The Atonal Symphony Essay, Research Paper For many composers, elements of symphonic form, from the classical period to the end of the romantic era, have remained relatively static. While certain conventions, such as the substitution of a scherzo for a minuet and trio, have changed from time to time, the classical symphonic form is thought to have been used unchanged or in minute variation.
The Atonal Symphony Essay, Research Paper
For many composers, elements of symphonic form, from the classical period to the end of the romantic era, have remained relatively static. While certain conventions, such as the substitution of a scherzo for a minuet and trio, have changed from time to time, the classical symphonic form is thought to have been used unchanged or in minute variation. However, the progressive twentieth century symphonist, who has espoused both traditional form and progressive harmonic and melodic ideas, has encountered an interesting problem, which begs the question of how to preserve a form largely based on harmonic movement (or progression and development ) or thematic contrast in a progressive harmonic idiom. This question is particularly pertinent with the use of sonata-allegro form, in which certain harmonic tendencies have been paramount and a particular balance of tension and release is usually preferred. Techniques such as continuous variations, ostinati, non periodic melodies, and baroque rhythmic regularity, as well as new harmonic and other organizational practices such as pandiatonicism, free atonality, 12 Tone method, klangfarbenmelodie, and numerous atonal practices from impressionism to pointillism, can be viewed as a disruption of the symphonic form in the traditional sense. Many composers have adapted the symphony to these progressive idioms, and have provided various solutions to those who might wish to continue the development of the symphony based upon the examples of romantic symphonists such as Beethoven and Brahms. The symphonic form has been reinterpreted to fit the needs of the modern composers, who were never inclined to let music theorists confine them to the antiquated examples of days past. The conventions of pandiatonicism and 12 Tone composition in the twentieth century symphony will be discussed through the symphonies of composers who favor the previously mentioned harmonic techniques, Ellen Zwilich and Anton Webern.
The symphony, in broadest generalization of the classical conception, contained four movements. The first and the last were sonata allegro, the second was a variations movement and the third was a dance movement. However, many symphonies universally heralded as illustrious examples of the genre defy this convention, such as the romantic symphonies of Ludwig Beethoven. Many composers in the romantic period compose works called symphony after the example of Beethoven, include the chorus, vocal soloist and other instruments not included in the classical conception of the symphonic orchestra. Some symphonic works, such as the symphonies of Hector Berlioz, have been scored entirely for wind and brass instruments and some, such as the two symphonies of Franz Liszt, the neoclassic/baroque symphonies of Johannes Brahms and the symphonic poems of Richard Strauss, have offered a dramatically different interpretation of the symphony in harmonic structure, thematic construction and instrumentation. While attention to the classical model of the symphony has persisted, one can view a divergent school of symphonic composition appearing in the nineteenth century, which has continued into the twentieth.
The sonata-allegro form is an abstract idea created by nineteenth century music theorists such as Adolf Bernhard Marx, Antoine Reicha, and Heinrich Birnbach to explain eighteenth century musical form, though their system of symphonic analysis persists today. The concept of the sonata-allegro form focuses on harmonic movement. To generalize, the first and second sections contain a modulation from the tonic to the dominant key. Normally, two themes of contrasting character are stated in these harmonic sections. The themes are then developed by breaking their thematically stronger form into weaker motivic ideas and using these motivic ideas in a rapidly changing harmonic environment. The themes are then restated in the tonic key and the piece ends. The form is defined by theorists such as Marx and Birnbach through harmonic motion, namely the modulation to the dominant in the exposition, the instability in the development and the tonic key in the recapitulation. The end result is a gradual build in tension to a climax, followed by a gradual release of tension.
Variation movements consist of repeated binary forms with similar harmonic progressions. A theme is stated in the first binary area, which is altered in each new binary area. Typically the theme is ornamented or the intervalic relationships of the pitches in the theme are used in a new rhythmic idea (or the rhythm is used for a new set of pitches). A profusion of different variation techniques exist, which vary from composer to composer. Usually the underlying harmonic progression of the original binary area is preserved for each successive variation. The central idea of the form is to offer the audience amusing new variations on a theme, as even classicists did not strictly adhere to the standard harmonic movements of the form. Dance movements strongly define one particular meter, and other formal principles often depend on the dance type imitated.
