Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Losada, Catherine. “Between Modernism and Postmodernism: Strands of Continuity in Collage Compositions by Rochberg, Berio, and Zimmermann.” Music Theory Spectrum 31 (Spring 2009): 57-100.

Many questions about musical collages still remain to be answered, especially with regard to the relationships between the seemingly disparate elements on their musical surface. Analysis shows that seemingly disparate features in Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia, George Rochberg’s Music for the Magic Theater, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Musique pour les Soupers du Roi Ubu, are actually governed by a multitude of associations that create unconventional structures and relationships. Chromatic saturation within pitch (not pitch-class) space in the Sinfonia provides the motivation for relating disparate passages in this collage, while aggregate completion and the saturation of certain motivic units connects seemingly disparate passages in the Music for the Magic Theater. Finally, the lack of aggregate completion and several inconclusive gap-fill processes lead to a lack of closure in Musique pour les Soupers du Roi Ubu, which is used in tandem with other musical features to provide dramatic meaning. Analyses of these three musical collages should not ignore contrasts in musical language, but instead should embrace them as fundamental building blocks, emphasizing the associations and relationships between seemingly disparate elements which make up the work’s structure. Organic unity should not be attempted to be “proven” in these works, but the idea of total disjunction of the musical surfaces of these collages is an illusion.

Works: Luciano Berio: Sinfonia (64-81); George Rochberg: Music for the Magic Theater (81-87); Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Musique pour les Soupers du Roi Ubu (87-94).

Sources: Mahler: Symphony No. 2 (64-66, 69); Mozart: Divertimento in B-flat Major, K. 287 (81-86); Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (87-90); Wagner: Die Walküre (87-90).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Chelsea Hamm

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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