof analysismay undergoconsiderable Onecanenvision,forexample,a capabilities. andits interactive thistechnology
54
MUSIC ANALYSIS

4:1/2, 1985

'\4S B*srs

': (J

1 'ae) 1 Den ww Wein,denmmit s i-

pn s4s trialct,

I St

PITCH-CLASS

SET ANALYSIS TODAY

Ex. 5f

UesrZ
Fl6X.

(; " ")

f
r

Geige.
w

xit Dpt

Vivioseell.
> Be6t (J oz ^) P td s) ^ ' '

Itositztion.

I[l^tior.

1
A $ s

WL w-;

of P z
^ @ -

s
der Mond
i

ts

,*R #tE f

Wo

pn

s W

sia der,

sM is i

Ik .RP : t H-p b I X Used by permission of Belmont Music Publishers, Los Angeles, California90049
ic 3
t

1 ic2
| /

6-Z17 in piano bs 1-2:

icl i r ; l # C# G G# E
+

D
\ \ l

/
/

i / b.c.a b . c .b

6-Z43 in violin bs 5-6:

b. c . a\

G| IF# D#l F# Dl icl ic3 ic2


corresponds

Cl

C#-E ( ic3)

to F#-D# (b.c.b)

MUSIC ANALYSIS

4:1/2, 1985
ss

ALLEN FORTE

aspects.Second,there intelligence withartificial analyser powerfulset-complex questions,suchas manymoregeneralandinteresting remainto be investigated the definitionof 'centricity'in, for example,the atonalmusic of the Viennese classicists.Finally,thereis muchmusic still to be studiedusing pitch-classset music of the late come to mind: (1) the transitional methods.Two repertories at the beginningof this paper,and to whichI referred 19thcentury,a repertory sets (2) morerecentmusicthatmightbe studiedin a fruitfulwayviapitch-class andrelations. NOTES
Vol. 3, No. 1, March1984, Report',MusicAnalysis, Brown,'Conference 1. Matthew pp. 91-5. In this reporton the Sixth AnnualMeetingof the Societyfor Music Theory at Yale (November, 1983), the authorwrites of the 'greatdiversityin in conformity subjectmatter',thengoeson to saythat'. . . therewasconsiderable of papersdrewuponForte's method-to somedegreeor other,the vastmajority theoryof tonality'. sets and Schenker's theoryof unordered of AtonalMusic(New Haven:Yale UniversityPress, 2. Allen Forte, TheStructure (New Haven:Yale of TheRite of Sprzng Organization 1973).Idem., TheHarmonic . Press, 1978) University in Music(EnglewoodCliffs: Prentice-Hall, Functions 3. WallaceBerry, Structural 1976). in the Musicof EdgardVarese',MusicTheory Bernard,'Pitch/Register 4. Jonathan , Vol. 3, 1981,pp. 1-25. Spectrum Music',MusicTheory in Post-Tonal andProcess Hasty,'Segmentation 5. Christopher Vol. 3, 1981, pp. 5F73 . Spectrum, 6. Douglas Jarman,TheMusicof AlbanBerg (Berkeley:Universityof California Press, 1979). Op. 11: Studienzur Drei Klavierstucke ArnoldSchonberg: 7. ReinholdBrinkmann, (Wiesbaden:Franz Steiner, 1969), p. 98: 'Das frahenAtonalitatbei Schonberg alle Gestaltenaus einem Kern zu entwickeln,findet auch in diesem Verfahren, ist der Eroffnungsabschnitt allerAbleitungen Ausgangspunkt StuckAnwendung. mit seinen zwei gleich am Beginn exponiertenThemen bzw. Motiven, die wiederengenKonnexhaben.Sie mogenmit a bzw. b bezeichnet.' untereinander Vol. KotoMusic',TheMusicForum, 8. DavidLoeb, 'AnAnalyticStudyof Japanese IV, 1976,pp. 335-95. MiddlePeriod' in Worksof BelaBartok's andStructure 9. PaulF. Wilson,'Atonality andJamesM. Baker(seen.25 below). Ph.D. dissertation,1982), (YaleUniversity: TheSuite Op. 29 and the Harmony: Twelve-Tone 10. MarthaM. Hyde, Schoenbergns Press, 1982),p. 11. (AnnArbor:UMI Research Sketches Compositional with TwelveTones (1)', in StyleandIdea, ed. 'Composition 11. ArnoldSchoenberg, Leonard Stein (New York: St Martins Press, 1975), and Claudio Spies, of New Music,Vol. 13, No. 1, Fall / 12TK / Princeton',Perspectives 'Vortrag Winter1974,pp. 58-136. ffazzForschung, Jazz+, in Contemporary Set Structures 12. Jeff Pressing,'Pitch-Class Vol. 14. Connection',Kurt Weill 13. Alan Chapman,'Crossingthe Cusp: The Schoenberg Conference,sponsoredby The Music Libraryof Yale Universityand the Kurt 2-5 November1983. for Music,New Haven,Connecticut, WeillFoundation
56
MUSIC ANALYSIS

