[Smt-talk] Criteria for Old and New

Nicolas Meeùs nicolas.meeus at scarlet.be
Tue Mar 5 07:09:39 PST 2013


You may know Schenker's writings better than I do, but I was somewhat 
surprized by your statement that there would be "some quite mean 
footnotes" on Sechter. To my knowledge, Schenker mentioned Sechter only 
once, in (short) terms that are critical, but that did not strike me as 
"mean". Can you be more specific about what you have in mind on this 
particular point?


Nicolas Meeùs
Université Paris-Sorbonne

Le 5/03/2013 06:17, Ildar Khannanov a écrit :
> Dear Dimitar and the List,
> I think that Schenker's being always new is the reflection of the fact 
> that his theory is an anachronism. His theory has never been 
> contemporary to any other theory, has never been a part of any larger 
> project, and has never followed any previous theory. He has rejected 
> Zarlino, Rameau, and Riemann. He did not like his own school's 
> tradition of Sechter (there are some quite mean footnotes on this 
> subject in his writings). He did not consider Greeks as legitimate 
> theorists. All that rendered his theory eternallly youthful.
> Best,
> Ildar Khannanov
> Peabody Conservatory
> solfeggio7 at yahoo.com
> --- On *Sun, 3/3/13, Ninov, Dimitar N /<dn16 at txstate.edu>/* wrote:
>     From: Ninov, Dimitar N <dn16 at txstate.edu>
>     Subject: [Smt-talk] Criteria for Old and New
>     To: "smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org"
>     <smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org>
>     Date: Sunday, March 3, 2013, 10:19 PM
>     Criteria for Old and New
>     Over the years, I have come across statements qualifying Walter
>     Piston’s book of harmony as old, because it has been published in
>     1941. Some musicians also seem to consider archaic Schoenberg’s
>     Theory of Harmony (1911) and his “Structural Functions of Harmony”
>     (published eight years after his death, in 1959), although I doubt
>     if the average theory instructor really understands the premises
>     of Schoenberg’s tireless and unorthodox mind.
>     Yet Heinrich Schenker had died six year before the publication of
>     Piston’s harmony and no one referred to any of his books as “old”,
>     although he publish his harmony book in 1906, 35 years before
>     Walter Piston’s book.
>     The question of what is old and what is new is worth tackling, but
>     it is even more interesting to ask: who decides that, and on what
>     grounds?
>     I like all of the above mentioned texts as original and
>     interesting readings and, although I could make a list of what
>     personally bothers me in each one, I do not think that recently
>     published books on tonal harmony are in any manner more
>     interesting (except for their illustrations and colored schemes)
>     or deeper in analytical terms. I regard many of those books as an
>     attempt to arrange a puzzle in a student’s mind whose pieces are
>     spread among the three fundamental disciplines of harmony,
>     counterpoint, and musical form. Of course, such a puzzle cannot be
>     arranged by picking topics from each discipline and teaching them
>     in one or two class sessions.
>     What is old and what is new? Who decides that? On what grounds?
>     I think there is no single answer to that, but there seems to be a
>     solid reason to think that a reigning analytical system has turned
>     into litmus for right and wrong, pure and sinful, contemporary and
>     outdated. It has become a kind of “border patrol” to which you
>     must show your analytical passport or stay out. It has grown into
>     a platform of approval or disapproval of papers, textbooks,
>     discussions, mentalities, and (yes) relationships. How does this
>     sound in a theoretical space that is supposed to stay open for new
>     ideas, even if they do not stem from a reigning mother?
>     A few years ago I was advised by an eminent scholar that “the
>     concept of altered subdominant chords does not seem to be in pace
>     with contemporary thinking”. Oho, said I to myself, so there is a
>     united contemporary thinking? Just like a united front? What a
>     great argument to reject an idea! Before I dared pronounce
>     "altered subdominants" I should have sought an approval from the
>     Omnipresent Contemporary Thinking! Poor Hans Tischler...he did not
>     know that.
>     If I turn terribly wrong on my guessing about the litmus, I would
>     be the happiest musician in the world. Meanwhile, I invite
>     colleagues to share their opinion on what is old, what is new, who
>     decides so, and why.
>     Thank you,
>     Dimitar
>     Dr. Dimitar Ninov, Lecturer
>     School of Music
>     Texas State University
>     601 University Drive
>     San Marcos, Texas 78666
>     _______________________________________________
>     Smt-talk mailing list
>     Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
>     </mc/compose?to=Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org>
>     http://lists.societymusictheory.org/listinfo.cgi/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org
> _______________________________________________
> Smt-talk mailing list
> Smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
> http://lists.societymusictheory.org/listinfo.cgi/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org
> Aucun virus trouvé dans ce message.
> Analyse effectuée par AVG - www.avg.fr <http://www.avg.fr>
> Version: 2013.0.2899 / Base de données virale: 2641/6143 - Date: 
> 02/03/2013

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20130305/18c4417e/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list