The practice of free atonality and 12 Tone method both require, by approximation or by methodical calculation, total chromaticism. Therefore, no harmonic progression, in the traditional sense, can exist. This creates problems in the abstract conception of sonata allegro movements. In a form defined by tonal harmonic movement, how may atonality be used? This problem has led many composers of atonal music away from the symphonic genre. However, the form may also be viewed as a symmetrical build up and release of tension. Many composers of atonal music have used a broader conception of the sonata allegro in their progressive symphonies. A similar problem with sonata allegro form occurs when combined with pandiatonicism. Without functional harmony, no tension is achieved through tonal wandering. Thus the exposition tonic to dominant modulation would be meaningless in this context. Furthermore, the development must rely on other techniques to build tension. Usually, both pandiatonic and atonal symphonies have used dense counterpoint and an increase in dissonance to build tension in development and homophony and more perfect or modal intervals to relieve it. Anton Webern uses a form in the first movement of his opus 21 symphony, which is an example of this progressive conception of the sonata allegro form. The pandiatonic and synthetic scale symphonies of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and freely atonal 3rd and 4th Symphonies of Roger Sessions also exhibit examples of this approach.
The practice of continuous variation popular in many twentieth century musical idioms conflicts with the idea of a recapitulation in sonata allegro form. Again, this convention in the twentieth century is not without precedent. The practices of thematic transformation, Idee Fixe and organic development, while different in aesthetic conception, have the common result of creating a musical thought (melody, harmony or timbre) that is subjected to variation in novel ways throughout a piece, without a need for repetition of the original form of the melody to give a piece a feeling of closure. These reappearing ideas were often used as themes in a varied form in the beginnings of other movements in the symphony, sometimes eschewing all relation to classical symphonic form, such as with Richard Strauss, in favor of the variation of a theme that would represent a concept. The second Viennese School and later many other composers of the twentieth century adopted this practice with the organic writing evidenced in Brahms and molded it into the modern practice of continuous variation, which creates another barrier, from the music theorist s standpoint, between the modernist and classicist in the writing of symphonies. Obviously, if one always varies a theme, one can only approximate a recapitulation.
Anton Webern is a composer who saw his music, much like Arnold Schoenberg viewed his own music, as a product of tradition, and was partial to traditional abstract forms such as the sonata, symphony and string quartet. Schoenberg and Webern both viewed their music as the product of gradual evolution in music, and did not view their atonal methods as being iconoclastic. Webern endeared himself to the traditional forms, drawing many stylistic elements in his music from study of the past. For example, the idea of continuous variation of ideas comes from development in the symphonies of Ludwig Beethoven and Johannes Brahms and thematic transformation in Franz Liszt, his polyphony from the study of J.S. Bach and renaissance motets, and his strict attention to form from Franz Haydn and Wolfgang Mozart. Webern admits their influence on and their synthesis in his music in his lectures. Of course a symphony of Mahler looks different than a symphony of Beethoven, but in essence, it is the same Even the modern symphony rests simply on these forms, and no one racks his brain to find something new. It is rather the tendency of the last few years to adhere to these forms quite strictly The style that Sch nberg and his school seek is a new penetration of the musical material in the horizontal and vertical, a polyphony that had found its peaks in the Netherlanders and Bach, and then again in the classics. Always the urge to derive as much as possible from the main idea we are writing with the very forms of the classics, a combination of both these things. It is naturally not purely polyphonic thinking; it is both together. Thus we want to insist: we have not departed from the forms of the classics.
I postulate that while Webern s Symphony does exhibit characteristics of the non-symphonic compositions of Webern (a charge that those who would wish to exclude this work from the realm of symphonic music might raise), that it intentionally represents the branching off of symphonic composition into a new direction. The symphony has always been changing, and the ideal of prominent strings and a rigid sonata-allegro form first movement, etc, had really moved on to new timbral explorations of the wind instruments before the theories surrounding the interpretation of traditional symphonic form ever existed. Mozart and Haydn, while often championed as those who followed symphonic form to the letter, can also be seen starting to break away from the usual classical symphonies in the use of flutes and oboes substituting for soloistic work in the violins, such as in Haydn s Symphony no. 6. In the symphonies of Beethoven this new direction becomes readily apparent. Beethoven modified not only the symphonic form but also the size of the orchestra and the way, in which the orchestra is used. New elements such as brass instruments were used for timbral contrast with the strings, or the woodwinds to the brass, etc, which introduced the notion of the orchestra as an instrument capable of producing the widest variety of timbres. This idea is explored in the Symphonie Fantastique of Hector Berlioz, and the spirit of timbral experimentation is taken further in works such as the Funeral and Triumphant symphony and the 3rd symphony Romeo and Juliet. Liszt can be seen imitating the use of the chorus of Berlioz and Beethoven in his Faust symphony, and both he and Richard Strauss defy symphonic form for various reasons, using 5 themes, unusual harmonic movement and harmonies absent from diatonic usage, as well as polytonality. Webern was aware of the trend in symphonic music toward using the orchestra as a huge timbre palette, which he develops further in his use of klangfarbenmelodie and disparate use of his instruments. The 12-tone harmony is the result of the increasing chromaticism and the technique of continuous variation, which Sch nberg saw in the development of German romantic music.
