Transformational Analysis: An Essay Toward an Analytic Model

Zychowicz, James L.

The goal of this paper is to briefly review some contemporary modes of analysis in light of Treitler's remarks and to suggest, again briefly, a new perspective on analysis, which I term "transformational." Several current approaches to music analysis are founded on the concept of a single basic shape as the underlying source for a given composition. It is from such a basic shape that a work might be recomposed in analysis in order to provide some understanding of the inner workings of the music. This approach is found in the works of Heinrich Schenker and Arnold Schoenberg, among others. By analyzing on levels of understanding other than the sheerly technical, transformational analysis would provide a means for expressing the individuality of the music. Such an approach would provide a means for departing from an expression of, as Treitler states, the "universals of how music works," and provide a means "to discover how musics work."



  • thumnail for current.musicology.37-38.zychowicz.182-186.pdf current.musicology.37-38.zychowicz.182-186.pdf application/pdf 221 KB Download File

Also Published In

Current Musicology

More About This Work

Academic Units
Columbia University
Published Here
March 26, 2015