Chair of Music jablonsky at optimum.net
Wed Feb 18 05:18:24 PST 2009


Consider the possibility that you are trying to do the impossible, or,  
at least, the improbable. The "Neo-classicism" of Stravinsky is, in my  
opinion, a musical parallel to the art world's explorations of Dada  
and Surrealism. If you look at Dali's bent watches and try to tell the  
time you are attempting to do the same thing as making sense of  
Stravinsky's triads (non triads). You are correct that the harmonic  
material in Pulcinella ranges everywhere from completely tonal to  
completely bent out of shape--kinda like walking past fun house  
mirrors. Remember, that you are trying to understand the mind of a  
great composer who was infinitely playful, comical, and a major  
trouble maker. This won't solve your technical problem but I hope it  
gives you some perspective as you try to sort out your data. By the  
time Pulcinella came along the diatonic tonal system was dead and  
buried. Stravinsky was using the parts of this dead system in the same  
way that Dr. Frankenstein was trying to create new life. Got the  
picture? What made Stravinsky so great was the fact that no matter  
what stole (and he stole a lot of different stuff throughout his long  
career) he processed it in his own unique way and it came out sounding  
like Stravinsky. You may come up with a lot of data and exquisite  
formulas but pinning down Stravinsky is like herding cats.

I hope this helps.

Prof. Stephen Jablonsky, Ph.D.
Music Department Chair
The City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue S-72
New York NY 10031
(212) 650-7663

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