Stravinsky Retrospectives

By Ethan Haimo; Paul Johnson | Go to book overview
Save to active project


ETHAN HAIMO | University of Notre Dame

Some idea of the extent of the conceptual problems posed by Stravinsky's "centric music" can be gauged from the number of markedly different theoretical approaches that have been advanced to explain this repertoire.1 Some of the earliest writers, noting both the superficial similarities with tonal practice and the evident divergence from that practice, suggested a number of terms (bitonality, pantonality, modality, pandiatonicism) that they felt might capture the essence of the Stravinsky style.2 In an attempt to account for the seemingly stable function of nontriadic elements, Travis postulated the existence of a referential sonority that substitutes for the tonic triad and that is articulated through time by techniques analogous to those of tonal music.3 Boretz suggested that some pieces are best thought of as lacking a tonic and instead proposed that they be viewed in terms of a reference tetrachord or hexachord ("construct centric").4 Still others ( Salzer, Forte) extended Schenkerian analysis to include Stravinsky's works.5 Berger and after him van den Toorn have directed attention to various collections that they portray

The term "centric" was applied by Berger to describe music that is "centric (i.e. organized in terms of a tone center) but not tonally functional." Arthur Berger, "Problems of Pitch Organization in Stravinsky", Perspectives of New Music 2 no. I ( 1963): II; reprinted in Boretz and Cone, eds., Perspectives on Schoenberg and Stravinsky, rev. ed. ( New York: W. W. Norton, 1972), p. 123. Further citations are to the reprint.

Paul Collaer, A History of Modern Music, translated by Sally Abeles ( New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1961), pp. 137-39; Roman Vlad, Stravinsky, trans. Frederick, 3d ed. ( London: Oxford University Press, 1978), pp. 12-18.

Roy Travis, "Toward a New Concept of Tonality"? Journal of Music Theory 3 ( 1959):257-66.

Benjamin Boretz, "Meta- Variations, Part IV: Analytic Fallout (II)", Perspectives of New Music II, no. 2 ( 1973):167-75.

Allen Forte, Contemporary Tone Structures ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1955), pp. 128-38 and 187-92; Felix Salzer, Structural Hearing ( New York: Dover, 1962), Vol. 2, pp. 234-37. Travis, pp. 257-66, employs Schenkerian reductions.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Stravinsky Retrospectives


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 203

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?