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Desire in Chromatic HarmonyA Psychodynamic Exploration of Fin de Siècle Tonality$
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Kenneth M. Smith

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190923426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190923426.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2020

Karol Szymanowski’s Dominant Drive Model and the Excess of the Cycle

Karol Szymanowski’s Dominant Drive Model and the Excess of the Cycle

(p.141) Chapter Four Karol Szymanowski’s Dominant Drive Model and the Excess of the Cycle
Desire in Chromatic Harmony

Kenneth M. Smith

Oxford University Press

The chapter explores several songs by Karol Szymanowski that demonstrate the explicit rotation of a TSD substitution model in relatively strict terms. These songs also reflect on the theme of desire as a circular driving force. The chapter then examines Szymanowski’s symphonic music, specifically the third symphony, “Song of the Night” Op. 29, whose sonorities spread their tensions out in many directions. To visually re-create this, the chapter employs a method called “drive analysis,” which represents triads as triangles and tetrads as squares, each with tailored corners to represent the raising or lowering of pitches. When placed on a graph whose y-axis unfolds the circle of descending fifths and whose x-axis represents the flow of time, various patterns emerge that unlock new hearings of a work whose harmonic “momentum” could otherwise be considered static.

Keywords:   Karol Szymanowski, Song of the Night, Drive Analysis, Sufism, Harmonic substitution

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