Motivic treatment in four selected early works of Anton Webern

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Philip C. Tippens (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Eddie Bass

Abstract: It is the purpose of this study to examine four of Webern's pre-opus 1 works, noting in particular the manner in which the motives are developed and varied by the composer. The four works chosen for study are Aufblick (1903) for voice and piano, Im Sommerwind (1904), String Quartet (1905) and Quintet (1906) for piano and string quartet. The motive as an element of thematic construction and as a unifying factor is of particular importance in Webern's later style. The use of the motive in the composer's early music reveals a correlation between the styles and techniques found in the early and later works, as well as the preference for particular variation devices. Also, it was hypothesized that Webern uses the same motive, though it may be altered somewhat, in each of the four works. The motive is defined using Alden's definition: "A motive is a unitary idea of primary melodic interest, less than a phrase in extent, that recurs with modifications either of a static or an organic nature so as to become the predominating basis of a part or the whole of a composition." The specific variation devices employed by Webern in the four works were tabulated, the tables listing the frequency and location of each device.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1973
Webern, Anton, $d 1883-1945 $x Themes, motives

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