Transformational analysis in practice: Music-analytical studies on composers and musicians from around the world

Bozhidar Chapkanov (Ed.)

by Antonio Grande Antonio Grande (Conservatorio di Como, Italy), Bozhidar Chapkanov , Yosef Goldenberg (Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Israel), Robert Peck (Louisiana State University), Desirée Mayr (Bahia State University, Brazil), Recep Gül (Istanbul Technical University, Turkey), Ozan Baysal (Istanbul Technical University, Turkey), Edward Gollin (Williams College), Stephen C. Brown (Northern Arizona University), Yvonne Teo (Durham University), Jennifer Harding , Rich Pellegrin (University of Florida), Timothy Clarkson (Sydney Conservatorium of Music), Hussein Boon (University of Westminster)

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“A marvelous volume, and a significant milestone in the maturation of neo-Riemannian thought, shown throughout to be so much more than just L, P, and R. The studies within expand the purview of this system far past its originally envisioned late-Romantic domain, with compelling applications to novel repertoires, versatile new analytical techniques, and robust new formalisms--all presented accessibly. This is the bedside reader that devoted neo-Riemannians have long been waiting for!”

Professor of Music, Tufts University
Author of 'Hollywood Harmony: Music Wonder and the Sound of Cinema' (Oxford University Press, 2018)

“Following different threads from transformational theory, this collection takes the discipline to many new places. It introduces us to fresh repertoires – from 19th-century Brazil to 20th-century Turkey; from Webern to Coltrane – and offers new approaches - from re-evaluations of the Tonnetz to the field of music production. What a fabulous addition to the body of literature on transformational and neo-Riemannian music theory.”

Professor of Music Theory, University of Liverpool
Author of 'Desire in Chromatic Harmony' (Oxford University Press, 2020)

'Transformational analysis in practice' is a Must-Have for everyone working in the field or aspiring to develop their music-analytical and theoretical skills in transformational theory. This co-authored book puts together a plethora of analytical studies, diverse both in the repertoires covered and the methodologies employed. It is a much-needed anthology in this sub-field of music analysis, which has been developing and growing in recent years, reaching ever wider outlets in English-speaking countries and beyond, from dedicated conference panels to YouTube videos.

The book is divided into four parts based on the repertoires under discussion. Part I encompasses four analytical studies on familiar composers from the European Romanticism of the nineteenth century. Part II analyzes the music of less familiar composers from Brazil and Turkey. Part III offers four contrasting ways to adapt the analytical capabilities of neo-Riemannian theory to the post-tonal music of the twentieth century. Catering to the interests of jazz performers and researchers, as well as those into popular music production, Part IV offers transformational analytical approaches to both notated and improvised jazz, emphasizing John Coltrane’s performance.

Providing an invaluable synthesis of a wide range of analytical studies, this book will be an essential companion for many musicology students, as well as for performers and composers.

List of figures
List of tables
List of examples

Part I. Transformational analysis and the European Romanticism

Chapter 1 Neo-Riemannian analysis of Liszt’s Un Sospiro: A glance into the future
Antonio Grande
Conservatorio di Como, Italy

Chapter 2 The visual versatility of the Tonnetz : a neo-Riemannian methodology for Liszt’s late piano music
Bozhidar Chapkanov
Independent scholar

Chapter 3 Neo-Riemannian operations and enharmonic equivalents of consonant triads
Yosef Goldenberg
Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Israel

Chapter 4 Models and transformations of voice exchanges as contextual inversions
Robert Peck
Louisiana State University, USA

Part II. Reaching beyond the mainstream European repertoires with transformational analysis

Chapter 5 Neo-Riemannian analysis in the music of Leopoldo Miguéz: first movement of the violin sonata op. 14 as a case study
Desirée Mayr
Bahia State University, Brazil

Chapter 6 Blended operations, flavored transformations: a neo-Riemannian case from the Turkish Five
Recep Gül
Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
Ozan Baysal
Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Part III. Transformational analysis and post-tonal music

