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«A Dissertation Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College In partial fulfillment of ...»

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4.10 Rotational Scheme in Ballade 4 (Background)…………………………………………………….105 4.11: Intro in Ballade 4………….………………………………………………………………………106 4.12: Ballade 4: Rotation 1 (Middleground)……………………………………………………………107 4.13: Ballade 4: Rotation 2………….………………………………………………………………….107 4.14: MC effect, Rotation 2, Ballade 4………………………………………………………………….108 4.15: The Re-Assemblage of the P-Theme……………………………………………………………...108 4.16: TR1.2 in Ballade 1……………………………………………………………………………….....111 4.17: Theme S2’s Dissolution into TR2 (Rotation 2) Ballade 1………………………………………...113 4.18: TR3 in Ballade 1…………………………………………………………………………………..115 4.19: TR1 in Ballade 4…………………………………………………………………………………..118 4.20: TR2 in Ballade 4…………………………………………………………………………………..120 vi 4.21: TR3 in Ballade 4…………………………………………………………………………………...123 4.22: Brower’s Escape-from-Container and Gaining-Entry-To-A-Container Schemas…………………125 4.23: Escape-from-Container and Gaining-Entry Schemas in the Four Ballades……………………….125 4.24: Brower’s Overcoming-Blockage Schema and the TR Process……………………………………127 4.25: Alternate Pathways in Ballades 2 and 4…………………………………………………………...128 4.26: Rotational Scheme in Ballade 2…………………………………………………………………...128 4.27: Approach to Coda in Ballade 2 (mm. 152-167)…………………………………………………...131 4.28: The Various Forms of the Lament Bass Motive in the Coda of Ballade 2………………………..133 4.29: D#/Das a Juxtaposed Pair in Ballade 2, Coda…………………………………………………...134 4.30: The Emergence of Eas a Chromatic Irritant……………………………………………………..134 4.31: Eas the Dominant of A………………………………………………………………………….135 4.32: The Uncanny Moment…………………………………………………………………………….135 5.1: Samson’s Formal Chart of Ballade 3……………………………………………………………….138 5.2: Rosen’s Formal Chart of Ballade 3…………………………………………………………………140 5.3: Tonal Structure in Ballade 3………………………………………………………………………..141 5.4: Form in Ballade 3: The Big Picture………………………………………………………………..142 5.5: Ballade 3, Rotation 1 (mm. 1-115)…………………………………………………………………143 5.6: Dysfunctional TR in Rotation 1 of Ballade 3 (mm. 6-36) …………………………………………145 5.7: Ballade 3, Rotation 2 (mm. 116-212)………………………………………………………………147 5.8: MC in Rotation 2 (mm. 182-4)……………………………………………………………………..147 5.9: Ballade 3, Rotation 3 (mm. 213-end)……………………………………………………………….148 5.10: MC Declined in Rotation 1 (mm. 33-36)………………………………………………………….148 5.11: “C” as a Back-Relating Dominant (mm. 113-116)………………………………………………..149 5.12: The Fate of F (Cadential Module, mm. 239-241)…………………………………………………149 5.13: Brower’s Overcoming-Blockage Schema…………………………………………………………150 5.14: Overcoming-Blockage Schema with Rotational Overlay in Ballade 3…..……………………….151

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6.1: Rotational Make-Up in Rhapsody, Op. 79 No.2……………………………….…………………..154 6.2: TR1 in Rhapsody, Op. 79, No. 2……………………………………………………………………155

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Chromatic Irritant: Some salient chromatic event, often a troublesome pitch-class or a diminished seventh chord, that demands such response from the TR process. Often, these cause energy diffusion.

Energy Diffusion: Occurs when a given TR preemptively loses it energy en route to the MC. Often this is due to some condition that was established in P (such as an over-determined tonic) or external stimulus (such as a chromatic irritant).

Essential Rotational Closure (ERC): In a rotation, the first satisfactory PAC or IAC in the second key area. This usually leads to C-like material and is analogous to Hepokoski/Darcy’s Essential Expositional Closure (EEC).