Webern s symphony is in two movements. The brevity of the symphony is due to Webern s adherence to an idea of continuous variation and faith in the intelligence of the listener. The use of the twelve tone method, extensive use of hocket or klangfarbenmelodie, thick polyphony, variation and slow tempi with long rests in between notes of the melody create large demands on the listeners attention for the music to be comprehensible. He felt that these techniques would lead to a comprehensible music devoid of any exact repetition, which was unnecessary to Webern. He felt that art should be as G the s Primeaval plant: the root is no different from the stalk, the stalk no different from the leaf, the leaf again no different from the flower: variations of the same idea. Thus repetition in the literal sense was not artistically meaningful to Webern, which he and his teacher found little use for in their music, even implying that progressive music had outgrown the need for repetition, as Sch nberg stated don t write a literal recapitulation, the copyist can do that. Thus the tendency in Webern s symphony is to exhaust all the possible variations in a manner that imitates symphonies throughout history, as well as music from before that time, to create a work both loyal to some aspects of traditional form, while being strikingingly new.
Webern s symphony uses the 12 tone compositional method in the organization of melodic and harmonic materials (Example 1). In this method, the distinction between harmony and melody is blurred. Because all notes are derived from the tone row, melodic lines are often converted to harmonic material, and visa versa. Webern often sounds many of the tones of a row at once and continues with the remaining material as a melodic line (Example 2). As Sch nberg stated, whatever sounds together (harmonies, chords, the result of part writing) plays its part in expression and presentation of the musical idea in just the same way as does all that sounds successively (motive, shape, phrase, sentence, melody, etc), and is equally subject to comprehensibility. The main difference between harmony and melodic line is that harmony requires faster analysis, because the tones appear simultaneously, while in a melodic line more time is granted to synthesis, because the tones appear successively, thus becoming more readily graspable by the intellect. This way of thinking about harmonic materials allows a door to be opened to a new sort of symphony, as Webern shows in his opus 21 work. While we can no longer define areas by the key, into which they modulate, it is possible to define the areas by what is not quite thematic material and not quite harmonic material, but rows, sets, or cells.
Bearing this in mind, the first movement can be viewed either as a modified sonata allegro or binary form. I view it as a type of sonata allegro, or at least postulate that Webern intended it to evoke the feel, progression and symmetry of the classical or pre-classical symphony. Material, which forms an exposition section, from measure 2 to 25 is repeated with a double bar. The use of the double bar with repeat signs is exceedingly unusual in Webern s music, and must be a deliberate evocation of the sonata allegro form. Other harmonic characteristics show the material in this area to be expository, as the simplest statement of the materials is first. The first theme (the only one, which is the 12 tone row) is stated with conservative use of klangfarbenmelodie or hocket in bars 1 13, which progresses into more extensive use later, where every note is passing the melody to another. The prime/retrograde 9 row begins with tones 9, 6, 7 & 8 in the horns, followed by 4, 5, 11 and 10 in the clarinets, and 2, 1, 0 and 3 in the strings. The inversion/retrograde inversion 9 is stated with the same succession of timbres, as 9, 0, 11 and 10 are played by the horns, 2, 1, 7 and 8 are played by a clarinet and 4, 5, 6 and 3 are played by strings (Example 3). This klangfarbenmelodie organization in the symphony is often referred to as a canon, though almost all twelve-tone pieces use canon and similar imitative structures due to the nature of the compositional method. However, this could be referred to as a klangfarbenkanon, because the timbral imitation allows this structure to be heard especially clearly as a canon form. The presence of a fermata at measure 35 brings the slow tempo of the movement to a period of silence reminiscent of the pauses before development material in the classical symphony. In the first movement, syncopations, thick polyphony (many interweaving melodic lines, but they are by no means densely orchestrated) and an abundance of rests mask any sense of meter.
