Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Kielian-Gilbert, Marianne Keele, Christy 2019-01-09T16:40:16Z 2019-01-09T16:40:16Z 2018-12
dc.description Thesis (Ph.D.) - Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music, 2018 en
dc.description.abstract I explore and define the phenomenon of climax in Frédéric Chopin’s four piano scherzos written during the years 1831-1842. Each scherzo features technically demanding climactic passages that stand out due to not only their intensity in a number of musical dimensions, but also their complexity and their roles in the scherzos as individual pieces and in the larger context of Chopin’s unique version of the scherzo genre. I develop the idea that the process of building intensity and the interplay between multiple peaks of intensity are integral to the architecture and dramatic effect of these climaxes. To illustrate the relationship between peaks of intensity, I propose a tension-arrival scheme, identifying different qualities of intensity and theorizing how they interact. Climaxes bear significance for the scherzo genre in particular, as Chopin reconceptualized the genre in these four pieces. He received a genre that was formerly light in character and most commonly functioning as a minuet replacement in a multi-movement work and developed it into a stand-alone concert genre for the piano, expanding its length and giving it a substantially darker character. I discuss ways in which climaxes shape the forms and dramatic trajectories of Chopin’s scherzos, supporting their dimensions and furthering and/or resolving their conflicts. As such, they are a key component of the genre identity of Chopin’s scherzo, which was so unlike any of its predecessors. The compositional techniques used by Chopin to articulate and develop climactic passages include the shortening of musical units, the manipulation of pacing as units are repeated at progressively shorter (or longer) intervals, and intensification in multiple dimensions. In conjunction with other features such as increased rhythmic activity and harmonic instability, these techniques project a type of temporality conceived by Raymond Monelle as “narrative time,” with some similarities to A.B. Marx’s Gang (Monelle 2000, Marx 1856). Narrative time is associated with a sense of action or forward motion, whereas its counterpart, lyric time, creates a sense of stasis. I introduce these temporal types and discuss ways in which climaxes in the scherzos not only project narrative time as they set up upcoming sections within contexts of large-scale repetition, but also uniquely incorporate aspects of lyric time as they close pieces in their respective codas. I address Chopin’s use of the features of narrative time throughout the scherzos (not limited to climaxes) as another signature characteristic of the genre. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher [Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University en
dc.subject Chopin en
dc.subject climax en
dc.subject narrative temporality en
dc.subject scherzo en
dc.title Reconceptualizing Climax In The Four Scherzos Of Frédéric Chopin en
dc.type Doctoral Dissertation en

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search IUScholarWorks

Advanced Search


My Account