Background Structures and Narrative in Music by Women
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This thesis explores the use of modified Schenkerian analysis and how it relates to a feminine narrative in a piece of music. In music theory literature about music by women, Schenkerian analysis is a tool that is often ignored; some scholars claim that the goal-oriented nature of Schenkerian analysis prevents it from being an effective tool to analyze music that doesn’t adhere to traditional tonal models, including modern works by women composers. In this study, it was found that modifying the Urlinie and Bassbrechung to reflect salience rather than a traditional harmonic structure allowed for the tool to actually reveal a lot about the underlying narratives in the music. The case studies include Genesis II (Janika Vandervelde), Missa Gaia; Mass for the Earth (Libby Larsen), and “Music Box” (Cynthia Folio).