Chapter 7 A neo-Riemannian perspective on Anton Webern’s Concerto for Nine instruments, op. 24
Stephen Brown
Northern Arizona University, USA
Edward Gollin
Williams College, USA

Chapter 8 Interval pairing in a serial context: Webern’s Variations, op. 30
Stephen Brown
Northern Arizona University, USA

Chapter 9 Neo-Riemannian analysis, neoclassical music and hybridity
Yvonne Teo
Durham University, UK

Chapter 10 Non-triadic harmonic spaces and Fourier phase space
Jennifer Diane Harding
Independent scholar

Part IV. Transformational analysis, jazz and music production

Chapter 11 A transformational approach to superimposition in contemporary jazz voicings
Rich Pellegrin
University of Florida, USA

Chapter 12 Many paths at once: the interactive pitch space of “Pursuance” and improvisation in The John Coltrane Quartet
Timothy Clarkson
Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australia

Chapter 13 An introduction to neo-Riemannian operations and their application in music production
Hussein Boon
University of Westminster, UK

A bibliography of studies in transformational theory

Dr. Bozhidar Chapkanov is a pianist, composer, and researcher who specializes in the field of Neo-Riemannian theory and analysis. His doctoral thesis titled 'Harmony and Tonality in Liszt’s Late Piano Music – Functional and Transformational Analytical Perspectives' develops a hybrid methodology for the transitional repertoires of the late nineteenth century, utilizing the strengths of both Hugo Riemann’s 'Funktionstheorie' and the innovative approaches of Neo-Riemannian analysis. Commencing his doctoral studies in 2017 at City, University of London, and completing in 2022, Bozhidar Chapkanov has enjoyed frequent appearances at international conferences, presenting his findings in Italy, France, Portugal, Croatia, and the UK. His publication in the 'Italian Rivista di analisi e teoria musicale' titled 'An Analytical Study into Weitzmann Regions in the late Piano Works of Franz Liszt' shows the importance of the augmented triad for Liszt and claims that a visually enhanced Neo-Riemannian methodology can put enough emphasis on this sonority and demonstrate that it was a generator of musical syntax for the composer. Having similar motivations as a starting point for the current book, Dr. Chapkanov believes that transformational analysis can open our eyes and ears to many harmonic details in the music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which remain obscure in other modes of analysis. Therefore, the current project is seen as an important step in broadening the reach of his field of research and allowing more music practitioners to understand music better through the aid of transformational theory and analysis.

Transformational theory, neo-Riemannian theory, neo-Riemannian analysis, neo-Riemannian transformations, basic transformations, compound transformations, neo-Riemannian operations, harmony, macroharmony, triadic harmony, triads, seventh chords, augment triad, diminished seventh chord, tonality, tonal theory, chromaticism, tonal freedom, musical style, tonal hierarchy, chords, chord relationships, Classical music, Classical-Romantic music, Romanticism, Modernism, tonal music, post-tonal music, atonal music, 19th-century music, 20th-century music, piano music, Brazilian music, Turkish music, jazz, improvisation, (non-)European music, art music, Fourier phase spaces, discrete Fourier transform, popular music, music production, dissonance, sonority(ies), voice leading parsimony, voice leading proximity, Hexatonic regions, Hexatonic cycles, octatonic cycles, Tonnetz, tonal grid, counterpoint, polyphony, music-analytical methodology(ies), hybrid methodology, visualization, analytical diagram(s), geometrical representation(s), graphical representation(s), diatonic function, function theory, Riemannian theory; Hugo Riemann, David Lewin, Richard Cohn, Dmitri Tymoczko, Steven Rings, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Leopoldo Miguéz, The Turkish Five, Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, Second Viennese School, Paul Hindemith, Olivier Messiaen, Thomas Adès, Aaron Copland, Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Coltrane

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title
Transformational analysis in practice: Music-analytical studies on composers and musicians from around the world
Number of pages
Physical size
236mm x 160mm
185 B&W
Publication date
January 2024