Postmedial Caesura: “Extra” caesura effect that occurs past the point of a supposed EEC. This is a symptom of TR Dysfunction that has the effect of attenuating and undermining EEC.

Pseudo-Transcendance: Situation in which an ERC in a tonic key other than the the tonic major occurs.





This is followedy by a re-affirmation of the tonic minor which has the effect of negating the earlier ERC.

Retransitional Caesura (RTC): Caesura effect that is the culmination of an RT passage, it does not follow EEC.

RT: passage(s) that prepare the way for a new rotation and are marked by the return of the home tonic and the restatement of P-material.

rt: An RT-like passage that prepares non-tonic returns of P- themes.

Second MC (MC2): The second caesura of a tri-modular block.

TR Dysfunction: Occurs when a given TR fails or struggles in its generic obligations of gaining energy and driving toward the MC.

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Chopin’s four Ballades — perennial favorites of audiences and performers— have proven to be problematic for analysts. At the forefront of the numerous discussions regarding their organization is an ongoing debate about their relationship to the eighteenth-century sonata, particularly if they can be understood as variants of that form or as something altogether new. It is my view that these works have tended toward the enigmatic because no one has discovered an appropriate theoretical apparatus through which to process them. In this dissertation, I view Chopin’s Ballades through a multi-tiered analytical system that draws upon three sources: the Sonata Theory of Hepokoski/Darcy, the notion of TR (transition) dysfunction, and Candace Brower’s embodied schemas for musical plot.

Hepokoski/Darcy’s Sonata Theory posits the sonata process as being a goal-directed, highlysophisticated metaphor for human action that involves musical modules with specific rhetorical purposes and prescribed generic goals. Importantly, they posit a major articulative device, the medial caesura (MC), as being an organizational focal point.

Like the sonata, Chopin’s Ballades are goal-directed structures, filled with rhetorically precise modules, and hinge upon caesura activity. Additionally, they exhibit symptoms of a condition that I have termed “TR Dysfunction.” Dysfunctional TRs have difficulty achieving their goals which are to gain energy and to drive toward the MC. The Ballades also play out several of Brower’s embodied plot schemas, such as the escape-from-container schema and following- alternate pathway schema.

In this dissertation, I probe the ways in which Chopin’s Ballade practice and his sonata practice intersect. I begin by examining the literature on these exciting works. I continue with a thorough examination of Chopin’s first movement sonata forms, emphasizing their modular rhetoric and TRspaces. Finally, I analyze all four Ballades using my multivalent approach. By examining Chopin’s works in this way, new insights will be gained that shall contribute to the scholarship on his compositional strategies as well as the general understanding of other large romantic forms.

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This is a study of Chopin’s Ballades, four popular, yet challenging works. It utilizes several new tools—including Sonata Theory, embodied meaning, rotational form, and the notion of TR (transition) dysfunction—to forge a new way into these refractory compositions. This dissertation advocates for an ecumenical methodology and claims that such a multi-faceted approach is absolutely necessary. It contains five parts, beginning with an introductory chapter that probes the analytical literature and explicates the basic tenets of Sonata Theory, rotational form, TR dysfunction, and embodiment. Chapters two and three will discuss Chopin’s sonatas in light of the Sonata Theory model with a sharp focus on their transitions, the focal points of the drama for his large works. Chapter four is a formal survey of Ballades 1, 2, and 4 using the hermeneutic that I have outlined above. Chapter five is an analysis of Ballade 3, the most idiosyncratic work of the group. Chapter 6 argues that my ecumenical method may be suitable for other works as well, particularly those of Brahms.