While Webern s traditionalism certainly shows in the 1st movement, he finds ways to avoid exact repetition while evoking the formal aspects of the sonata-allegro. At the repeat sign, which could have posed major difficulties with maintaining continuous variation, Webern begins several tone rows, which reinterpret the material in the exposition. An example can be found in two prominent versions of the tone row in those measures. While the prime 0 form actually is repeated exactly as it was the first time, Webern also states prime/retrograde 4, pitch classes 4, 1, 2, 3, 11 and 0 before the repeat sign, which allows one to hear a new melodic line in the notes repeated at the start of the exposition at measure 2 (Example 4). Thus, even when the same material is played again, it is looked at from a new perspective.
The second movement of the symphony is a variations movement. The variations practice conforms easily to the practice continuous variation, 12-tone organization and klangfarbenmelodie. The disparate ensemble gives the different variations strikingly different timbral colors, while the 12-tone method clarifies the thematic material well. Because Webern s theme is the inversion/retrograde inversion 5, one cannot distinguish the theme from the accompaniment in most variations. However, each variation evokes the feel of a variations movement by providing several amusing variants of familiar material. The basic idea underlying all of the variations is the mirror form, which is reflected in the palindrome theme and continuous mirror form accompanimental patterns of the variations. As the variations progress, the klangfarbenmelodie becomes more and more extensive. The first statement of the theme is played solely by the clarinets with a sparse accompaniment (naturally constructed from the row, also), while the 2nd variation incorporates the inversion/retrograde inversion 4 and prime/retrograde 5 in close proximity to one another, played by the horns, in imitation of chord arpeggiation. This arpeggiation accompanies inversion/retrograde inversion 7 and prime/retrograde 3, which use hocket at practically every note. The movement consciously imitates many practices from the past, retaining the general outline of the variation movement overall, and as each movement contains an accompaniment pattern that moves one direction until the middle of the variation, and then moves backwards, each variation has symmetrical shape similar to the binary form (see example 5).
Another unusual aspect of Webern s symphony is the instrumentation. It is scored for clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 horns, harp, viola, 2 violins and cello. The sparse use of instruments is probably partially due to the economic hardship of the aftermath of World War I, while they were also not included because they were not necessary for such a quiet and introspective work. Webern uses klangfarbenmelodie, as he does in many compositions created just before this one, a practice he derived from the romantic symphonies in their disparity of timbre. Beethoven s antiphonal ensembles have developed into an additional coherent pattern in the symphony. Webern uses it in this piece to highlight his canon and other imitative counterpoint, as well as add another dimension to the imitative patterns. The succession of timbres could be musically meaningful even if the pitches were not in a coherent order.
Evidence of continued interest on the part of twentieth century composers in this new branch of symphonic form is found in the symphonies of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Zwilich is often viewed as deriving her compositional style from the atonality of Roger Sessions and the orchestral color of Elliot Carter, though her style shows many elements of attention not only to the same works that inspired many stylistic elements in Webern s symphony, her attention to continuous variation, use of thematic material and orchestration recall Webern as well as Copland and Varese (in orchestration) perhaps more readily than her teachers. As can be said of Webern, her approach is both traditional and modern, combining reinterpretations of traditional form with modern structural and organizational practices.
Zwilich s 3rd symphony uses familiar tertian sonorities, but the harmonic movement is pandiatonic. Spaces of percussive tutti statements (usually miniatures, as only one timbral section sounds in any one tutti statement) are connected with thinly orchestrated sections where no harmony occurs or drones of closely spaced intervals such as minor and major 2nds are used. All sense of tonal harmonic progression is lost in this method, as the melodic lines in the thinly orchestrated sections do not conform to a major or minor modality, which Zwilich usually replaces with an octatonic or synthetic scale. While Zwilich does not use functional harmony, she does emphasize a pitch center through repetition, which is F# in the 3rd symphony. Zwilich s sense of progression in her symphonies always arises from continuous variation on a cell of material. Zwilich usually repeats certain motto-motives unchanged, but most of the other material in her symphonies is subjected to Sch nbergian variation.
