- Stravinsky's ‘Musick to heare’: a study in union and singleness
- Dutch Journal of Music Theory
- Volume | Issue number
- 16 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Three Songs from William Shakespeare (1953) is one of the first works in which Igor Stravinsky explored serial composition. However, he complied neither with Schönberg’s or Webern’s practice of dodecaphony, nor with the ways of the serial composers of his time. He rather engaged in a multiply hybrid approach, involving both diatonic and chromatic pitch collections as well as declamatory, modal, tonal and serial treatments of them. Moreover he practiced cross-over composition: he dealt with a chromatic row in a modal way and a diatonic row in an atonal way. This article offers an analysis of this multiple hybridity in relation to ‘Musick to heare’, the first of the Shakespeare Songs, and proceeds to assess the musical structures and procedures in connection with the polarity in the text between singleness and union/concord. It is suggested that Stravinsky conceived of ‘union’ as essentially multiple.
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