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Conflicting Lines, Cohesive Structures: Multiple-Directed Linearity in Witold Lutoslawski's Third Symphony

Ogburn, James Joseph (2009) Conflicting Lines, Cohesive Structures: Multiple-Directed Linearity in Witold Lutoslawski's Third Symphony. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Witold Lutoslawski is widely recognized as having contributed numerous innovations to the twentieth-century canon of "Western" avant-garde music. His contributions include new approaches to notation and aleatoric technique (especially in ad libitum sections), formal structure "chain technique" and unusual four movement forms), and pitch organization (interval pairing and non-serial twelve-tone approaches). While emblematic of many of these qualities, Lutoslawski's Third Symphony also demonstrates an overlooked aspect of his late compositions: multiple-directed linear processes. In my essay, I focus on linear processes within several levels of the musical structure (pitch, rhythm, orchestration, register, texture, and form), applying contour theory, set theory, and statistical analysis where appropriate. In Lutoslawski's Third Symphony many levels of the structure arrive at their goal in distinct places, are simultaneously oriented in different directions, or otherwise subvert each other. In addition, singularly directed linear passages interrupt each other in horizontal succession. These types of multiple-directed linearity are the objects of my study. Although multiple-directed linearity is not exclusive to Lutoslawski's music, it is a facet that has been overlooked or mentioned only in passing within Lutoslawski studies. The composition component of my dissertation is Proximate Spaces for piano and chamber orchestra. The formal continuity of Proximate Spaces was suggested to me by competing ideas of the 1990's surrounding the search for a unified theory to explain the fundamental forces, dimensional composition, and existence of matter in the known universe. Much of the pitch material derives from a two-octave mode (18 pitches in series) and three subset hexachords of that mode. The work develops the tension between mechanistic devotion to this mode and episodes of free chromaticism, between strictly repeating rhythmic patterns and rhythmic variation, between instrumentation according to families and a free exchange of musical ideas regardless of instrumental relation. Initially aligned with the mechanistic paradigms of mode and regular rhythmic patterns, in several places the piano breaks free and attempts to incite revolt against the piece's system by abandoning strict adherence to these structures. Although some other members of the ensemble briefly depart from the system, ultimately the machine prevails.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ogburn, James
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRosenblum, Matthewrosenblu@pitt.eduROSENBLU
Committee MemberWilliams, Amyamywill@pitt.eduAMYWILL
Committee MemberMoe, Ericemoe@pitt.eduEMOE
Committee MemberEllenbogen, Joshjme23@pitt.eduJME23
Date: 17 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 April 2009
Approval Date: 17 June 2009
Submission Date: 13 April 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Music
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: alia musica pittsburgh; composer; composition; contour theory; discontinuity; james ogburn; jonathan kramer; leonard meyer; linearity; lutoslawski; matt gillespie; multiple-directed; music; musical; musical analysis; piano concerto; polish composer; proximate spaces; symphony; temporality; twentieth-century
Other ID:, etd-04132009-153226
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:37
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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