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Chopin’s Ballades do not involve an entirely new formal paradigm, but are born of a synthetic process: an interchange between the sonata and other genres.1 Any relevant study of these works must take this inter-generic dialogue into account. Due to recent advances in the study of sonata form, specifically Hepokoski/Darcy Sonata Theory model, we now have a mechanism that can accurately gauge the Ballades’ relationship to the sonata genre. 2 The Hepokoski/Darcy model is the most recent formal theory to emerge. It conceives of sonata form as a highly sophisticated metaphor for human, goal-directed action. It is a metaphor that is “centrally 1 The idea that the Ballades are born of various synthetic processes is not new. Others have already explored this notion; namely the fusion of the lyric with the narrative (Klein 2004, Rosen 1998, Berger 1996) and the fusion of the popular, salon style with the high-minded instrumental Austro-German style (Samson 1992; 1985).

2 Sonata Theory emerged and developed in various articles (Hepokoski 2002; Hepokoski and Darcy 1997) and the 2006 volume, The Elements of Sonata Theory: Norms, Types, and Deformations in the Late-Eighteenth-Century Sonata (Hepokoski and Darcy 2006).

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includes two or more (varied) cyclings—rotations—through a modular pattern or succession laid down at the outset of the structure.”3 The rotational impulse is the most basic driving force in Chopin’s Ballades.

As such, I will prize the rotational technique in my analytical methodology. That is, I see it as a structural impulse. We shall that in Chopin’s Ballades the themes are often recycled in their expositional order.

That holds true not only for his Ballades, but for his sonatas as well. Nearly all of Chopin’s sonatas are highly rotational. We also see, therefore, that the rotational impulse is indeed strong in nearly all of Chopin’s large-scale compositions such as the Scherzi, the Fantasy (Op. 49), and the Barcarolle. Sadly, however, these other long compositions remain outside of the scope of this project.

Examples 1.1a and 1.1b present the model of the Hepokoski/Darcy two-part exposition and the essential sonata trajectory, respectively. Example 1.1a is the model of the Hepokoski/Darcy two-part exposition.4 Each part has a characteristic tonal orientation: part one is set in the tonic, while part two appears in a non-tonic key (usually the dominant in a major key work and usually the mediant in a minorkey work). Several kinds of musical/rhetorical modules comprise the two-part exposition, including a Pmodule, a TR-module, an S-module, and a C-module (see Example 1.1A). Typically, these themes are highly differentiated in terms of rhetorical function. That is, P-modules have the job of initiating the sonata process, stating the main idea of the work, and generating our expectations about the work’s dimensions. S-modules, on the other hand, provide thematic and affective contrast. They are usually lyrical in nature. We shall see that Chopin’s uses certain rhetorical thematic types in his sonatas. For example, he tends to set S-themes as Nocturnes. This is true, certainly, in the sonatas and the concerti, as I will show. His P-themes seem to be more differentiated and varied, but still, Chopin prefers P-themes of a very few basic types such as the large antecedent and various kinds of sentential structures. All of this shall be covered in full detail later.

3 Hepokoski/Darcy 2006, 16.

4 Even though sonata theory claims that there are two kinds of expositions, the two-part and continuous, all of Chopin’s Ballades (and indeed, most of his large works) are engaged with the two-part exposition.

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and affective opposition between the different kinds of modules is quite a bit less sharp. While we always find theme groups that are clearly distinct, they rarely display the kind of contrast that one would find in the typical sonata.5 Most of the themes in the Ballades, even the opening ones, tend to be lyrical and therefore more suited for S- themes in a typical exposition.6 In the two-part exposition, the medial caesura (MC) is a major articulative device.

Hepokoski/Darcy define the medial caesura as “the brief, rhetorically reinforced break or gap that serves to divide an exposition into two parts, tonic and dominant (or tonic and mediant in most minor-key sonatas).”7 MCs serve to “end the first part of an exposition” and “make available the second part.”8 According to their model, the MC is usually built around a half-cadence of some kind.9 We shall see that in Chopin’s large works, the achievement of the MC is often a problematic process. For example, an exposition may have some difficulty achieving one, it may be unable to produce one altogether, or it may produce one that is compromised or weakly articulated.10 When this happens, the achievement of a more normative MC becomes a problem which the piece must confront.



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