Session|séance 8.1. Transformations.

Session|séance 8.1. Transformations.
Room 11-452. Chair: Kent Sangster.

Friday|vendredi 25 May|mai 2018. 11:30AM - 12:30PM


8.1.1. Schoenberg’s Shape Manipulations: Mapping Motivic Transformations

Adam Roy, Western University

Composers can manipulate a basic musical idea in theoretically infinite ways. This idea of manipulating musical material was a central compositional philosophy of Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951). As Schoenberg states, “whatever happens in a piece of music is nothing but the endless reshaping of a basic shape” (Schoenberg, [1935] 1975). It is the variety of ways in which these basic ideas, commonly termed motives, are manipulated that contributes to a work’s unique identity. According to Schoenberg, these varied basic shapes work dialogically to unify a musical piece. But how are these basic shapes varied within a musical work to create meaningful developments and thematic connections?

This paper explores an analytical model tracking such developmental transformations of melodic musical motives (shapes). Taking intervals as the objects of inspection, I define a group of intervallic transformations: expand, contract, swap, insert, extend, compound, reduce, remove, and various types of splits. These processes yield a collection of transformations that we may generalize and compare with one another. My analyses then apply these operations contextually to several of Schoenberg’s early works (1895 – 1908), demonstrating specific transformational moves accounting for the manipulation of a motivic object, thereby creating subsequent forms.

As Dahlhaus posits, Schoenberg thought motivically and only detailed analyses of intervallic content and connections demonstrate how motives relate to one another (Dahlhaus, 1987). Through this tracking of process, we come closer to understanding how Schoenberg creates new forms and how they are interrelated––how developed musical ideas emerge and are woven together to create larger coherence. 


8.1.2. Equity’s Challenge to Canadian Orchestras: Is Change Possible?

Parmela Attariwala, York University

In unmistakeable manoeuvres to put policy into practice, the current Canadian government is demonstrating to the world that it is possible for a country to be peaceful and tolerant of difference despite profound ethnocultural diversity in its citizenry. While earlier governments touted “multiculturalism as our strength”, none actively implemented ethnocultural and gender diversity at the highest level of policy making—the federal cabinet—as the current government has. This overt gesture, coupled with the Canadian public’s awakenings to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) make equity and reconciliation more than simply government priorities; they are structural imperatives for Canadian businesses and institutions.

Historically advantaged arts institutions, though pressured by funders, have been complacent about effecting tangible, equity-oriented change. Nevertheless, in 2016, Orchestras Canada, an umbrella advocacy organization, drafted an Identity, Diversity, Equality and Access (IDEA) Declaration, a document that when adopted by member orchestras requires them to be proactive about issues of diversity and access.

In this paper, I will problematize—from a social justice perspective—ethical issues confronting Canadian orchestras in a post-TRC era; most significantly, the perpetuation of cultural colonialism and exoticism in current advocacy and marketing for Western classical music. These are issues that will also affect, and ultimately, disrupt the prerogatives of Western classical music’s training institutions. I will draw upon research and fieldwork undertaken through the 2017-2018 season at the behest of Orchestras Canada. 


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