[Smt-talk] Criteria for Old and New

MICHAEL KLEIN mklein01 at temple.edu
Tue Mar 5 06:36:38 PST 2013

Dear Colleagues,

These attacks on Schenkerian analysis are really growing tiresome, in my
opinion.  I see them on the list from time to time, and I usually just let
them go.

Up front -- I'm not a Schenkerian (in the sense that I do not do research
in Schenkerian analysis).  But in another sense -- to quote Charles Smith
-- we're all Schenkerians.

That aside, these anit-Schenkerian postings are often riddled with errors.
I don't know what Ildar means by "his theory has never been contemporary to
any other theory," unless he's trying to say that Schenker's theory is not
set up for contemporary music (and, of course, it's not -- it is a theory
of how harmony and voice-leading work/interact in a certain repertoire of
tonal music). The statement that Schenker's theory "has never been a part
of any larger project" is flat out wrong. And there has been plenty of work
to show Schenker's deep connection to the history of theory.  So, that part
of Ildar's claim is incorrect, as well.

As the current saying goes, we're entitled to our own opinions, but we're
not entitled to our own facts.  If Ildar and others on the list don't like
Schenkerian analysis -- fine.  But please stop it already with the attacks
on an analytical system that many find deeply useful and rewarding.

I know I'll regret that I posted this (as I always do).  But I'm starting
to get tired of seeing these same issues reappear throughout the year --
usually with few facts to back up enormous claims.

All Best,


Michael Klein
Chair, Department of Music Studies
Professor of Music Studies
Temple University
Boyer College of Music and Dance
316 Presser Hall
michael.klein at temple.edu


*Intertextuality in Western Art Music*:

*Music and Narrative since 1900*:

"Denn alles Fleisch ist wie Gras. . ."
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