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Musical Symbolism in the Operas of Debussy and Bartok$
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Elliot Antokoletz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195365825

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195365825.001.0001

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The New Musical Language

The New Musical Language

(p.14) 2 The New Musical Language
Musical Symbolism in the Operas of Debussy and Bartok

Elliott Antokoletz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the sources and evolution of the new musical language that lead to the symbolist ideal and corresponding musical processes. The latter is based on transformation of traditional diatonic pitch constructions, symmetrical, and cyclic-interval properties of the dominant-ninth chord and other traditional harmonic constructions, as developed by Russian nationalist, French impressionist, and Hungarian composers. The interaction of pentatonic, diatonic, whole-tone, and octatonic sets by means of common suhcollections or cells is essential to the new twelve-tone language based on the concept of the interval cycle.

Keywords:   symbolist ideal, symmetry, interval cycles, dominant-ninth chord, pentatonic, diatonic, whole-tone, octatonic, subcollections, twelve-tone language

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