The first movement of the symphony is a modified sonata allegro movement. The movement begins with a statement of a recurring motivic idea, which is immediately followed by the first theme, played in the violins and violas. The first theme is primarily a melodic idea at first, but this idea is broken into smaller motivic ideas and used as a harmonic material as the symphony progresses. The use of all the notes in a melodic line simultaneously, as harmony, shows the influence of the 12 tone method on Zwilich s symphony. The first theme (or cell) is repeated in various forms before the second theme appears in measure 19. The second theme is motto-like, and receives little attention as material for variation. The second theme is repeated and the tempo builds to an allegro (120 to the quarter note) at measure 44, in which the first theme is broken into smaller motivic ideas, subjected to variation and used as intervallic material for harmony. Counterpoint increases in this area, and the motivic idea that began the entire symphony makes occasional appearances, though the second theme is absent from either variation or restatement in the allegro section. The tempo begins to slow at measure 120, and rests at 48 per quarter note at measure 130. In this final section of the first movement, the 1st theme is stated in a form closely related to the original statement in the strings, this time played by a solo flute at measure 142. Though the first theme predominates in the final section, a rhythmic motive related to the 2nd theme is played by non pitched percussion instruments at measure 154. The first section can be seen as the exposition (measures 1 43), the allegro section as the development (44 119), and the final section as a modified recapitulation (120 168).
The second movement is much shorter than the first. It uses a rondo form. The cell, which constitutes the A section of the movement is derived from the synthetic scale used for melodic material in the 1st movement theme. Other sections of this movement are based on material loosely associated with the original cell from the first movement, but of considerable contrast, so that the relationship is usually only visible (or audible) after studying the score. A percussion idea from the first movement recurs in this movement. The 3rd movement is played attaca after the 2nd movement. In length, the last two movements are approximately ten minutes, while the first movement is nine. Zwilich commented that the second two movements were intended to balance the first movement in weight and proportion. The third movement is an amorphous section based, like almost all of the material, on the original cell (Example 6). The development in the 3rd movement, as can also be seen in the development of the 3rd movement in her 1st symphony, is based primarily on variations in timbre on a single sonority. These movements recall Webern s 5 Pieces for Orchestra, and 6 Pieces for Orchestra, as well as Sch nberg s 5 Pieces for Orchestra, which all contain harmonically static movements where almost all variation is devoted to timbre.
My analysis of a modified sonata allegro form of the first movement is not based on thematic contrast of the sections alone. As has been stated of the 12-tone method, Zwilich s themes are not themes in the classical sense of the word, which causes some music theorists to refer to them as cells of intervallic and rhythmic material, for lack of any better term to explain themselves (because Zwilich does not use the 12-Tone system). Because the thematic idea is often used as a harmonic idea, it is closely integrated with the harmony of the symphony, and must be thought of as a harmonic idea as much as a melodic idea. A clear example of this compositional practice is found in Zwilich s 1st symphony, where both approaches are prominently used (Example 7). The harmony associated with the theme or constructed from the intervals contained within the theme is used to give distinction to the harmonic sections. The use of cells defines the area both thematically and harmonically, in a way like that of a tone row. Rows, sets and cells are terms which describe the same practice of serializing or approximation of serialized material, the difference lies in that one studiously avoids a pitch center and the other does not (or, one encompasses the complete chromatic scale in content, the other does not). Both are treated and developed in a like manner. The juxtaposition of the motivic idea and the first theme or cell creates unfamiliar harmony and thus gives a feeling of tension. Furthermore the increase in counterpoint and speed in the allegro section add to the tension. This tension is relieved through the move back to more familiar versions of the 1st theme or cell, the return to the original slower tempo, and the use of monophonic or homophonic texture.
There is little sense of steady rhythmic pulse in the 1st and 3rd symphonies of Zwilich. The meter as notated fluctuates rapidly, and there is almost never a rhythmic accompaniment to the most prominent cell being used that establishes a pulse. Most rhythmic punctuation is syncopated and sparse. The rhythm-less feel created owes its origin to Webern and Varese. Zwilich s symphonies seem to build on the symphonic style created by the serial and freely atonal symphonies of the 20th century, such as Anton Webern and Roger Sessions, who was her composition teacher at the Juilliard school.