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ALLEN FORTE

de timbres. . .' (p. 144). ambiguite 34. Ibid., p. 144: 'Meme atrophiede la partitionde la "Danse sacrale",ou cette globaleest assuree,de touteevidence,parle rythme'. structure of Musicand Dictionary 35. GeorgePerle, Paul Lansky, 'Atonality',TheNew Grove Musicians,Vol.1,p. 673. No.109,June 36. ArnoldThittall,Reviewof TheStructureofAtonalMusic,Tempo, 1974,pp. 41-3. 37. Jim Samson, 'Schoenberg's"Atonal" Music', Tempo,No. 109, June 1974, pp. 1g25. Opus 11, Number 1', 38. Will Ogdon, 'How Tonality Functionsin Schoenberg's Vol. 5, No. 2, November1981,pp. 169SchoenbergInstitute, of theArnold ffournal 81:p. 169. and Atonality(Berkeley: University of 39. See George Perle, Serial Composition CaliforniaPress, 1962), pp. 1W16, and Allen Forte, 'Sets and Nonsets in of New Music, Vol. 11, No. 2, FallAtonal Music', Perspectives Schoenberg's Winter1972,pp. 43-64. 40. Ogdon,op. cit., p. 170. Dec. 1979, 41. Anthony Milner, 'Botanizingon music', Recordsand Recordings, of TheRiteofSpnng,withmany Organization pp. 128-9, a reviewof TheHarmonic of Atonal Music. As penance for this intemperate referencesto The Structure outburst,I suggestthat Mr Milnerbe requiredto memoriseArticleQuatrieme, a ses Reduite deL'Harmonie Traite of Rameau's Huitieme,LivrePremier Chapitre PnncipesNaturels(Paris: 1722), 'De l'Accordde la Septieme. . .', an eminent in music contributionto the ancientand honourabletraditionof gobbledegook theory. the most favourable 42. At the end of his vitriolicreview,Mr Milnerstates:'Perhaps commentthat can be madeon the book is that it servesas the most compelling in musicalanalysisthathas yet appeared'. againstthe use of computers argument of TheRite of Spnng. In point of fact, Organization He refersto TheHarmonic in connectionwith analytical althoughI have writtenmany computerprograms studies,thatbookwasexecutedentirelyby handmethods,savefor andtheoretical anda high-techelectriceraser. an electrictypewriter 8 Supplement, Literary of AtonalMusic,Times reviewof TheStructure 43. Anonymous March1974. Browne,op. cit. (n. 27), p. 406. 44. Richmond 45. See, forexample,DouglasJarman,TheMusicof AlbanBerg,p. 54, whereF19 is as 'a minortriadwithan addedmajorseventh'. described 46. The notionof 'basiccell' is, of course,GeorgePerle's. See his Senal Composition pp. 9-10. andAtonality, fromtheanalysis.If, however,its pitchednotation 47. I haveomittedtheSprechstimme set analysiswithoutdifficulty is takenat facevalue,then it fits into the pitch-class the work. it hereandthroughout indeed,supports hexachord.Set is another'almostwhole-tone' 48. Set 6-34, the Wozzeckhexachord, in Berg'sStringQuartet,Op. 3 (1909-10). hexachord M21 is the openingthematic are:SZ3/SZ36, SZ10/SZ39, SZ13/SZ42, 6-Z17/6-Z43, 49. These hexachords 21, SZ 19/SZ44. OnlyF21 is its own complement.

58

MUSIC ANALYSIS

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