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Robert Mayrhofer's Theory of Harmony

  • Author / Creator
    Thomson, Sten
  • This work examines the harmonic theory of the Austrian music theorist Robert Mayrhofer (1863-1935) as described in the author’s first two treatises, Psychologie des Klanges and Die organische Harmonielehre. In presuming that musical listening involves the visual conceptualization of pitch as points in “tone space,” Mayrhofer’s harmonic theory builds upon the perception of the major third as an essential interval, the n-Strecke, to create a harmonic system consisting of distinct harmonic structures as expansions in tone space. These structures,which Mayrhofer calls cells, delineate various levels of expansion in tone space that characterize the boundaries of tonality. From these structural levels, Mayrhofer develops the concept of expanded tonality that in his view underlies most music composed since Bach and is especially helpful in describing the highly chromatic music of late tonality. Mayhofer thus develops a highly original and controversial theory of harmony from a single musical perception.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3H376
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Music
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Klumpenhouwer, Henry (Music)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Moshaver, Maryam (Music)
    • Beard, William (English and Film Studies)