The instrumentation in the symphonies of Zwilich includes piccolo, flute, oboe, English horn in F, horns in F, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, violin, viola, cello, contrabass and numerous exotic percussion instruments, which is (aside from the percussion) not unusual for symphonies written between 1982 and 1992 in America. What is unusual about the instrumentation in Zwilich s symphonies is her use of the orchestra. While she gathers an enormous group, they rarely ever play at the same time. The intent seems to be merely to have as many different timbral combinations at her disposal as possible. For example, the only time in the 3rd symphony when all of the orchestra is playing at the same time is the first and last two measures. The resulting sound is reminiscent of orchestral music of Copland in early orchestral works and the orchestral compositions of Sch nberg and Webern. Zwilich devoted most of the developmental ideas in the 3rd movement of her 1st and 3rd to timbral ideas. In both symphonies the last movement does provide interesting material in a thematic sense, and the movment tends to lack a sense of propulsion or unfolding in both harmonic and rhythmic respects. What Zwlilich concentrates on in both symphonies is the use of repetitive harmonic material (a non-developmental repeated theme in the 3rd symphony, and a repeated sonority in the 1st) with striking timbral variations.
If the symphonies of Zwilich and Webern discussed above can be regarded as representative of a school of twentieth century symphonic composition, as I believe can be shown in the comparison of these works to the symphonies of Roger Sessions (the 4th through 9th), Elliot Carters Symphony for Three Orchestras and Stravinsky s Symphonies for Wind Instruments (among others), then this school runs parallel to another school, in which the classical model is continually reused in a more widely recognized conservative symphonic tradition. The progressive twentieth century school did not materialize in a revolution, but builds on the models laid down by Brahms, Strauss, Beethoven, Berlioz and Webern.
Traits of this progressive twentieth century symphonic school include the equivalence of harmonic and melodic material, which was pioneered by Arnold Sch nberg. In the absence of a tonal harmonic structure to define the symphonic form, symphonists turn to the row and cell to define areas and create themes, ushering in a new synthesis between themes and key areas new to the twentieth century. Often, the expanded orchestral palette is used to give these organic structures more definition.
The recapitulation of the sonata allegro form has been altered in favor of continuous development of materials. Other techniques are often used to recall the recapitulation, such as a return to an old tempo, restatement of the cell or row in retrograde at the original transposition or a timbral recall of the beginning of the modified sonata allegro. The idea of recapitulation has been rejected by many composers as an unnecessary addition to the symphony, and has been phased out for much the same reasons as the modern conductor often skips the repeat of the exposition.
The focus of the orchestra shifts from expansion of dynamic power or amplitude to a more reserved machine, revered for its capacity to provide the widest range of timbres, but rarely used for dramatic punctuation in the 19th century sense. This resource is used to create new melodic patterns in the tradition of klangfarbenmelodie as well as allow an opportunity for development where there is no harmonic progression in the traditional sense.
To many musicians, the symphony is a genre with an intimate connection to the classical period. These musicians maintain that the symphony is meaningless outside of the original formal boundaries conceived to explain eighteenth century sonata form. However, many genres have been subject to reinterpretation as aesthetic values and musical styles come and go. The fugue, minuet, gavotte, concerto, oratorio, opera, canon, lied, sonata and cantata, among others, have been redefined to relate to various harmonic idioms as their lives as formal ideas have extended into periods beyond their original conception. The symphony is no exception to the practice of retaining old forms and presenting them in novel ways. Many composers have moved on in the twentieth century to create their own formal structures, some of which will undoubtedly survive in this same manner. It is true that the classical conception of the symphony does not fit the progressive symphonies of the twentieth century. I would argue that it does not fit the romantic, experimental symphonies of the 19th century, either. Therefore, rather than calling these symphonies illegitimate, as some theorists would claim, because they certainly have many ties to the history of the symphonic genre, it seems that a historian or theorist should merely consider the chronology involved. Form is relative to a particular time period. While one may create temporal divisions in the development of musical form to a great extent, as one may see changes in musical taste from year to year, this sort of hair-splitting work is not what I advocate. I merely contend that it makes no sense to expect a piece written in 1928 to sound the same as a piece from 1728, only because the two share the same title. To this end I feel that new formal boundaries, tendencies and terminology should be used with the atonal symphony, while bearing in mind the intimate relation of these works with the other symphonies in history.
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