Dissonance Within Discordance: The Influence of Equal Temperament on the Aesthetic Evaluation of Second Viennese Atonality
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis draws a distinction between the nature of intonation and tuning in tonal and atonal music. I describe the musical aesthetic of the Second Viennese School as conditioned by and born out of equal temperament. In contrast, tonal music often employs intonation that varies from equal temperament significantly. These contrasting notions are explored through an examination of two historically opposed ideologies that concern consonance and dissonance. This thesis suggests that the aesthetic evaluation of twelve-tone atonal music may be informed by its theoretical limitation to the equally tempered scale. It is dissonance within discordance, referring to a preponderance of dissonant harmony within a dissonant medium of tuning. Supplementary audio files are included to support this thesis. Examples 1-9 compare various chords and progressions in just intonation and equal temperament. Example 10 is a midi version of "Yesterday I Heard the Rain," arranged by Brent Graham, in equal temperament.